LOOK: Pablo Sandoval looks like he's in shape and that's good news for the Red Sox

As noted in this mobile-enabled space, Pablo Sandoval, thanks in large part to the trades of Yoan Moncada and Travis Shaw, has a fairly clear path the Red Sox's starting third base job. Given that the Sox have legitimate designs on winning the 2017 World Series, this is not an opportunity to take lightly (as you'll soon see, you should save those "lightly" yuks).

That's especially the case for a player -- i.e., Sandoval -- who's thus far failed to live up to the $95 million contract he signed prior to the 2015 season. In 2015, Sandoval authored the worst sustained performance of his career, with the bat and the glove. In 2016, he played in just three games before suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. Sandoval has famously struggled with his weight and conditioning habits over the years. While he's gone through periods in which he looked to be in peak playing shape, it's eventually given way to his old flaws and habits. Maybe this offseason is different?

By all indications, Sandoval has been committed to getting in shape like never before. The first, indication was his relatively svelte appearance in October when he dropped in on FC Barcelona ...

More than a month later, Sandoval looked even better and appropriately sweat-drenched ...

As we barrel toward the new year, Sandoval is apparently keeping at it. He's remained at the team's training complex in Ft. Myers, Florida, and he's even got a workout buddy in the person of the reigning AL Cy Young winner ...

Teamwork makes the dream work, people. Now let's move beyond the results and see the work that's yielded those results. Via Instagram Live, here's our hero putting some reps in at the rack ...

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And now let's enjoy some angled lunges and interval sprints set to triumphant swells of music ...

Excelsior! By way of comparison, here's what Sandoval looked like late in the 2015 season ...

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It's of course worth noting that Sandoval has lost weight on a number of other occasions -- during the 2013 season and last offseason, for instance. So, sure, file this under "we've seen this movie before" if you wish. At the same time, let's also recall that Sandoval in his Giants days was a darn good player for a long time despite struggling with his weight. Yes, he's on the wrong side of 30 now, but if he's able to remain in good shape once the rigors of the regular season take hold, then it's entirely possible he'll wind up as a productive fixture in the Boston lineup. That's a developing matter, of course.

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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