The Red Sox have made Pablo Sandoval's signing official, designating Ryan Lavarnway for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for the third baseman.
It's been a few years since the heyday of Ryan Lavarnway. Once arguably the biggest name in a Red Sox system starved for talent, Lavarnway's hype reached its peak with a two-homer night in the penultimate game of the 2011 season. He had come to save the Red Sox from their disastrous slump, lifting the team to an 8-7 victory over the Orioles and earning the starting spot in game 162.
Lavarnway went 0-for-5, the Red Sox missed the playoffs, and it was all downhill from there. His performance at the plate was appropriately disastrous in the terrible 2012 season, hitting to a .459 OPS in 153 at bats, and while he actually put up some decent numbers when given the opportunity in 2013, he wasn't even called on to make more than a handful of trips to the plate in 2014 even with the team well out of contention.
Without much to contribute defensively, Lavarnway will have to prove that he has the power bat that fans expected to make him a potential heir to David Ortiz. More than anything, though, he probably needs a fresh start in a new organization, where he's free from the stigma of unfulfilled expectations. It will be interesting to see if anyone has enough hope for his raw power to claim him.