Mitt

Of course Bogaerts is feeling resentful

Decades after the free agent era grabbed baseball by the shoulders and feverishly shook, these tales get no easier to digest.

The Red Sox reportedly offered Xander Bogaerts what amounts to a four-year contract extension worth $90 million.

Bogaerts’ agent called that a slap in the face.

No doubt noting that the Red Sox had just signed Trevor Story to a six-year deal worth $140 million, Bogaerts has a right to be miffed. Professional athletes take competitiveness to a level beyond our norms. Watching another man saunter in and immediately climb to the top of thew salary mountain would leave anyone in Bogaerts position a little miffed.

And it’s not as if Bogearts hasn’t delivered. He helped the team win a World Series, is a three-time All Star and has been a faithful soldier to the cause.

In case anyone somehow missed the memo, don’t think of this in terms of what you make for a living by driving a cab, digging ditches, or tending bar. Big-league sports play with what we of the hoi polloi should regard as Monopoly money.

And don’t let your knee-jerk reaction overwhelm reality. Not a single ballplayer has walked into an owner’s office threatening bodily harm if his conditions weren’t meant.

Indeed, free agency resulted from 100 years of owners holding exclusivity rights over their players in perpetuity. Beyond their ability to help their teams, players had little leverage

Do a search for “reserve clause” for further details.

Owners are competitive, too. Signing a veteran star for a relatively low price isn’t something they would boast about publicly, but you know they are at least giggling to themselves once the contract is signed.

Story is not in any way the bad guy in this little baseball soap opera. He came to town as a two-time All Star and was willing to move from shortstop to second base so as not to send Bogaerts’ blood pressure to the moon.

The Red Sox put lots of money on the table. He took it, tipped his cap, and pledged his best efforts.

And surely, he knows that when it’s time for him to walk away, he may well get the same sort of nudge Bogaerts received.

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