Astros’ extension with José Altuve reminds Red Sox of failure with homegrown talent

Sep 29, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) celebrates after
Sep 29, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) celebrates after / Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

On the evening of Feb. 6, the Houston Astros extended José Altuve, likely making him an Astro for life.

Altuve signed with Houston in 2007 after attending a tryout the club hosted in Maracay, Venezuela, his hometown. Four years later, he debuted for the Astros, and now he'll likely never play for any other team.

Houston signed Altuve to a five-year, $125 million extension, which will keep him with the club until his age-39 season. After that, the infielder may retire, and he could do so comfortably. With his recent extension, Altuve became the only second baseman in MLB history to reach $300 million in career earnings, per Heyman.

Altuve's MLB path and story are incredible, regardless of anyone's beliefs about his character. It's even more impressive that all of his eight All-Star nods, an MVP season, and the rest of his career accolades will all be with the same club.

José Altuve becoming an Astro for life reminds Red Sox fans of what could've been

That's more than Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts can say.

The Betts trade was a complete mistake from all angles. Maybe it was utter ignorance of fans' feelings or how they would react. But the Red Sox had plenty of money to sign him. Betts has since stated that he wished to remain in Boston but they shipped him off to LA for next-to-nothing in return before he thought negotiations were even finished.

The lack of urgency on the potential Bogaerts extension is a different story, entirely. The Red Sox had years to extend the shortstop. He had been with the team for 10 seasons when he left. No one could blame him for leaving, though.

The front office waited until the last minute to discuss terms with Bogaerts (after apparently lowballing him the spring prior). Had John Henry, Chiam Bloom and Co. moved to get a fair extension done earlier, things could've been different.

It almost seemed like the Red Sox knew they would fumble the Bogaerts deal. They signed Trevor Story, essentially his replacement, before he was even out the door. A lot of fans knew, right then and there, that Bogey wouldn't be back. The front office had already telegraphed that they didn't plan to try very hard.

Bogaerts, like Betts, wanted to be in Boston — he was in on the Red Sox until it didn't make financial sense to be "in" anymore. No one in their right mind would deny the contract San Diego presented to Bogaerts. The issue is that it never should've come to that in the first place.

The Astros' commitment to Altuve is admirable, especially given his humble beginnings. If Boston showed the same level of commitment to its homegrown stars, Betts and Bogaerts could still be Red Sox. Boston could've won another World Series since 2018 and the disastrous 2023 and '24 offseasons could've been avoided.

At least they got Devers, though.

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