Will the Red Sox extend Xander Bogaerts?
Xander Bogaerts is one of the Boston Red Sox‘ biggest offseason questions, though he absolutely shouldn’t be.
Fans and players, both current and former, are clamoring for the homegrown star to wear no other uniform for the remainder of his career, but in classic Sox fashion, they’ve lowballed him to what could be a point of no return.
Bogaerts is one of the best shortstops in franchise history. 10 years into his career, he’s won four Silver Sluggers and two World Series, played more games at the position than any of his predecessors, and tied or broken several franchise records. Additionally, the value he brings to the club as a leader and mentor cannot be overstated.
What’s interesting is that re-working Bogaerts’ current deal makes sense not only because of what he brings to the table – which the Sox wouldn’t be able to truly replace – but also because of what doing so would afford them, in return. If Bogaerts stays, there are several players the Sox won’t necessarily need, so in addition to retaining the beloved Bogaerts, they’d also have some interesting trade pieces at their disposal.
Here are three infielders whom the Sox could trade if Bogaerts remains in Boston…
The key prospect in the infamous Mookie Betts trade, Jeter Downs finally made his big-league debut in July.
The 24-year-old who plays second, third, and short, collected six hits, including a double and home run, in the first 14 games of his big-league career, but also struck out 21 times and only drew one walk.
It’s too small of a sample size to judge, but his inconsistency in Triple-A amplifies the cause for concern. Between 2021-22, Downs hit an unimpressive .193/.292/.368 with 30 homers and 20 doubles over 180 games at the top level of the farm. He also struck out 230 times and only drew 76 walks, so it’s hard to see him magically figuring it out against even more difficult pitchers in the big leagues.
Still, considering his rookie status is still intact, Downs can be a valuable trade piece for the Sox. After all, he was promising enough to be part of the Betts trade. But it might be best for the Sox to trade him before his stock plummets like many of their other former top prospects…