Shane Victorino was traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Los Angeles Angels yesterday, which was a sensible move for both sides. The Angels are in a dogfight in the AL West, and they can use a veteran outfielder like Victorino, who will be a free agent after the season, minimizing the commitment L.A. has to make long term to the 34-year-old. The Red Sox, in the cellar of the AL East, traded a departing free agent for a young middle infielder (Josh Rutledge) with more years of team control.
But in the fervor of the trade deadline period, when every player is viewed as an asset, it can be easy to forget the human side. Victorino has dealt with injuries the past couple of years, but in 2013, he had an excellent season as part of the championship-winning Red Sox. He has memories and relationships in Boston that he now needs to leave aside abruptly to join a new team on the other side of the country. It’s gotta be hard, and it’s understandable that it would leave him emotional.
At about the 1:45 mark of the above video, Victorino gets into the response that chokes him up, talking about leaving the team that “gave (him) a chance.” It’s striking to see that kind of emotional attachment to a team that, you know, traded him, but Victorino’s a smart guy, and he understands the business side of everything. And he does get to chase another ring this year. At his age (and relative health), who knows if or when he’ll get another chance like this. But judging based on his response, it’s a safe bet that Red Sox fans are sad to see him go, cold asset-calculation be damned.
(Via Jared Carrabis)