The White Sox made it very clear that they were not bringing José Abreu back a couple months ago in their end of season press conference. The hot take from Chicago sports casters since then was that the Cubs would bring him in on a two or three year deal because he would be able to act as a leader and help groom the kids. Fast forward to last weekend the analysts shifted their beliefs. Some started saying he was headed to Cleveland to give Jerry Reinsdorf the middle finger to help them win a ring before he retires; while other analysts were saying he was headed to the west coast.
Then, this past Monday the Astros snagged him off the market at $19.5 million per year through 2026. I am sorry but this and all contracts for athletes are simply examples of the rich getting richer. There is absolutely no way the Cubs who finished 2022 third in the NL Central couldn’t have given Abreu the same contract. Especially when you consider there is no a DH in the national league.
All this deal did is make an athlete who is playing a kids game richer than he already was and keep the people paying him getting richer. What makes things worse in my opinion where it comes to Abreu going to the defending champions is the Cubs 2023 payroll is lower than the Astros was before they made the signing and they said they be spending this winter. By not matching that offer to keep him in Chicago and maybe even adding a few million more they have made it clear that while they may spend they will not be spending wisely.
Another deal was made this week. deGrom signed with the Rangers on a five year deal for $185 million. Don’t get me wrong, when he is healthy he is a great pitcher to have but for someone with his injury history there is absolutely no reason he should be paid close to $40 million a year. He is no Curt Schilling. I do not care if the player is a pitcher or a position player injury history should have more of a bearing on what players are paid. Sadly though in the post-90s era of sports that is not the case and likely never will be.
Back to the deGrom signing he has been to one World Series with the Mets and while he was good back in 2015 he didn’t help the Met’s end their draught in and he has had a bevy of injuries since then. I realize that Schilling had an injury history of his own but at least he proceeded after winning his first ring with Arizona in 2001 to help the Red Sox win not one but two titles before retiring after the 2007 championship run.
Players with long injury history like deGrom should not make more than the league minimum before added bonuses for games played, end of season awards, etc. Keep the richest people in the game while weeding out the ones who are rich just because of their skill that became depleted due to a bevy of injuries. Yes, the richest people would be the owners but there is nothing fans will ever be able to do about making their favorite teams owners lose enough money to sell the team!
With that… the winter meetings are here and the hot stove is heating up!