Start talking Contract extensions- Hitters
The first batter I would look to re-sign is Xander Bogaerts. The star shortstop is repeatedly overlooked in the conversation of the best shortstops in baseball. Outside of last season when he was playing through an injury that interrupted a tremendous season to that point, Bogaerts has steadily improved each and every season to this point in his career.
The crazy part about this is that he may still get better. Bogaerts broke onto the scene in 2013 as a 19-year-old and will be just 26 years old on Opening Day next season. He has stabilized the shortstop position that prior to him was a revolving door since the Red Sox traded away Nomar Garciaparra in 2004. Between Nomar and Xander, the Red Sox had the likes of Alex Gonzalez, Julio Lugo, Stephen Drew, and Jose Iglesias all playing the position in that time. My point is that great shortstops do not come around all that often. The Red Sox have a keeper here in Bogaerts, so they should make sure to keep him.
The Red Sox next should talk to J.D. Martinez. The reason that he is not above Bogaerts is the aforementioned player option that the Red Sox would hopefully be able to fall back on. I do not need to say much here, anyone who has watched the Red Sox this season realizes how important he has been to this offense. Martinez will likely look to get his salary up to the $30 million figure that he sought this past offseason but he eventually settled for $23,750,000 per year with the Red Sox.
The next priority should be Mookie Betts and I know what you’re going to say. “Bryce, what are you talking about? Mookie won’t be a free agent after next season. Why do we have to worry about him now?.”
Betts may not hit the market after next season but he does after the 2020 campaign. This guy is your MVP. He sets the tone for this team night in and night out. Betts is a dynamic player who does so many things well on the baseball field. The Red Sox do not need to wait until the year before he hits the market to start talking extension with Mookie. I say pay the man.