Boston Red Sox treatment of Kevin Plawecki underscores team’s problems

It should not have been a surprise that the Boston Red Sox designated Kevin Plawecki for assignment.

Sports are, after all, a zero sum game. Production and wins are all that matter. While there is a human element, that has been minimized in the day and age of analytics and the focus on advanced metrics, with players considered to be replaceable cogs.

Boston Red Sox have humanity issue in front office

Such is the case with Plawecki. The veteran backup catcher had posted a .217/.287/.287 batting line in his 175 plate appearances, hitting one homer and eight doubles. He had also struggled defensively, costing the Red Sox eight runs behind the plate, making his spot on the roster more valuable for a younger player with upside.

But this ignores the human element. Plawecki was a popular figure in the clubhouse, a veteran leader everyone respected. The fact that he was given his walking papers late Friday after their game finished has not sat well with other players, particularly pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Rich Hill.

This situation could be an issue come the offseason. Eovaldi and Hill are amongst the numerous free agents that could leave the Red Sox this winter. The Red Sox would theoretically like to keep Eovaldi in the fold, but their callous treatment of a respected veteran such as Plawecki will linger in his mind.

Plawecki being released is not the only failure from the front office when it comes to the players. Their “extension offer” to Xander Bogaerts essentially added one year and $30 million to his remaining three years and $60 million contract that he will be opting out of. They have lowballed Rafael Devers in their talks with his representatives as well, making it likely that he follows Bogaerts out the door.

The human element alone cannot lead to a winning ballclub. The analytical approach and focus on statistics certainly have a place in the game. But there needs to be a blend of both sides. That is something that the Red Sox have struggled with under Chaim Bloom. Based on the timing of Plawecki being released, it is not going to get any better.

The Boston Red Sox clubhouse is upset that Kevin Plawecki was discarded. That lack of humanity has been an issue for the front office for some time now.