Red Sox

Red Sox

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Tony La Russa, a Hall of Fame manager who’s now with the Red Sox as a special assistant to Dave Dombrowski, suggested the player-agent dynamic is partly to blame for the free-agency drag.

“It’s strange, unique, makes you scratch your head,” La Russa said of the state of affairs. “The player and their representative, they have an obligation to be reasonable too. You can’t shoot for the stars. ‘Cause the teams, they want to win and they try to do the best they can. I just think that in the end, the best situations are when you have a real good agent and the player participates in his future. I mean the dam’s gotta break, and it’s going to break and it’s going to be a tsunami.”

Entering his 57th season in pro ball, La Russa does not believe the teams are acting underhandedly.

“I don’t like the collusion stuff,” La Russa said. “In fact, lately, I think the media’s starting to catch on [to the player-agent dynamic].”

La Russa played in the big leagues but has spent the majority of his career in a management role. The longtime Cardinals skipper was in the front office with the Diamondbacks from 2014-17. He was employed by the league office from 2012-13, as a special assistant to former commissioner Bud Selig.