The Boston Red Sox held a press conference on Monday announcing the new contract of Xander Bogaerts. According to Boston, that’ll be the final deal made this season.
It was a surprise to many when the news came out that the Red Sox had signed Xander Bogaerts to a contract extension. All winter long we heard from the president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski that once Opening Day hit all dealings would end. The blockbuster deal for Chris Sale was announced just prior to Opening Day and that seemed to be the final spending before the 2019 season.
The news broke Sunday evening that Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox were close to finalizing a deal that would make Xander Bogaerts the first long-term shortstop in Boston since Nomar Garciaparra. Bogey had made it clear he wanted to stay in Boston and play with this team but that he also wanted to be paid what he feels he’s worth.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
It looks as both sides walked away from the table with exactly what they wanted. Bogey got a great deal that will keep him with the Red Sox and Boston was able to keep their star shortstop for a great price. Win-win.
But Dombrowski is sticking to his guns and will not be cutting any more checks as the season progresses. For Red Sox Nation this may be a bit worrisome as there are some serious players that can find themselves leaving Fenway in the near future. At the end of this season, J.D. Martinez can opt out of his deal and take his talents elsewhere and then there is the looming free agency of Mookie Betts in 2021.
"“We really didn’t bend it very much because it started Opening Day, the negotiations,” Dombrowski said. “They were still taking place during Chris Sale’s press conference. I didn’t think we’d get this deal done. It started coming into focus a couple days beforehand. So, we had basically said Opening Day it would be done. We did close it off Opening Day."
Dombrowski has a great reason for not wanting to work on contracts during the season, he doesn’t want the distraction. Which as we’ve all seen over the years can absolutely happen in any situation. The player gets more focused on their money and deal and then their play on the field begins to suffer. So by pausing any negotiations until the season concludes, Dombrowski is trying to curtail any of that drama.
There are a plethora of major players coming due for some new contracts in the near future even with Sale and Bogaerts getting retained. Martinez, Betts, Brock Holt, as well as veterans Mitch Moreland and Steve Pearce, will all have the ability to leave Boston in the next two years. But Dombrowski stands firm on his belief that when the season is underway new deals shouldn’t be focused on and I can’t disagree with his mentality.
"“There’s a reason behind (closing off negotiations during the season),” Dombrowski said. “It’s not like you’re setting the deadline to be like, ‘Oh gosh, I have to be a hard guy in that regard.’ I think contract negotiations can be a distraction for the players, and when we start playing, we want focus to be on the field. So if we had not made progress at that point, at some point we would’ve had to say, ‘We’ll see what happens at the end of the year.’ I think that’s why it’s really important to set that deadline."
It’s a great relief to Red Sox Nation to have Sale and Bogaerts locked down for the foreseeable future but that’s just the start. Dave Dombrowski has been incredibly successful at what he does for a long time and I have no doubt he’ll continue to succeed. If the Red Sox hope to keep winning on the field they’ll need to keep winning in the negotiation room.