Much like the New York Yankees-Aaron Judge situation, the Boston Red Sox can’t offer any words that will make fans feel better about Xander Bogaerts being re-signed and Rafael Devers being given an extension. It just needs to be done.
At least team president Sam Kennedy knows that, which is exactly what he said following the general managers meetings in Las Vegas when speaking of both high-profile topics.
"“Coming out of [last week’s] GM meetings, I can tell you that we have been very proactive, though I know people don’t want to hear about how aggressive we’ve been, because it doesn’t mean anything until there’s something to announce,” Kennedy said, via the Boston Globe (subscription required).“But I can tell you that we’ve made offers to several players, including our own players. And we’re cautiously optimistic that things are going to start moving here.”"
In that same article from Michael Silverman, it was said the Sox have “sweetened” their offers to Bogaerts and Devers, but Sox fans don’t know what that means, exactly.
Red Sox Rumors: Contract updates for Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers
There was no mention of numbers in regard to the offers. But how much better could have the new ones been? Just a week ago, it was reported the team was far off on both. Again, unless they’re meeting the demands of the players, these deals aren’t getting done.
And, as a result, updates that aren’t “Xander Bogaerts has been re-signed” or “Rafael Devers has agreed to a massive contract extension” don’t hold any weight. Both players know their value. Bogaerts already has heavy interest in free agency. Devers will be among the marquee options on the open market after 2023. Unfortunately for the Sox, there’s no strategizing required — only spending.
With just $118 million guaranteed on the 2023 payroll (assuming every arbitration-eligible player is tendered a contract), the Sox have more than enough bandwidth to bring back their homegrown stars to avoid making another Mookie Betts-esque mistake.
Time isn’t on their side, either. Bogaerts can be signed by anybody at the moment. Devers doesn’t want to talk about an extension after Opening Day. Actions will always speak louder than words, and there’s never been a situation that epitomized that more than this in recent Sox memory.