Whether it was panic or pride, the Boston Red Sox are carrying two of the worst contracts in pro baseball.

And it looks like Boston will get nothing more from Pablo Sandoval (signed for five years and $95 million) and probably nada from Rusney Castillo (seven years, $72 million).

Who is the bigger bust?

In 99 major league games, Castillo batted .262 – or $873,494 for each of his 83 hits.

In 162 games with Boston, Sandoval is batting .231 – or a bargain rate of $714,286 for each of his 133 hits.

Combined, Sandoval and Castillo have hit 21 home runs for the Red Sox.

To put that in perspective, former Red Sox slugger Travis Shaw (making just over half a million this year) is batting .292 with 14 home runs and the season isn’t half over. Projected over a season, the Brewers will pay Shaw about $3,400 a hit.

Yes, we can blame Dave Dombrowski for trading Shaw for injured reliever Tyler Thornburg (as long as you give him credit for the Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel deals).

As for Sandoval and Castillo, the guilt goes to ousted general manager Ben Cherington – although ownership agreed to (and likely encouraged) the signings.

Castillo, a refugee from Cuba, was 27 when he signed with the Red Sox in August 2014. Why so much for an unproven talent? Because after the 2013 season, Boston was outbid by the Chicago White Sox for another Cuban, Jose Abreu.

The Red Sox owner, John Henry, wouldn’t be outbid for Castillo. And now he’s paying millions for Castillo to play in Pawtucket.

With Castillo not producing, Dombrowski – who replaced Cherington near the end of the 2015 season – placed Castillo on waivers. No team wanted his salary so Castillo was removed from the 40-man roster and sent to Pawtucket.

The only consolation for the Red Sox is the $41 million Castillo is still owed doesn’t count toward the team’s payroll for luxury-tax purposes.

It also has kept Castillo hostage in Triple-A. Even though he is batting .311 with an .844 OPS in Pawtucket, the Red Sox are not likely to call him up since that means his salary goes back on the books.

Sandoval’s situation is different. He has enough seniority in the majors that he can’t simply be taken off the 40-man roster and sent to Pawtucket. Sandoval likely would refuse such a move and instead be released.

That release is expected soon, even though he’s still owed $49.5 million. And that’s on the books, though 2020 (when he’s eligible for a $5 million buyout).

Besides releasing Sandoval, what else can Boston do with an obviously deficient third baseman who is batting .212/.622 OPS?

How did the Red Sox get stuck with Sandoval? Panic.

After the 2014 season, when the Red Sox finished last in the American League East for the second time in three years (not to discount the 2013 World Series title), they looked for quick fixes.

The Giants won it all in 2014 with Sandoval batting .429/1.002 in the World Series. He became a free agent.

In 2014, Boston had a rotation of third basemen as Will Middlebrooks faltered and Xander Bogaerts slumped when moved there from shortstop. Brock Holt was also used, as was journeyman Carlos Rivera. Shaw was still in the minors, having moved from Portland to Pawtucket in 2014.

The Red Sox options in 2015 included bringing back everyone and having a competition for third (with Bogaerts back at short), or go outside the organization.

Boston went after Sandoval, even though his offensive production showed a consistent slide from .330/.943 in 2009 to .279/.739 in 2014. Plus there were concerns about his conditioning.

Sandoval’s slide steepened in 2015: .245/.658. In 2016 he came to spring training in horrible shape and was soon done for the season with a shoulder injury.

Shaw got most of the starts at third base (105 games) and batted .242/.276 with 16 home runs. Instead of the Red Sox seeing Shaw as a potential big-time slugger – and insurance at third base – Dombrowski saw Shaw as trade bait and put complete faith in a Sandoval comeback – a faith that had no substantiation.

Sandoval, 30, is currently on the 10-day disabled list for an ear infection; a convenient time for the Red Sox to figure out what to do with him.

And they must do something. Last Monday, Sandoval was pinch hit for late in the game, even though it meant catcher Christian Vazquez had to play third base in the ninth inning.

Boston is looking for solutions. Veteran Jhonny Peralta, 35, was signed to a minor league contract after the Cardinals released him (he was batting .204/.462). Peralta has been sent to Pawtucket to see if he can get his game back.

Can Sandoval get his game back? I think we already know that answer.

Will Rusney Castillo ever help out? That’s an expensive question.

Sandoval and Castillo are not the only free agents that fizzled in Boston. It’s a lengthy list, containing such names as Jack Clark, Jose Offerman, Edgar Renteria, Daisuke Matsusaka (although he had two good seasons in a six-year deal), Julio Lugo and Carl Crawford.

Sandoval appears the worst of the bunch, and John Henry will be signing his checks for years to come.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: @ClearTheBases