Red Sox executives said Xander Bogaerts they won’t trade him this summer, the star shortstop told reporters tonight (via Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato). When asked if he had received personal assurances from the front office that he would not be treated, Bogaerts replied: “Yeah. I don’t know if I should say this, but I hope I don’t get in trouble. But yes, much better that way. Communication is always huge in everything in life. To get this type of feedback is beneficial, I would say.”
It’s not a surprising revelation, as recent reports have suggested the Red Sox aren’t likely to make the Bogaerts available. CEO Sam Kennedy and Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom have each publicly stated that there were no internal considerations of dealing with the four-time All-Star, with Bloom adding that they “don’t plan to“having these conversations. The fact that they apparently reinforced those feelings privately with Bogaerts seems to confirm that he won’t be switching teams until next Tuesday’s deadline.
Bogaerts can (and almost certainly will) opt out of the last three years of his contract this offseason. Boston took tonight’s contest from the Guardians to climb back to .500, but their 50-50 mark still has them narrowly behind the Orioles at the bottom of the AL East. More importantly, they are 3½ games behind the Rays, current owners of the last Wild Card spot, with Cleveland and Baltimore also in between. Even after tonight’s win, Boston has won just seven of its 24 games this month. This raises questions about how Bloom and his team will approach the deadline.
Even if Bloom and company had wanted to move the infielder, executing a trade would have been easier said than done. There surely wouldn’t have been a lack of interest in a 29-year-old star shortstop, but Bogaerts has full trade protection. Bogaerts could have dictated where he was distributed or blocked a move entirely, but he still seems relieved to learn he won’t have to consider those possibilities.
Bogaerts is certain to receive and reject a qualifying offer if he retires this winter, so the Red Sox could get a compensatory draft pick if he signs elsewhere. The more immediate concern is whether the club can right the ship over the past two months and be more like last year’s 92-win squad that earned a trip to the ALCS.
The Red Sox deadline approach can still go multiple ways. Boston has a handful of impending free agents who would be in-demand trade targets. They would be listening to offers on JD Martinezwho would be one of the best hitters available. Nathan Eovaldi would be arguably the best rental starter pitcher on the market. Seeker Christian Vazquezentries Michael Wacha and rich hilland reliever Matt Strahm have all had decent seasons, although each of Wacha, Hill and Strahm are currently on the injured reserve.
If Bloom and his staff are looking to add to the list, the bullpen stands out as an obvious possible target. Wacha and Hill are not far from returning, but the recent Chris Sale an injury could cause the team to consider rotation upgrades. First base and right field, meanwhile, have each been problem areas all season. Adding a corner bat or two to bolster the depth of the lineup would be a reasonable goal. The Sox haven’t given much input on which direction they plan to go, but either way, it looks like the fan base can count on Bogaerts remaining at shortstop for the final months of the season. season.