The Boston Red Sox aren't expected to trade star shortstop Xander Bogaerts ahead of the Aug. 2 MLB trade deadline, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan.
"Rival executives anticipate that even if Boston unloads a half-dozen players, Bogaerts, the star 29-year-old shortstop, won't be among them, even though he's set to hit free agency this winter," per Passan.
Team president Sam Kennedy addressed Bogaerts' status during an interview on The Greg Hill Show:
"Look, all I'll say is there has been no discussion or commentary internally or externally about moves related to the trade deadline involving Xander or (Rafael Devers) or anyone else to my knowledge at this point. We're focused on getting back in this thing and winning. [...]
"We've said it repeatedly on these airwaves and in other forums that we've got a responsibility to do everything in our power to make sure that we're built to be competitive into the postseason. And Xander and Raffy and the guys who have gotten us there in the past, we hope they're a part of this for a long, long time."
The four-time All-Star can opt out of his six-year, $120 million contract in the winter, and that figures to be the route he takes based on his performance this season.
Per Passan, Bogaerts will look to sign for $200 million or more as a free agent, and that's a reasonable benchmark if Corey Seager can get $325 million over 10 years from the Texas Rangers.
If the Red Sox hold onto the four-time Silver Slugger beyond the deadline, it could signal their desire to lock him down with a long-term extension. But Boston hasn't gone above and beyond to retain its top homegrown talent in recent years.
The team traded Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers rather than meet his asking price on a multiyear contract. In June, the New York Post's Jon Heyman reported the Sox and third baseman Rafael Devers "were eons apart in talks this spring" on an extension.
With the qualifying offer going nowhere, perhaps Boston is content to watch Bogaerts leave and receive a draft pick in the process.
Of course, Bogaerts basically holds all of the cards because he has a full no-trade clause. Although leaving the Red Sox, who at 49-48 are three games back of the final wild-card spot in the American League, might give him a better shot at contending for a title, he could be perfectly happy to remain right where he is for the second half of 2022.
In that case, Boston's hands would be tied.