Barring a contract extension in the coming days, there will be rampant speculation all season about if Xander Bogaerts is playing his last season with the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox made a splash by signing Trevor Story, who is expected to play second base for Boston this season while Bogaerts continues to man shortstop. But with Bogaerts having an opt out in his contract after this season – and with the amount of money shortstops get paid nowadays – there’s doubt about his future in Boston.
Although the Red Sox have routinely stated their desire to have Bogaerts around long-term, the addition of Story does raise eyebrows. There has been chatter for a while around Bogaerts switching positions, and adding Story, a better defender who is the same age as Bogaerts, might only make it easier to push the longtime Red Sox shortstop out the door.
Asked about Bogaerts’ future in Boston on 1080 WTIC News Talk’s “Brian & Company,” Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy reiterated the organization’s love for him.
“First of all, we wouldn’t have Trevor Story without Xander Bogaerts," Kennedy said. "He was the key member of the recruitment effort. What he did to bring Trevor in was extraordinary, reaching out and wanting to add another player to what we hope will be a championship-caliber team. So, we’re really grateful for that and we’re grateful for Trevor, who went over to second base.
“Xander Bogaerts is our shortstop. He’s been with the organization since he was a teenager, he’s family to all of us given we’ve known him since his teenage years, and we hope he’s with the organization for his entire career.
“We’ve engaged in extension talks in the past with him back prior to the 2019 season, and my hope is we’re able to talk to him and get him and keep him a part of the Red Sox forever, and I’ll leave it at that. But there’s a lot of love for Bogey, he represents what we’re all about and he’s a world champion.”
Those last few remarks are interesting since the only extension talks Kennedy cites is about the contract Bogaerts signed near the start of the 2019 season. Unless Kennedy is declining to say that they’ve engaged with Bogaerts and his agent, Scott Boras, about a new contract, then reading between the lines would suggest they haven’t talked about a new contract at all.
Coincidentally, Bogaerts told The Boston Globe’s Stan Grossfeld in a story published earlier this week that he would like to get a new contract done before the end of spring training, but if that doesn’t work out then he’ll table it until the offseason so he’s not a distraction.
Bogaerts has made clear how much he likes being in Boston. The contract he took in 2019 without ever going to market is indicative of that. But a variety of things have changed over the last three years, and this situation could get interesting if he doesn’t have his long-term future sorted out by early next month.
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