Not really much to say about the Jeff Bagwell saga, in which the team is attempting to claim he’s physically unable to play in 2006 and thus claim over 90% of the $17 million salary he’s owed from their insurance carrier. Bagwell, of course, insists he’s fine and will report to spring training to try to win his starting job back. The Astros’ stance makes perfect financial sense. Even a healthy Bagwell would be unlikely to be worth $17 million this season. That’s a sum that was given to him for past performance, not for genuine market value. Bagwell, like most athletes, isn’t ready to let go. Why should he be? He wants to leave on his terms, and his injury-marred 2005 wasn’t what he had in mind.
I’m sorry this has soured Bagwell’s relationship with the team, but at least so far no one has said anything that can’t be forgotten about. There’s no other solution that I can think of to this that doesn’t involve Bagwell agreeing to take less money this year, and as he’s perfectly within his rights to demand that the Stros live up to what they contracted for, I don’t see that happening. You’re stuck with each other, fellas, so make the best of it. Far as I can tell, that’s Bagwell being healthy enough to be at least a positive contributor. Don’t know how likely that is, but good luck with it.