When Pablo Sandoval was placed on the DL yesterday with a shoulder strain that had not heretofore been mentioned by anyone anywhere, it was hard not to see it as a move meant to just get Sandoval out of the picture for a little while. Or a move initiated by Sandoval in order to send a message to the team. He may still be with the team while on the DL, but he won’t bea guy John Farrell has to worry about. He’ll, at best, be at the far end of the dugout, nearly out of sight, temporarily out of mind.
Today Jeff Passan has a column in which he reports that, yeah, there is a lot of bad blood here. Passan’s sources tell him that Sandoval does not want to be in Boston unless he can play every day, and the Red Sox have no intention of playing him unless he loses weight. And, indeed, even if he loses weight, he won’t get to play everyday unless Brock Holt and Travis Shaw struggle too. Both of them are hitting really well to start the season, by the way. Also: everyone agrees that the shoulder thing is mysterious and likely just posturing.
So this is the Carl Crawford situation all over again, but more expensive and probably worse in a lot of ways. Except this time there is no one as good as Adrian Gonzalez with whom to package Sandoval in a trade and no one as willing to take on so much bad money as Ned Colletti and the Dodgers. Boston is either going to have to release the guy or, at most, accept close to nothing to unload him to a team which can afford to take three months to let Sandoval get in shape and take hacks for purposes of having a big name on the team or maybe flipping him to a contender if he rejuvenates himself.
I suppose there are worse baseball divorces. I just can’t think of too many of them recently.