Pablo Sandoval’s former trainer says Red Sox 3B needs a “baby sitter”

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Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald spoke to the former trainer, Ethan Banning, of ex-Giant and current Red Sox Pablo Sandoval. Banning did not provide a flattering description of the third baseman.

Banning described how he worked to hide Sandoval from the Giants during the offseason after the 2011 season. Sandoval had gained more than 20 pounds in three weeks as the two sides were negotiating a new contract. It worked, as Sandoval signed a three-year, $17.15 million extension in January 2012.

“I would go pick him up at a random location, drive him to the facility so that his car wouldn’t be there, so if they dropped in they wouldn’t know he was there,” Banning said. “So for about a three-week period, he had the flu — we had every excuse in the world. We were just trying to rip weight off him again. And it ballooned way out of control.”

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“I was coming in seven days a week, he was training three times a day on six days, and on Sundays he was training twice,” Banning said. “It was that bad. I mean, it got out of control.”

Banning also spoke positively about Sandoval, saying that the veteran of nine seasons could lose weight if he wanted to, but he added, “You need the baby sitter.” He went on, “At the end of the day, I’m speaking truth. […] I love the guy.”

Obviously, this doesn’t come as any surprise, as Sandoval’s conditioning has been a topic of conversation for years. He showed up to spring training — after a miserable 2015 showing — appearing to have put on some weight. And now the Red Sox have Sandoval on the disabled list with a mysterious shoulder injury after he lost the third base job to Travis Shaw.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.