Let’s assume, for a second, that even half of the White Sox-Bobby Abreu gossip is true, and that a one-year, $8 million offer is on the table for the free agent and long-time man-crush of both Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams.
Let’s also assume the Sox turn around and make the long-rumored Jermaine Dye-for-pitching swap and send their trade partner a few million to offset the suddenly high cost of having the average-fielding, mightily-hitting right fielder on their payroll.
Let’s also assume no other team is smart enough to make Abreu a similar offer, keep their pitching and not have Dye’s higher salary and mutual option to deal with.
If all those things fall into place, will the crying over Abreu, Manny Ramirez, and the wounded pride of countless other millionaires come to a stop? Will everything suddenly be okay if Joe Crede’s bad back and poor track record found a job? Will Jason Varitek ever find peace in this cold, unforgiving world where the Boston Red Sox pay him an “insulting” $5 million for the encore to the single worst performance by any starting major-league catcher in recent memory?
It’s easy to hate athletes sometimes, but people – you, me, Buster Olney – sometimes forget what a professional athlete’s real worth is: making owners money. Sell tickets. Move t-shirts. Get sponsorships. At the end of the day, Bud Selig and Albert Pujols really have the same job, and both more or less accomplish the same thing, the only difference being one using his pen and the other his bat. You want to think hard work in any field will be rewarded, but nobody is going to spend $12 million knowing full well they’re going to lose $4 million.
And, you know, if Bobby Abreu can’t retire comfortably on the $92 million he’s made playing baseball, the man probably has bigger problems than the Sox’ inability to trade Jermaine Dye. Don’t ask us to pity those people.