Xander Bogaerts and the Red Sox may have a plan
Things sure are rough around Fenway Park these days. After a wild June that saw the Red Sox climb out of the basement and into the top Wild Card spot, but the team has more than sputtered in July. At the forefront of everything, this season has been the playing future of Xander Bogaerts. Will he remain in Boston? Will he get moved at the Trade Deadline? Well, the shortstop let a slip of the tongue possibly shed some light on things.
While speaking to the media after last night’s win, Xander let it slip that he had personally been reassured that he wouldn’t be swapping jerseys on August 2nd. This is some big news as it feels like Boston may be going from buyers to sellers at this year’s Deadline and his name has been the talk of the town. The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey reported on how Bogey felt with everything and even shared that he was worried he might get in trouble for letting the news out.
"“I don’t want to say relief, but obviously more relaxing,” Bogarts said of his status with the team. “This is my first time really, really dealing with this. It’s been up and down.”"
For me, this is a massive sigh of relief. Obviously, things can still change between now and when the door closes on the Deadline, but it feels like from everything we’ve heard both Xander and Rafael Devers aren’t going anywhere. And that’s a good thing because moving the veteran would be a big mistake by the Red Sox and one that would have some serious ramifications.
Also, we all know how poorly things go when the Red Sox trade a player and then tries to re-sign him in free agency. Keeping him in Boston for the remainder of the season buys FSG and Chaim Bloom more time to negotiate with the four-time All-Star. In my heart, I still believe the two sides will find a middle ground that will allow Bogey to finish out his playing days in Boston.
He wants to be here, the organization wants him to be here, it’s just a matter of ironing out the details and putting together a deal that suits what he’s done for this team. Hearing from Scott Boras that he was ready to listen to offers from the Red Sox is also a move in the right direction as all in-season talks had previously been stopped.
The Red Sox have a significant amount of expiring contracts on the books right now and this roster is already going to look entirely different when we hit Opening Day in 2023, moving Xander now would set the team back in a massive way. As it stands, there is no succession plan if he were to depart, at least not one that can be executed anytime soon.
We have Marcelo Mayer and Nick Yorke both putting in the work in the developmental system but neither is projected to make it to Boston for another few years, per Sox Prospects. So we can’t rely on either of them in the near future. They could move Trevor Story back to shortstop but then there isn’t anyone ready to fill the void at second base. And don’t suggest Jeter Downs, he isn’t the answer.
The second-base free agent class this coming winter isn’t exactly a murderer’s row and would be a decline in quality compared to the current layout of Boston’s middle infield. So keeping Xander should still be at the top of FSG and Bloom’s list this offseason. It would be great if they could get pen to paper long before then so they can focus on other needs but as long as it gets done, I’ll be happy.
Not only does his onfield play warrant a nice new contract but you also have to take into account what he does in the clubhouse. Whether or not a “C” is emblazoned on his chest, he’s the captain of this team. He’s the voice the rest of the squad listens to, he’s the example everyone else follows, and this organization’s success is what he strives for every day.
Keeping him gives Alex Cora another veteran voice for the players and it also sets a foundation for a soon-to-be very young roster. The skipper has a unique relationship with his shortstop as both have played and won for this club and both were never shy about giving it their all when that uniform is on their back.
"“He’s locked onto this. He wants to win here,” Cora said. “He’s been very vocal in meetings and all that, kind of like, ‘Hey, let’s keep grinding.’ It doesn’t look great but it doesn’t look awful either. We’re right there.”"
Any fan out there should want Xander Bogaerts on their team, if you don’t, you’re a fool. He has been a rock for the Red Sox since he was a 20-year-old kid in 2013 and has only gotten better. If you don’t believe me, just ask David Ortiz, you know, the guy that just got enshrined in Cooperstown. He’s been more than vocal in recent weeks about the team’s need to re-sign Bogey and what he means beyond the stat sheet.
It’s nice to know that we won’t be seeing Xander finish out the season in another city. To me, that says the Red Sox will at least make a concerted effort to re-sign him and keep him here for the rest of his career. If they weren’t at least partially serious about negotiations they’d move him and continue to stock up the farm system. Hopefully, Xander doesn’t get in trouble for letting the news slip, but I’m glad he’s bad at keeping secrets!