Red Sox

Michael Chavis compared to former NL East second baseman

Michael Chavis compared to former NL East second baseman

Michael Chavis' hot start for the Boston Red Sox has gotten attention. He has performed better than expected and surprisingly has been able to handle the defensive duties at second base for the Sox. His accelerated development has excited many, and it seemingly bodes well for his future.

And now that he has been in the big leagues long enough, Chavis is drawing comparisons to other pro players. Recently, he was compared to a long-time NL East second baseman.

“He reminds me of Dan Uggla,” said one scout per Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe. “It’s not perfect defensively but it’s effective enough, and he hits. He’s a good athlete.”

That's an inspiring comparison for Chavis, as Uggla was once one of the better offensive second basemen in the MLB.

Uggla played 10 years in the majors and early on in his career, he was one of the few power-hitting second basemen in the league. He had at least 27 homers in each of his first six seasons, and he finished his career with 235 dingers. His career average was just .241, but was a better contact hitter in his first five seasons, recording a .263 average. He also had a 33-game hit streak in 2011, so he consistently hit the ball.

If Chavis can provide the Red Sox with the power punch that Uggla had and solid enough defense, that would be huge for their future. Given that he has already cracked seven homers in just 89 at-bats, he seems well on his way to doing that. And right now, he's holding up well at second base, so perhaps he can lock down that position moving forward.

It's also possible that Chavis could have a better and longer career than Uggla. The former Marlin, Brave, and National didn't break into the league until he was 26. Chavis is only 23.

In the piece by the Globe, Abraham also identified Daniel Murphy (.298, 124 homers in 11 seasons) as a player comparable to Chavis. If he continues to hit as well as he has, these comps will certainly be warranted.

TOMASE: Time for Chavis to make the adjustment>>>

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How Bobby Bonilla Day can save MLB's ongoing salary dispute

How Bobby Bonilla Day can save MLB's ongoing salary dispute

If baseball wants to solve its impasse over player compensation during the pandemic, here's a thought — make Bobby Bonilla Day a holiday.

Bonilla is the former Mets slugger who struck an incredible deal as his career wound to a close.

In exchange for waiving the final $5.9 million he was owed in 2000, Bonilla agreed to receive 25 payments of roughly $1.19 million every July 1 from 2011 through 2035.

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Why trade $6 million in 2000 for nearly $30 million later? Because Mets owner Fred Wilpon intended to invest the money with Bernie Madoff, whose funds consistently delivered massive returns. We now know Madoff was running the world's biggest Ponzi Scheme, and when his $64 billion fraud collapsed in 2008, it took hundreds of millions of Wilpon's money with it.

What's bad for him was good for Bobby Bo, however. Every summer, the six-time All-Star receives a check for over a million dollars, payments that will continue until he's 72. (The Mets, it should be noted, also agreed to make 25 annual $250,000 payments to Bret Saberhagen for similar reasons, starting in 2004.)

Here's where the current contentiousness enters the picture.

The owners want the players to take a massive pay cut in exchange for a season, arguing they can't afford to play in empty ballparks without salary concessions. The players don't want to return a penny, and in fact hope to play more than the proposed 82 games to make as much of their prorated salaries as possible.

One solution is deferrals. The players agree to put off some portion of their earnings, allowing ownership to maintain cash flow in the short term before the game's economics hopefully stabilize in the future.

And what better day to do it than Bobby Bonilla Day? Every July 1 starting next year, the players can receive a portion of their 2020 salary. Maybe it's paid in installments over three to five years, or maybe it's a lump sum.

However it's done, it could represent a meaningful olive branch from the players and a signal that they're willing to compromise in these unprecedented times.

The value for the owners is clear, because Wilpon isn't the only one who sees the allure of deferrals. The World Series champion Nationals prefer them as a rule, deferring not only $105 million of Max Scherzer's $210 million contract, but even $3 million of the $4 million they gave reliever Joe Blanton in 2017.

With players and owners at each other's throats, it could be disarming to invoke one of the game's stranger annual curiosities. And if it helps us play baseball in 2020, there's also this: Open the season on July 1 and make Bobby Bonilla Day, for one year anyway, a national holiday.

Who are the best right fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Who are the best right fielders in Red Sox history? Ranking the Top 5

Corner outfielders for the Red Sox have vastly different responsibilities. 

While left fielders have to learn how to play with the Green Monster at their backs, right fielders are tasked with covering an immense amount of ground with some quirky angles —duties which require not just a mobile defender, but a fearless one. A strong arm helps, too, lest the turnstiles between first and third just spin all game.

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Fortunately for the Red Sox, there have been no shortage of exceptional right fielders over the years, including a number who didn't make our top five, like Dirt Dog Trot Nixon; postseason heroes J.D. Drew and Shane Victorino; and Earl Webb, whose 67 doubles in 1931 remain one of the longest-standing single-season records in the game.

The final list includes a Hall of Famer, two MVPs, a hometown hero, and one of the franchise's longest tenured stars.

Click here for the Top 5 right fielders in Red Sox history.