The Boston Red Sox lost their second of a two-game series at Fenway to the New York Yankees on Wednesday. Their chances of making the playoffs are now less than 1%. Two and a half months ago, Boston had an 80.3% chance of making it. They have proceeded to go 27-42 since that mark and plummeted down through the Wild Card standings. Now, the main concern for the Red Sox is the offseason and, most importantly, a Xander Bogaerts extension.
Boston fans have been questioning general manager Chaim Bloom’s decision making during the 2022 season after an ALCS appearance last year. Much more was expected out of this team coming into April. Bloom is not known for opening the pocketbook as much as some other GMs are. Boston is used to going out and getting big-name free agents, which they did end up doing this year with Trevor Story. But, there were a lot of other names left behind that could’ve helped the team stay relevant late in the season.
The Red Sox also have a history of not signing their beloved, home-grown stars to big contracts. Bloom’s first big move after joining the Red Sox organization was trading Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Another great example is when they let Jon Lester sign with the Chicago Cubs in 2015. Both players went on to win World Series titles. Neither of these moves made Red Sox fans happy in the slightest.
Still Awaiting Xander Bogaerts Extension
Fans are probably sensing a little bit of deja vu the way the Xander Bogaerts extension possibility is panning out. This is not a newly brought up topic. Bogaerts getting an extension has been in play since the beginning of the year. His current contract goes through 2026, but he will opt out after this year, and rightfully so.
The Red Sox shortstop signed a six-year, $120 million extension with the Red Sox prior to the start of the 2019 season. Even at the time, this was under market value. He already had two Silver Slugger awards under his belt as well as an All-Star appearance and a World Series title in 2018. Bogaerts is currently getting paid as a top 50 player in MLB when he should be getting paid like a top 15 player. One could argue he is a top-three shortstop in baseball.
2019 was the best season of his career. He batted .309 with a .939 OPS and 33 home runs. Despite the Red Sox missing the playoffs that year, he finished fifth in AL MVP voting.
Bogaerts Deserves This
Xander Bogaerts has done nothing in his career but work as hard as possible to become a better player. He put his heart, loyalty, and commitment into a single franchise for over 10 years. There is not a player that deserves an extension that is at least a fair market value more than Bogaerts.
There are not a lot of things more valuable in baseball than consistency, and Bogaerts is one of the most consistent players in the league. Over his career with Boston, he is batting nearly .300 with an .817 OPS. He has made four All-Star appearances, arguably should be seven, and won four Silver Sluggers for AL shortstops.
It is very apparent that he is still that guy and playing to earn that big contract. Since Aug. 25, Bogaerts is hitting .437 with a 1.165 OPS. In that stretch, he also has 10 extra-base hits including four home runs and 17 RBI.
Boston has been Bogaerts’ home for 10 years. All he wants is a fair deal, which the Red Sox should be able to provide for him. If they won’t give that to him, he will happily test free agency and find a new home that will pay him the big bucks.
Bloom also needs to consider what he wants to do with Rafael Devers. It is time that Devers should be getting into contract extension talks, and this should be another no-brainer. He and Bogaerts have a very strong relationship, so it would be an even better pitch for Devers to sign an extension if he has his friend on the left side of the infield for years to come.