Thursday March 31st, 2016

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The Boston Red Sox have benched Pablo Sandoval and will start Travis Shaw at third base to start the season, manager John Farrell told reporters on Thursday.

“We talked about it. I’m happy with the decision,” Sandoval told WEEI and other reporters. “They made the decision. It’s the right decision to help the team win. I’m going to be happy. I’m going to be ready on the bench, get ready for anything. I’m going to get ready during the season to do my job.”

Sandoval, 29, is entering his ninth season in the majors but caused a stir at the beginning of spring training by showing up overweight for a second straight year. After inking a a five-year deal worth $95 million, he hit .245 with 10 home runs and 42 RBIs in 2015.

2016 MLB season preview: Boston Red Sox

Shaw played in 19 games last season and hit two home runs, nine RBIs and finished with a .333 batting average. He is making just over the league minimum salary while Sandoval is expected to earn $17 million.

Earlier in the week, the San Diego Padres were reportedly scouting Sandoval for a possible trade.

The Red Sox will open the season on April 4 on the road against the Cleveland Indians.

- Christopher Chavez

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