The Boston Red Sox may be open to trading Xander Bogaerts.
A perfect trading storm is being formed with the combinations of a lousy team, expensive contracts, and players with value to the Boston Red Sox that may actually be going north rather than south.
BSI has had opinion pieces on J.D. Martinez and just about everyone else that is high profile as noted by Red Sox President Sam Kennedy. The Red Sox have shown no reluctance for sending players elsewhere as noted with the departure of Mookie Betts.
The latest rumor that seems to have developed a life of its own is regarding Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts had signed a six-year and $120 million extension that covers the years 2020-2025 with a possible option for 2026. Bogaerts also has an interesting no-trade provision that kicks in at seven-years service time, which falls just after the August 31 trading deadline, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Bogaerts has the now almost standard opt-out clause that can be exercised after the 2022 season.
Bogaerts is a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner and two-time All-Star. At just 27-years-old, Bogaerts should be in that baseball longevity sweet spot of his best core years. If 2019 is an indicator with 33 home runs, 117 RBI, and a .309 batting average there may be similar statistical accomplishments for the life of a relatively team-friendly contract.
Why trade Bogaerts?
The reasoning is not that complicated considering the condition of the team – they need pitching that is young and controllable – but that pitching must have an upside since all that has been rolled to the bump this season is a downside.
The loss of Bogaerts would certainly put another dent in the Red Sox offense – an offense that has shown limited traction compared to the juggernauts of the past. The apparent replacements for Bogaerts on the roster are Jose Peraza, Jonathan Arauz, and Tzu-Wei Lin. I do not see any Silver Sluggers or Gold Glove Awards in their future.
Digging into the Red Sox less than vaunted minor league system has two possibilities with the first being number two ranked prospect Jeter Downs acquired in the Betts trade. Downs is projected as a second base possibility, but short is not being ruled out. Downs and fellow shortstop prospect C.J. Chatham are in the Player Pool and could see playing time as the team further disintegrates.
The free-agent smorgasbord offers the usual selection with slick-fielding Andrelton Simmons being the best option. Former Red Sox shortstop Jose Iglesias may be available depending upon an option being exercised. Didi Gregorius – also is a potential possibility, but expects Simmons and Gregorius to be a bit pricy. That said the Red Sox with a luxury tax reset and some available cash may have to spend, but the annual value would be less than Bogarets’.
The next few days will be dramatic for the Red Sox as Chaim Bloom attempts to rebuild the team. The loss of Bogaerts will certainly have public relations ramifications coming on the heels of the Betts departure, but time will tell. And sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make.