The Red Sox have some big extension talks coming
The Red Sox went and got their big free-agent signing today in Trevor Story. I expect Chaim Bloom to continue to wheel and deal via the trade market to shore up some of the rest of the roster issues, but he also needs to focus on matters in-house. Boston has some big names that are due for some extensions and it’d be in their best interests to get them squared away as soon as possible.
Recently, Bloom made it known that he’d be interested in having extension talks with players while in camp before the regular season gets underway. For Red Sox Nation, that means Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers.
One has the ability to opt-out after this season but has made it clear he doesn’t want to leave. The other has expressed his love for the city and organization, doesn’t want to leave, and is on a trajectory to be one of the highest-paid players in the game someday.
I’ll handle Bogaerts first since today’s news directly impacts him. The veteran infielder has the ability to opt-out of his current contract after this season and hasn’t been shy about his future plans. However, he’s also been honest in the fact that he wants to activate the clause in order to sign a new deal with the Red Sox that will see him finish out his playing days in Boston.
Bogey signed a very team-friendly deal last time around and I doubt Scott Boras will allow him to get away with that again. The market for shortstops has skyrocketed since Xander inked his last contract and now he’s ready to get paid, and rightfully so. He’s seen his contemporaries get these massive paydays while he has outperformed many of them. He’s also a lockerroom leader and the unofficial captain of this squad.
There was some thought that bringing in Story could upset the balance with Bogaerts but the newly signed infielder will be patrolling second base, keeping Xander in his natural spot. Bloom now has a decision to make in regards to the two-time world champion.
He can re-structure the current deal to keep Xander here for the long-haul and hold Story at second while Boston’s promising prospects continue to develop. Or he can make an honest effort but let Bogey know that they won’t overspend and break the bank and simply move Story over next season if Bogaerts walks.
I, for one, want Xander here until he decides he can’t lace up the spikes anymore. He’s a guy that we’ve seen grow up right in front of our eyes on the diamond and has developed into one of the best hitting shortstops in the game. He’s more than earned his big payday and Bloom should do his absolute best to keep The Captain here forever.
Now, it’s time for Raffy. Our guy Big Scoops has quickly turned into one of the most dangerous hitters there is in baseball. Hell, look no further than what he did at the end of the 2021 season with one damn arm. Carita went out there and stayed as patient as possible to not further injure himself and instead just beat the cover off of the ball when he got a pitch he liked.
With each passing season, we’re seeing Devers add his name to more and more chapters of not just Red Sox history, but baseball history. Every time he adds another accomplishment to a quickly growing list he finds himself side by side more often than not with the legends of the game. Raffy has two more years left before he can become a free agent in 2024 but if the Red Sox wait that long they may lose their superstar third baseman.
The slugger will only command more and more in arbitration as he continues to grow within baseball which should further motivate Chaim to get a deal done ASAP. Locking down Devers to a contract extension this winter could allow Bloom to sign him before he gets too expensive for FSG’s bank account. Devers mentioned recently that talks have yet to happen but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them pick up as Opening Day gets closer.
"“We haven’t talked about that but obviously this is a great place to play baseball in,” Devers said through translator Bryan Almonte. “This is the Boston Red Sox. But I’m really not focused on that right now. Just focused on playing the season and see where it goes from there.”"
Both have expressed their desires to finish their careers with the organization that gave them their opportunities. Having these two continuing to run the table on the left side of the infield would mean nothing but good things for the Red Sox going forward. Even if the future has some positional shifts for either player, this team is better with them in the lineup than without.
Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers have been the lifeblood of this team for years now and will hopefully continue to be so for years to come. The Red Sox have a lot of money coming off the books after this season which should further motivate them to extend both players. Going over the CBT in 2022 will be worth it considering they’ll be well under it in 2023. Get it done, Chaim, keep the boys in Boston.