Xander Bogaerts clearly knows what potentially resides in the not-too-distant future.
With the Red Sox sitting 12 games out of first-place in the American League East, carrying a 13-21 record, the talk regarding Bogaerts’ future leading into end-of-July trade deadline is only going to get louder.
It would seem the shortstop and the team would need to find some sort of clarity when it comes to each party’s intentions. That’s an inevitable reality that Bogaerts is clearly aware of, as is evident in his comment to the Boston Globe about opening the door to in-season contract negotiations.
"I don’t know how this would work. But if they talk to [agent Scott Boras] behind closed doors and it’s something that’s fair, he can come to me. We’ll see how that goes," he said.
Just a few days prior to the start of the 2022 season, Bogaerts stated his case for not talking contract during the season when appearing on the Bradfo Sho podcast.
"No, it’s not even fair for the guys in the clubhouse and also not me because it’s a lot of distraction and you’re just thinking of yourself too much," he said when asked about the possibility of negotiating after spring training.
"I wouldn’t believe you have this offer during the season and you’re like ‘Oh …’ and you have to play the next day and then it starts going around in the media and stuff like that.
"You don’t want it to drag on, giving them the option of, ‘Oh yeah, we can come back during the season, maybe two months before the season ends come back.’ No. Come now or …"
The Red Sox have shown a willingness to talk contracts during the season, as was the case when striking a two-year deal with reliever Matt Barnes last June.
But in this case, it would appear as though there would have be a significant change of heart from the side of the Red Sox considering their reported offer (adding $30 million in 2026 to the three years of $20-million-a-year already in place).
If there are no signs that the gap can be closed - with Bogaerts' opportunity to opt-out of his contract sitting there at the end of 2022 season - trade talk will be inevitable.
By the way, the 29-year-old (who would have to approve any deal for it to go through) is having another stellar season, hitting .344 with a .846 OPS.