The Boston Red Sox’s chief baseball executive, Chaim Bloom, addressed the media on Thursday, one day after the disastrous campaign of his team came to an end. The future of the left side of Bloom’s infield, which includes third baseman Rafael Devers and shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who can opt out of their contracts this winter, was the subject of multiple inquiries, as was to be expected.
The Red Sox aim to keep both Bogaerts and Devers for the 2019 season, according to Bloom.
Bloom told reporters, including Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com, “I don’t ever want to make public any of the blow by blow, but what I can say is this: That process is going to start right away from our end.” “We are aware that we haven’t yet discovered that route. We still desire. We’re going to put a lot of effort into it.”
Later on Thursday, Sean McAdam of the Boston Sports Journal reported that owner John Henry and chairman Tom Werner had already had “many” meetings with Bogaerts. Although no offers were made, the Red Sox hierarchy made it clear to Bogaerts that they wanted to keep his services for the long term.
Bogaerts’ contract has three years and a guaranteed $60 million still to run. It makes sense that he would want a longer commitment and more compensation. After all, the 30-year-old Bogaerts recorded his greatest OPS+ since 2019 this season, 131. To succeed, Bogaerts wouldn’t require a contract similar to that of Corey Seager. If he were to land a deal similar to the six-year, $140 million deal Javier Báez got with the Detroit Tigers this winter, he would be in line for a significant pay raise.
Bloom stated in another place that trading Devers is “not on our radar.”
If the Red Sox are unable to come to a long-term arrangement with Devers—who has grown into a well-above-average hitter—he will be eligible for free agency next winter. On top of the $11.2 million he was paid this season, he will undoubtedly get a sizable rise. It’s important to keep in mind that Devers reportedly turned down two extension offers back in the spring, indicating that the two parties may have different opinions about how much his skills are worth.
Given that they want to break their long-term contracts with right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and designated hitter J.D. Martinez, the Red Sox should have more financial freedom this winter.