Getty Images

Alex Bregman ‘disappointed’ in contract renewal by Astros

74 Comments

For the past week or so we’ve seen a number of young talents, most notably Blake Snell, having their contracts renewed at low rates. While teams certainly have the power to do this — and while some renewals are better than others — they’ve caught flak from commentators and players for being cheap and shortsighted moves.

Add Astros’ All-Star third baseman Alex Bregman to the list of players disappointed in such tactics. Bregman was renewed for $640,500 — he made $599,000 a year ago and the minimum salary is $555,000 — which is certainly a bigger bump than some other guys have gotten. Still, Bregman put up a line of .286/.394/.532 with a league-leading 52 doubles, 31 homers and 103 RBI and a 6.9 WAR season and that sort of production is worth eight figures a year on the open market.

Bregman spoke about the move yesterday, making the point better than anyone else can:

“I feel like good business would be wanting to make a player who performed at a high level on your team happy and want to feel like he wanted to be kept and feel like they wanted him to play here forever. I’m just disappointed it doesn’t seem like the same amount of want.”

GM Jeff Luhnow defended the decision, saying “That’s just the nature of our industry right now.” Which is not a defense of the nature of the industry right now, of course. It’s merely an acknowledgment that, when a player has zero leverage, he’s going to be paid far, far less than his production is worth and that teams will, quite happily, take advantage of that fact.

Which, again, is their right. Bregman’s comments about the shortsighted nature of such moves, however, should be remembered if and when players in his position are less than eager to stay with a club or grant any concessions in negotiations whatsoever once they actually get some leverage.

Mariano Rivera awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
8 Comments

Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Trump on Monday. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest civilian honor to “individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Babe Ruth was posthumously awarded the medal last year. Yogi Berra got it posthumously in 2015, and Willie Mays and Vin Scully were also awarded it the same year.

Trump and Rivera are close. Rivera, who is from Panama, has been criticized for his relationship with Trump. Defending that relationship, Rivera said on Fox & Friends in July, “Mr. President Trump to me, he was a friend of mine before he became president. So, because he’s president I will turn my back on him? No. I respect him. I respect what he does and I believe he’s doing the best for the United States of America.”

Rivera, 49, served on Trump’s Opioid and Drug Abuse Commission in 2017. In 2018, Rivera co-chaired Trump’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition. Rivera also co-hosted a fundraiser dinner for the America First Action PAC, which supports Trump and was also hosted by Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personality Kimberly Guilfoyle.

This past January, Rivera became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously. He is the all-time leader in saves with 652 as well as adjusted ERA (also known as ERA+) at 205. He retired with a 2.21 ERA and 1,173 strikeouts across 1,283 2/3 innings, spanning 19 seasons with the Yankees.