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Alex Bregman ‘disappointed’ in contract renewal by Astros

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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.

Red Sox place Chris Sale on 10-day injured list

Chris Sale
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Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.

It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.

Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.