Bruce Maxwell had a chance to return to the Oakland A’s, but he declined the offer because he felt that he was not wanted.
It has been a couple of years since Bruce Maxwell suited up for the Oakland A’s. He had gained notoriety as being the first, and thus far only, player to kneel for the National Anthem in the league. Then, during the offseason, Maxwell was arrested on weapons charges, essentially ending his time in the majors.
Maxwell spent last season in the Mexican League, playing for the Acereros de Monclova. While the Mexican League is more offensively driven, he still turned heads with a .325/.407/.559 batting line, hitting 24 homers and 25 doubles. He also showed his typically strong defense and solid arm, gunning down 38% of would-be base stealers.
Given the state of backup catching in the league, one would imagine that performance would garner interest. And it turns out that it did, with the A’s offering Maxwell a contract to bring him back. Instead, Maxwell turned down the offer, saying that he did not feel that the A’s actually wanted him back.
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Being offered a contract is certainly a strange way to be telling a player that they are unwanted, but that is Maxwell’s opinion. In his mind, the only reason why the A’s made him an offer is because of who his agent happens to be – A’s legend Dave Stewart. If not for Stewart, Maxwell feels the team would not be interested.
A cursory glance at the A’s depth chart shows why that would not be the case. While top prospect Sean Murphy is easily the top option at catcher, the rest of the depth is a giant question mark. Austin Allen and Jonah Heim are both rookies as well, leaving an opening for a veteran catcher to help mold these players. Theoretically, that could be Maxwell.
But it is not. To paraphrase Stewart, he needs to get over himself and past any resentment he may possess to the organization. Teams do not just hand out major league jobs because of who the agent is, regardless of what they meant in franchise history. Maxwell had his chance to return, and he may have blown what could have been a final opportunity.
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Bruce Maxwell can question why he does not have a major league job all he wants. But until he can get over himself, he will remain on the outside looking in.