This is a story about Alvaro Fernandez, and Branko Boskovic in a curious way, but it could be a tale of crock-pots, lawnmowers, desktop computers, Flip video, or beer - pretty much anything. It is a tale of sunk costs and guaranteed money.
It is Jim McIlvaine, and Milton Bradley and Ken Griffey Jr 2.0.
The sunk cost is money that you have already spent. You no longer have it, but no matter how much money was spent that is not the value of the item. The value of the item is related to how effective it is, how useful. Can it do its job?
That crock-pot you bought yourself and never learned to use? Sunk cost. Either learn how to use it, re-gift it, donate it. Don't just use it because you spent the money, but because you enjoy slow-cooked foods.
Remember when you bought a lawnmower, except then you moved to a place without grass? Did you keep the lawnmower because it was good money spent thereby taking up storage? Or did you move on?
Do you still have your $3,000 Pentium desktop? If you do it better not be because you are a hoarder, but because you like Win95.
Am I really saying that Alvaro Fernandez is useless? No. Absolutely Not. What I'm saying is that he should never play because of the money spent. No player, in any league, should. The players that play should be the ones that help you win that game.
Maybe that's oversimplifying. But the fact is that in a 10-team playoff system, wins matter and Seattle needs them. Between either of Erik Friberg or Mauro Rosales they've found someone who fits the system better as a Right Wing. There's good news though.
First, the Reserve League exists so El Flaco can do like Boskovic and use it to learn, to adapt and became a greater asset for Sigi. He can use it to maybe learn a role where there is more need, less competition and that can have a greater impact on the game. He can use it to become Super Brad Evans: The box-to-box midfielder that 17 other teams would love to have.
Second, there will be US Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League games come May. These trophies matter here in Seattle. Those wins will be important, and they'll give him another way to play himself into the lineup. This could be an additional 12 matches of joy for a player not normally in the Starting XI. In these he can probably start at Right Mid.
The money has already been spent. El Flaco is here. The primary window for summer soccer is closing in leagues such as MLS. That means he's here until the primary window for winter football opens - in July. Most MLS teams won't take a DP that isn't playing in trade. It is doubtful that the Sounders would let one go without compensation.
Both the Sounders, and Alvaro need him to be playing, to be developing. What they don't need is for him to be starting just because he has the letter D and P associated with him. There are six games before that next transfer window opens where Fernandez is assured of playing time if he wants it. Embrace those and become a better player, and maybe he doesn't need to transfer, but instead becomes the player that Sigi Schmid needs him to be.
He doesn't need to be a sunk cost. He could wind up being Cliff Lee (went to minors in 2007, became awesome). All it takes is acceptance of the current state of things and the desire to prove that merely temporary.