For the first time in way too long I have escaped Ice Station Zebra for some surf, sun, rest and relaxation. And what happens? In the first 30 hours of my sabbatical from Maine, the Red Sox sent away their best player.
I’d rather shovel snow than have to write that Mookie Betts is now a member of the Dodgers.
At least the petulant and juvenile David Price went with him.
We knew a trade was coming but as a lifelong Red Sox fan, this burn from Sox ownership hurts worse than my sunburned forehead.
Mookie Betts was a homegrown player with a legit five tool skill set. He was already a league MVP and most likely his best years are ahead of him. He was very personable and to this day I cant figure out why he wasn’t in more TV commercials. If I had a New England based business and I would have paid him to be my spokesperson in a heartbeat.
Plus he was a great bowler.
We know the Red Sox have more money than some small countries. It’s disappointing they wouldn’t pay Betts. Sending him packing is the low point of a miserable offseason. Lets recap.
In the last 4 months or so our Boston Red Sox:
Didn’t make playoffs.
Fired Dave Dombrowski.
Raised ticket prices.
Have been accused of cheating.
Fired Alex Cora.
Exiled Betts and Price.
It will take more than a chorus of Sweet Caroline to make us forget this debacle of an off season.
I refuse to let the ownership group off the hook. The reason they don’t have any money for Betts is they have foolishly wasted millions of dollars in recent years.
Here are their highness paid players this season:
1. Chris Sale – $30.00M
2. J.D. Martinez – $23.75M
3. Xander Bogaerts – $20.00M
4. Nathan Eovaldi – $17.00M
5. Rusney Castillo – $14.27M
Sale is overpaid. Eovaldi’s deal is embarrassing. And the sting of the Castillo deal must feel like stepping on a hundred poisonous jellyfish.
But having said all of this, throwing $350 or $400 million at Mookie would be pretty dumb from a business standpoint. You don’t build teams around $40 million dollar a year guys and committing to a player for a decade is almost always like building a sandcastle as the tide comes in. At the end there’s not much recognizable left of the castle or the player.
The Nationals didn’t resign Bryce Harper this past year for $330 million and immediately won the World Series. I’m not suggesting the Red Sox will win the Series this coming year. They have other issues that need addressing. But for the first time in a while they just might just be developing a solid business plan with some financial flexibility.
Longterm this makes sense. In the short term it feels as bad as walking on scorching hot sand in bare feet.
By Jeff Solari