Opinion

Sandoval would’ve been an interesting pickup for Phillies

The Boston Red Sox designated World Series hero Pablo Sandoval for assignment two weeks ago. The Panda just couldn’t cut it in Boston’s lineup. But then, Saturday, his old team the Giants picked him up, dropping him onto its San Jose (A+) roster.

Considering a struggling Maikel Franco and Sandoval’s extremely low price tag, the Phillies should’ve seen what they could’ve gotten out of him.

Sandoval is still a young player at 30. For as much as he’s done and as long as he’s seemingly been around 30 is still pretty manageable. Certainly his skills shouldn’t have fallen off the cliff they seemingly have at this young an age. He should still be a viable contributor hitting the sweet spot of his career, not planning his retirement.

For whatever reason Sandoval just couldn’t handle playing in Boston. It’s not atypical – plenty of players have had a tough time preforming as a Red Sox. JD Drew slashed .286/.393/.512 while in the National League with the Cardinals, Dodgers and Braves, but when he got to Boston he only managed a .264/.370/.455 line. Edgar Renteria slashed .289/.346/.400 with the Marlins and Cardinals before coming to the Red Sox. He spent one year there, his age 28 season, and only managed a .276/.335/.385 line. He then went to Atlanta for his age 29 and 30 seasons and resumed his contact-heavy play, going .310/.374/.451.

Carl Crawford, coming off a .307/.356/.495 season in 2010 with Tampa Bay, signed a big contract with the Sox and went .255/.289/.405 in 2011.

It happens. Sometimes players can’t handle a certain city, especially a large, very-critical-of-their-sports-team city like Boston. The change of leagues doesn’t help much either. But it certainly doesn’t mean that their career is over.

Sandoval managed a very dismal .237/.286/.360 line in his three-year, 161-game career as a Red Sox. His lack of performance was most likely due to injuries, relentless criticism that typically accompanies a huge contract and always having to look over his shoulder at his replacement.

Perhaps the Phils could’ve resurrected the former slugger’s career. We are talking about a guy who hit .294/.346/.465 during his first tenure in the NL with the Giants. A fresh start with the Giants, with lower expectations, could prove reinvigorating for him. It’s an non-risky chance the Giants are taking, and it’s a chance the Phils missed.

For Franco’s part, bringing in some serious competition could’ve done him well. As it is Franco has nobody vying for his position anywhere in the upper levels of their system. The Phillies had so much invested in him and thought so highly of him that depth at the postion was pretty much ignored until last year’s draft when they picked up Cole Stobbe in the third round. This was, of course, about the time Franco started to show that he might not be who the Phillies thought he was. He’s done nothing since to change their mind back to thinking he has a bright future here.

And even if Franco continues to be as hot as he’s been lately, Sandoval could’ve slotted in at first when needed and be an extra bat off the bench. He could’ve also played designated hitter in the remaining American League games on the schedule. The Phils could’ve found opportunities for him to play, especially after Howie Kendrick and Daniel Nava get traded.

It wouldn’t have cost much, he could’ve provided a bit of veteran leadership and, who knows, maybe he would’ve turned into the player he was the last time he played in the NL.

We’ll see what he does with the Giants (he’s currently hitting 143/.250/.143 in seven at-bats with San Jose), but he could’ve been a nice easy play for the Phils. Oh well.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Jeff Thompson

    July 24, 2017 at 11:24 am

    Wouldn’t have worked…..too many great places to eat in Philly.

    • Chris Sandone

      July 24, 2017 at 3:31 pm

      Jeff Thompson is correct, I can’t believe that whoever wrote this article failed to mention that Sandoval is just a fat slob!!!!!

  2. Craig Glessner

    July 24, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    That article is what’s wrong with Philly Nation. Suggesting that an overpaid OVERWEIGHT has been is an upgrade over Mikael Franco is just impatience leading to stupidity. Franco and Herrera are finally playing better,Altheer and Nick Williams are hitting and Nola has been as good as anyone in the national league. Let’s face it this year isn’t going anywhere and we knew that coming in but til we add Hoskins, Cozens,Crawford,Alfaro and Kingery to this lineup I will stand on the back of the band wagon with my Phillies hat kicking off all these damn fans who bitched about everyone like Franco. Just like the sixers trust the process we are starting another dynasty run.

  3. Mitchell Nathanson

    July 24, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    Picking up a has-been like Sandoval would have been a typical Phillies move but thankfully this time they didn’t do it. But that’s what they usually do — pick up a guy on the downside (Saunders, Buchholz, Morton, Kendrick…) thinking that, magically, they’ll play as they did when they were five years younger. Then, the thinking goes, they flip him for a top young player. Have they ever been successful doing that? The best case scenario for them was Hellickson last season when the guy went out and actually did have a pretty good bounce-back season. But guess what? Nobody else wanted him anyway. So all the signing of Hellickson got them was another year of Hellickson (who, his on-field performance aside, they now can’t give away due to his salary). The Phils assume the rest of BB is stupid and they’re the only smart ones. In truth it’s the other way around. Sandoval is washed up and even had he come here and hit well for a couple of months there would have been no way any other club would have offered the Phils anything of value for him. The rest of baseball is too smart to fall for that con. Only the Phils think it can work. At least with Sandoval they didn’t try it again.

  4. denzen

    July 24, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    NO..!!

  5. Bob

    July 24, 2017 at 4:03 pm

    No, he would not have been a good consideration. Donaldson, Machado, Turner…these are the caliber of 3rd basemen phillies should be looking for. Only one decent prospect in the farm right now and seems to be years before he gets to the show.

  6. 64 survivor

    July 24, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Evan – with advice lime tbis….dont give up the day job !

  7. Mac

    July 24, 2017 at 8:35 pm

    Is this an awful attempt at satire?

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