Deals are completed in Spring Training, but will the Red Sox reach an agreement with their young shortstop?
Seemingly out of nowhere, Xander Bogaerts is embarking on his first pro contract year. It was just yesterday that during the 2013 World Series run, the 21 year old kid took over for a struggling Will Middlebrooks at third base. Since then (minus the Stephen Drew debacle in 2014), Bogaerts has entrenched himself as the mainstay at shortstop for the Boston Red Sox. Not since Nomar (1996-2004), has a player owned this position in Boston.
The Red Sox with salary limits, had a “crickets chirping” offseason. After Sale got Manny Machado swinging, the offseason has mainly just been locking up playoff heroes Nathan Eovaldi & Steve Pearce. The next closest offseason move was signing previously Banned-For-Life Jenrry Mejia to a minor league deal. Next offseason however is going to blow this one out of the water. Scheduled for free agency are Chris Sale, Rick Porcello, J.D. Martinez (opt out), Mitch Moreland, Steve Pearce, Brock Holt, Eduardo Nunez, and Xander Bogaerts.
Needless to say, the 2020 Boston Red Sox are going to look a whole lot different come next spring training.
While Dombrowski can’t bring everyone back, there is still ample time to lock up a player or two. Mookie Betts is destined for free agency after 2020 season ends. All signs point to him forgoing an extension and testing free agency, and topping Manny Machado’s record breaking $300 million deal with the Padres. Bogaerts should be a lot easier to sit down and do discussions on a contract to keep him wearing the red B on his cap.
Last month, it was reported that the Red Sox have indeed had talks with Bogaerts and Chris Sale on possible extensions.
In what could be the biggest roadblock to really get into talks, is Bogaerts’ agent…. the thorn in MLB general manager’s sides, Scott Dean Boras. While there are players of his who has been their own man like Jason Varitek, a good collection of his players have chosen to follow his lead 100%. ie, if they have to wait till March to sign and hold the free agent market hostage, so be it.
If a deal were to happen to keep Bogaerts in a Sox uniform, then we could take pleasure in seeing him rise up the ranks of All-Time Red Sox stats. He currently ranks in the top 50 of games played, at-bats, runs, hits, doubles, homeruns, RBI’s and stolen bases.
Theoretically, if the Red Sox signed Bogaerts to an 8 / $144M extension, who says no? Here’s hoping that it wouldn’t be the Sox that turned this down and keep their cornerstone shortstop in Boston.