pablo sandoval red sox contract signed analysis
I'm not going to dive into the philosophical underpinnings of signing free-agent hitters, already in their decline phases, to long-term contracts. At least for now, I'll leave that to a colleague. I just want to briefly review the sort of player the Red Sox are getting in Pablo Sandoval.
Actually, first I'll let Eno Sarris take a crack at it:
Pablo Sandoval is a large oft-injured third baseman who makes his living on making contact on pitches outside the zone and has a reputation for playing well in October.
Of course there's a great deal more to it than that; Eno's got nifty graphs and studies and stuff, all of which suggest that you can't just apply the normal aging curve to a unique player like Sandoval. Which, by the way, is an example of taking sabermetrics a bit deeper than usual. Everybody's always complaining: Your numbers are stupid. All players aren't the same. That's true! So when you've got a particularly unique player like Panda, it's a great opportunity to look at players like him. Or at least somewhat like him.
And the results aren't pretty. Here, if you don't believe me, see for yourself.
Leaving the realm of science for a moment, I will shamelessly speculate by saying I believe there's better than a 50/50 chance the Red Sox are really going to regret this contract within three years.