Xander Bogaerts just shut down trade rumors by asking Red Sox to be buyers at the deadline
In the span of one week, the Boston Red Sox went from ‘probable buyers’ to ‘sell everything not nailed down or named Rafael Devers.’
Getting swept by the Wander Franco-less Tampa Bay Rays and pummeled by the New York Yankees will do that.
But despite going 5-12 so far this month, dropping to two games out of the American League Wild Card race, and getting outscored 27-3 over the final two games of their weekend series in the Bronx, Boston’s unofficial captain still has faith in the team.
So much so that it doesn’t sound like he’s going anywhere. For now, anyway.
In Los Angeles for his fourth All-Star Game, Xander Bogaerts sat down with longtime mentor, friend, and former teammate David Ortiz to discuss Boston’s “rough” ending to the first half of the season. Ortiz jokingly threatened to come down to the clubhouse and “shake them up,” which he absolutely needs to do.
But the most noteworthy, subtle soundbite came from the longtime Sox shortstop, who used his turn on the mic to ask the front office to still be buyers at the trade deadline:
"“We saw what happened last year. We played the Wild Card game, no one expected us to win and we beat the Yankees. Anything can happen in a Wild Card game.I feel like we should get some help… It would be nice to get some help, for sure.”"
Those aren’t the words of a man who wants to get traded; it’s the plea of a team leader who still believes.
No one loves an underdog story like the Boston Red Sox.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to see the front office and ownership listening to him. The Red Sox simply have too many needs, too many gaping holes to fill, and not enough urgency to put this Humpty Dumpty team back together again. Chris Sale’s latest injury on Sunday felt like the nail in the coffin of a once-promising follow-up to last fall’s unexpected trip to the ALCS.
Will Xander Bogaerts agree to be traded from the Red Sox at the deadline?
The small comfort is that while upgrades seem like a fruitless endeavor, Bogaerts doesn’t sound like he plans on being part of a sell-off at the August 2 deadline, either. His contract has a full no-trade clause, so he’d have to approve any potential trade in order for the Sox to actually send him into the arms of a more appreciative organization.
However, the question of Bogaerts’ future in Boston hangs over this season like an ever-darkening storm cloud, thanks to the Red Sox trying to cheap out on a beloved, proven homegrown star once again. With the organization since he was 16 years old, Bogaerts has been explicitly clear that he wants to spend his entire career in a Red Sox uniform. With four Silver Sluggers, four All-Star Games (as of this week), a pair of World Series rings, MVP votes in each of the last four seasons, and the franchise leader in games played at shortstop – all before turning 30, at that – he’s made a strong case for himself. Bogaerts even signed a team-friendly extension through 2026 at the beginning of the 2019 season that he approached the team about figuring out, making him an anomaly among Scott Boras’ clients.
Unfortunately, X’s contract also contains player opt-outs every year beginning this coming offseason. Since he and the team have been unable to come to an agreement on a beefed-up contract, he could very well look for his payday elsewhere after this season.
But Xander Bogaerts doesn’t want to leave. He’s made that abundantly clear. From the team-friendly contract to interviews, to Monday’s public beseechment, he’s doing everything he can, not only for his own career, but also for the team’s chances.
The idea of losing Mookie Betts and Bogaerts in a three-year span is absolutely outrageous, especially since the Sox can still prevent the latter from leaving. Unfortunately, this ownership operates on the time-honored tradition of lowballing homegrown talents (Betts, Jon Lester) while throwing piles of money at free agents (Carl Crawford, Pablo Sandoval, David Price). Watching the Red Sox shell out for Trevor Story this spring must only add insult to injury for Bogaerts, and yet he’s still trying to work it out.
Ortiz said it best last week when he publicly slammed the Sox for not ‘locking in’ Bogaerts and Devers already. They want to be here, and there’s plenty of money. If they care to break the cycle, the Red Sox can avoid making the same mistake that’s hurt them and their loyal fans so many times before.