Pablo Sandoval has become a $95 million bench

The Boston Red Sox announced before their final spring training
game Thursday that Travis Shaw, a 25-year-old who made his big
league debut last May, will be their starting third baseman.

''If it's the right decision to help the team win, I'm going to be
happy. I'm going to be ready for the bench. I'll get ready for
everything in the season and do my job,'' Sandoval said. ''It's
going to be difficult. I have to be happy and do a great job. It's
still a fantastic spring. ... Nothing is easy.''

Sandoval hit .245 last season with a .292 on-base percentage, .366
slugging percentage, 10 homers and 47 RBIs. A switch-hitter he gave
up hitting from the right side. Sandoval missed spring training
games due to back soreness after he dove for a ball on March 22 off
the bat of the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton.

Known as Kung Fu Panda for his physique, he appeared to be well
over his listed 255 pounds when he reported for spring training in

''For right now, to start the season, feel this is the best for our
team, to go with this alignment,'' manager John Farrell said. ''My
focus is on the guys that are in uniform, not what's attached to
them or what their contract states. We're all about evaluating and
what's best for our team.''

Sandoval, 29, won three titles with San Francisco and was the 2012
World Series MVP. He is owed $17 million this year in the second
season of a $95 million, three-year contract.

Shaw hit .270 with 13 home runs and 36 RBI in 65 games last season. (Associated Press)


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