Pablo Sandoval has severe Red Sox regret, and it’s well-earned

Pablo Sandoval says he wishes he never signed with the Boston Red Sox.

It seems that Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval enjoyed his tenure with the Boston Red Sox as much as the fans liked watching him take the field for their club.

In a recent interview, Sandoval told Joseph Bien-Kahn of GQ that he wishes he never signed with the Red Sox and that he should’ve stayed with the San Francisco Giants.

I should have stayed with San Francisco. I know. I learned my lesson. But I’m happy I went through it, man, because I kept my eyes open and learned a lot of things”.

At the time of his signing in Boston, Sandoval was well on his way to becoming one of the most popular and well-liked players in Giants history. He had made two All-Star Games, finished in the top-17 of the NL MVP voting twice, and been a part of three World Series winning teams. He played the game with a ton of energy and seemed to always be having fun.

Then he left.

Red Sox: Pablo Sandoval says he should’ve never signed in Boston

In November of 2014, Sandoval shocked the baseball world by signing a contract with the Red Sox. It was a five-year, $90MM contract that came with a team option for a sixth season. At the time, the contract seemed like one that could pay off nicely for the Sox as the switch-hitting corner infielder was coming off of a season in which he hit .279 with 16 home runs and an OPS+ of 111.

Nobody could’ve known that the Panda would crash and burn the way he did, but boy did he crash and burn in a big way. His first season in Boston was mired by poor performance and put an immediate sour taste in Boston-area fans’ mouths. He managed just ten home runs and 47 RBI in 126 games, posting a .245 batting average, far and away the worst of his career. Somehow, it got worse for him.

Heading into 2016, Sandoval showed up to camp very overweight and very much out of shape. He performed horribly in Spring Training and ultimately lost his starting spot to an up and coming Travis Shaw. The Panda missed almost the entire season, making just three appearances and seven hitless at bats in the bigs.

2017 was the last season for Sandoval in a Red Sox uniform. While he did lose some weight, he still looked like a shell of the player he once was and was designated for assignment and later released by Boston. After signing a new contract with the Giants, the Sandoval of old came back in spurts but he still struggled with the bat.

After a brief and unsuccessful run with the Braves in 2020 and 2021, Sandoval is now out of the major leagues but is still playing in the Mexican League for the Olmecas de Tabasco, where he has appeared in 28 games this season, hitting six home runs and putting up a .343 batting average.

Things didn’t end up working out for Pablo Sandoval in the majors after a highly promising start with the Giants. It’s an interesting concept to think about where his career would’ve gone if he never chased the money and left the Giants.