• by: Phil Cantor/@osgphil

Stop Criticizing Young Baseball Players for Doing What They Feel is Best for Them


Who are any of us for criticizing a young baseball player for taking the money? How can any of us say, "He should have waited, he would have gotten more"??

Baseball writers and analysts seem to be taking shots at young players taking contract extensions before playing out their extremely restricted rights.

Yeah, sure, you can make the argument Ronald Acuna, the reigning Rookie of the Year and Atlanta Braves outfielder could have waited and gotten more. Much, much more once he hit Age 26 (5 years from now) and he played through multiple arbitration years. He could have gone the route of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado and yeah, sure, he may very well have broken the proverbial bank.

Instead he took a Six-year, $100 million deal with team options that could make it 8-years and $124 million. Which for every single one of us reading this---is a mind boggling amount of money.

Yet Acuna, and Chicago White Sox rookie Eloy Jimenez who took a 6-year, $43 million deal are being criticized---mostly by writers, for settling.

Listen, I get it. Major League Baseball owners are rolling in money. In theory they can afford to fork over $330 million deals if they so choose. And no, I'm not for seeing the rich get richer because they are being cheapskates, which by the way seems to be a common trait among billionaires.

But I don't know the circumstances behind the players decisions. Neither do you. You know them on the field, you see them play and marvel at their physical skills. But you don't know what is going on with them on a personal level.

In Acuna's case---he's from Venezuela which to be perfectly honest, needs little to no explanation. He seems for the most part, a kid who just wants to play and win while having a good time. He also has family in the mess that is his home country and I'm guessing (again, I don't know) he wants to make sure they are taken care of as soon as possible.

Baseball is not like Basketball or Football when it comes to controlling players. And yeah, the Braves tried to game the system in 2018 by not promoting Acuna until they got an extra year of player control. (Don't ask me to explain this stupid MLB rule)

Really I don't understand anyone for criticizing a professional athlete for any financial decision they make because NONE of us will ever face that kind of choice. It's highly unlikely any of you will ever know someone who has to make a 9-figure career decision or would sit there and take a $100 million offer and say no.

Sure, you can sit behind your keyboard and say "He should have waited", arguably you could be right. Making $17 million as a 28-year old in 2026 will be a total and complete bargain for a baseball player under the current salary structure. But we're all talking about ludicrous amounts of money.

So in short, all I'm really saying here is until you "Walk a Mile" in a young, foreign born, likely raised in poverty kids shoes, you can't judge their decisions for one simple reason: You never, ever will be in that position.

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