The Houston Astros filed an insurance claim on Jeff Bagwell’s contract, arguing that the four-time All-Star is too hurt to play.
Bagwell is guaranteed $17 million this season, but by filing the claim, the Astros can recoup $15.6 million if Bagwell retires or is deemed too disabled to play.
Astros general manager Tim Purpura confirmed Feb. 1 that the Astros filed the claim last week.
The 37-year-old Bagwell missed 115 games last season after surgery on his right shoulder, which has bothered him for four years. He returned late in the season and could bat, but he couldn’t throw. He went 1-for-8 with an RBI and a run scored in the World Series.
The Astros had until Jan. 31 to file the claim. Doctors who examined Bagwell earlier in the month told the team that his shoulder was still damaged and that the team could not expect Bagwell to be productive this season.
Bagwell, however, has said he still intends to show up at spring training next month. Purpura and the Astros expect that, too.
“That’s my understanding, that he’s going to be there,” Purpura said.
Bagwell’s agent, Barry Axelrod, did not immediately return a phone message.
Bagwell has spent all of his 15 major league seasons in Houston and is one of the franchise’s most popular players. The situation has caused a rift that Bagwell has said may be beyond repair.
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