Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox fire sale
Friends, I don’t want to ruin your Monday evening, but the Red Sox won’t be making the postseason this year. Yeah, we can all say that there’s half a season left and crazier things have happened, but this squad just isn’t gonna do it. The trade deadline is a week away and we’ve already seen that Chaim Bloom isn’t afraid to wheel and deal. However, you’d think players the caliber of Xander Bogaerts are untouchable, you might be surprised.
Bloom was recently on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show,” and what he said may, or may not have, shaken some Red Sox fans to the core. I get that sounds dramatic, but when you’re talking about one of the best players on the team, it calls for some theatrics. The way in which Bloom spoke about Xander was not only complimentary but also a bit shocking. We know he was brought in by the big bosses to get the finances under control, but he also needs to field a competitive squad.
"“I think philosophically, I would never want to come out and just unequivocally say somebody is untouchable,” Bloom said. “I don’t think anyone should read anything into that in regard to Bogey or anybody else. I just think for me, we’re not doing our job if we’re not listening on anything. That’s part of our job. We have to be open to whatever can improve the organization. That said, Xander is a core player for us.”"
It’s a very political answer from the Red Sox CBO and he’s not wrong for saying what he did. The team should absolutely listen to offers, especially if the return could yield future success. Hell, this is the team that traded Mookie Betts, why should Bogey be any more special? To me, trading Bogaerts would be a major detriment to this team going forward. He’s basically the captain of the Red Sox, he’s merely missing that “C” emblazoned on his chest.
One thing that may be factoring into Bloom’s decision to listen to offers is the fat contract extension that Xander signed ahead of the 2019 season. His new deal kicked in with 2020 but considering he was a force to be reckoned with last year and hasn’t let up this year, he’s more than earning it. Trading away a player of his level and experience with this organization could lead to more issues down the road.
Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox, and the Trade Deadline
Shipping off Betts is one thing, but Bogey is a two-time champion and has been at Fenway since his callup in 2013. He’s not only still very much in his prime but is also a veteran on a squad of young players. The team looks to him to be the voice of leadership on the field night in and night out. Again, I’m not surprised that Bloom would listen to offers but I think Xander is one of the very few that shouldn’t be touched.
There’s another key piece to that new contract that Bogaerts signed ahead of 2019 when he hits seven years of service time, his ‘No Trade Clause’ kicks in. Per MLB Trade Rumors, thanks to the wacky and wild world that is the 2020 season, that seven years would be hit on September 6th. With the trade deadline coming less than a week before that date, what will the Red Sox do with Xander?
"“I don’t want to get into specific contractual details although I saw what was reported. The one thing I would say is that I don’t think something like that would change our approach here,” Bloom said. “We see him as a core player that we want to have here for a very long time. I know that news has been out there but it’s not something that is at front of mind for us in terms of how we’re approaching the deadline.”"
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Since Xander will soon have the no-trade ability, could the Red Sox push to move him for a massive haul ahead of that date? I would hope not but considering there’s plenty of control on his deal, despite a possible opt-out in 2022, he could be very appealing to suitors. There are plenty of teams out there that could take on his contract and not even flinch at the CBT threshold. If a team that’s heavily in contention and want to add that extra piece to solidify their position, they may be willing to offer up a deal Bloom can’t refuse.
I’d like to think that even with Xander soon gaining the ability to veto any and every trade would sway management from forcing a deal, but I won’t hold my breath. I’ve made the mistake of thinking certain Red Sox players were untouchable before, just to have that belief thrown in the garbage and dumped on. Nobody is safe when all is said and done, this is still a business, and everyone can be traded.
Xander Bogaerts came up through the Red Sox system and has been integral in the organization since his debut in 2013. Even though he doesn’t carry the title as a formality, he’s very much the captain and leader of this brigade. If we do hit that September 6th date and he’s still on the team, then he could essentially be in Boston for his entire career, a rare feat in this day and age. Hopefully, Chaim Bloom sees that value in what he’s done and can still do, over another contract on the books that can fetch some prospects.