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- Pablo Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million deal with the Boston Red Sox.
- He was introduced to the media on Nov. 25.
- Hanley Ramirez agreed to a four-year, $88 million deal with Boston on Monday.
Former San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million deal with a $17 million club option for a sixth year on Nov. 25. The Red Sox officially introduced him to the media on Tuesday.
According to MLB.com’s Ian Browne, Sandoval signed a five-year, $95 million contract with the Red Sox. The deal also has a club option for a sixth season:
“Pablo Sandoval couldn’t have looked any more at home as he sat at the podium on Tuesday with the lights, cameras and microphones of Red Sox Nation surrounding him.
“While the electricity of the market that is Boston has been tough to stomach for some other high-profile acquisitions through the years, the allure of being in such an environment seemed to be a driving force in Sandoval giving up the comforts of San Francisco.
“The veteran third baseman signed a five-year, $95 million contract that includes an option for a sixth season. The (San Francisco) Giants, with whom Sandoval won three World Series championships in the past five seasons, made an offer similar to that of the Red Sox. The (San Diego) Padres were also in the ballpark.
“But the man known in baseball circles as ‘Kung Fu Panda’ couldn’t resist all that comes with playing in a market where baseball matters so very much.
“‘I want a new challenge,’ said Sandoval. ‘I made that choice to be here in Boston because I need a new challenge; I need to lead that team, with the legacy they have here, the fan support they have here. That’s why I had to make sure I made the right decision. It took me a long time. Now I’m here to help them be in the postseason again.’
“After following a World Series championship in 2013 with a last-place finish in ’14, the Red Sox certainly appear driven to play in October next year and beyond, not only bringing in Sandoval but also Hanley Ramirez, who will transition to left field. Ramirez’s deal, for $88 million over four years with a fifth-year vesting option, is pending a physical.
“The decision by the Red Sox to invite Sandoval to Boston last week for a visit proved to be an important component in landing him.
“‘We respect what Pablo accomplished in San Francisco,’ said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington. ‘This is not a situation where a player is leaving a bad situation or didn’t have a good relationship with a team or anything like that. So we respected that and simply wanted to have a conversation and present to Pablo what we could offer him, not just in terms of contract, but opportunity.
“‘As Pablo has referenced, it’s a new challenge. The more we talked, we knew it was going to be a hard decision for him, but that we’d have an opportunity, have a chance, and ultimately we’re thrilled that he chose us.’
“The Red Sox chose the switch-hitting Sandoval because of his track record of production from the left side of the plate and the fact that he plays third base, where the club clearly had a need.
“‘Pablo was a primary target of ours to start the offseason,’ said Cherington. ‘As I had discussed with many of you, it was important to us to add another really good left-handed bat, or in Pablo’s case a switch hitter, to our lineup, and third base being an obvious place to do it.’
“And yes, Sandoval’s penchant for producing when it matters most was a factor.
“‘He really embodies a lot of what we care about,’ Cherington said. ‘This is a guy that has been a big winner. He’s been a performer when it counts the most. He’s respected as a teammate, loves to play and we think he really fits what we’re all about here and we’re really looking forward to having him in a Red Sox uniform in the middle of our lineup for years to come.’
“Sandoval, 28, spent the first seven seasons of his big league career with the Giants, who signed him as an amateur free agent in 2003.
“The Red Sox get him smack in the prime of his career.
“‘Just look at who he is now. He’s a player at the prime of his career who’s able to play a tough position at a high level,’ said Cherington. ‘He’s been a very good hitter at that position, including positions when it counts the most.'”
The Red Sox also agreed to a four-year, $88 million deal with former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez on Monday, according to ESPN Boston’s Gordon Edes:
“The Boston Red Sox agreed with Hanley Ramirez on Monday on a four-year, $88 million deal with a vesting fifth year for an additional $22 million, according to a major league source.
“Ramirez, who will turn 31 on Dec. 23, has primarily played shortstop throughout his 10-year career but has also told teams he would be willing to change positions.
“Ramirez was originally projected as a fall-back plan for the Red Sox in the event that they were unable to sign the switch-hitting Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval reached agreement with the Red Sox on Monday, sources told ESPN, after choosing among offers from Boston, the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. All three offers were believed to be for five years and at least $90 million.
“Ramirez rejected the Los Angeles Dodgers’ $15.3 million qualifying offer earlier this month to beceome a free agent. Ramirez won the 2009 batting title and tied the NL with a 1.040 OPS in 2013 (among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances).
“Ramirez’s defense at shortstop has suffered in recent years, which makes it highly implausible the Red Sox would give up on 22-year-old shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who is regarded as highly as Ramirez was after he signed with the Red Sox in 2000, as a teenager in the Dominican Republic.”
Sandoval has amassed 946 hits, 106 home runs and 462 RBIs on a .294 batting average in 869 games for the San Francisco Giants, per ESPN stats.
On the other hand, Ramirez has registered 1,403 hits, 191 home runs and 654 RBIs on a .300 batting average in 1,223 games for the Boston Red Sox, the then-Florida Marlins, Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers, according to ESPN stats.