Anonymous Red Sox player slams brass for mishandling Kevin Plawecki DFA
The drama surrounding Kevin Plawecki’s departure has dragged on longer than it should have.
That’s what happens when employers repeatedly mishandle their employees, though. Eventually, someone is going to snap.
Late Friday night, the Boston Red Sox informed Plawecki that he was being designated for assignment. The catcher was on the verge of free agency, and the Sox needed a roster spot to call up pitching prospect Franklin German. But it was after the game, so a lot of his teammates were gone, and didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye. It feels like the situation could’ve been orchestrated in a more sensitive manner.
Plawecki is going to be okay. Ego bruised, feelings hurt, missing his teammates, et cetera. All very valid feelings, but he’s not ruined; in fact, he’s already reportedly found a new home. The catcher is reportedly going to latch on with the Texas Rangers.
Aside from a reunion with former Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers, it’s unclear why a mathematically-eliminated team is trying to scoop up a catcher for two weeks, but that’s their business, and good for ‘Weck for finding a new home after getting tossed out like yesterday’s paper.
The crux of the matter is that several players have been treated in a similar, unnecessarily callous fashion by the Sox over the last few years. It’s become a pattern for the Sox to make business decisions while appearing to ignore the human element. A current player validated that claim this week when discussing Plawecki’s departure:
"“It was kind of cold the way they did it. That’s all I’ll say.”"
It makes sense that the player would want to remain anonymous. The same ‘cold’ way the brass handled Plawecki could easily happen to anyone else.
After becoming a free agent following the 2019 season, Brock Holt expressed a desire to re-sign with the team and remain in Boston for the rest of his career. He later revealed that no one from the front office even bothered to call him that offseason to say something like, “Thanks, but no thanks. Best of luck in your future endeavors.” To add insult to injury, Chaim Bloom replaced him with Jose Peraza, a player with nearly identical numbers, whose only real edge over Holt was that he was under club control. He didn’t even last the full season.
Less than two months ago, the Sox traded Christian Vázquez to the Astros while warming up for a series in Houston. Manager Alex Cora had warned Vázquez that a trade might occur, but the veteran catcher only got confirmation of the deal as he stood on the field with his teammates. No one came to collect him before the news broke, so the organization’s longest-tenured player had to face a swarm of inquisitive media members and was visibly upset and on the verge of tears in the resulting video footage.
Days later, the Sox DFA’ed and released Jackie Bradley Jr. Not only was the move absurd given Jarren Duran’s offensive and defensive struggles, but the Sox still owed Bradley millions. When the Toronto Blue Jays snapped him up, the Sox soon had to pay their longtime outfield star to play against them. It did not end well for them, nor did choosing Duran over Bradley; he’s been down in Triple-A for weeks.
Baseball is a business. But as many have said over the years (myself included), how one conducts that business speaks volumes about who they are. Does an exec see his players as numbers on a spreadsheet, or as human beings? Does a team care about people or just profit?
The Red Sox can absolutely be better in this regard. It’s simply the right way to treat people. There is plenty of middle ground between coddling players and handling them so callously.
And ultimately, this way of doing things won’t benefit the business side, either. Free agents won’t want to come to an organization that won’t think twice before shoving them out the door.