Red Sox Rumors: Xander Bogaerts, Boston Have 'Momentum' for Contract in Free Agency

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 7, 2022

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 5: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox salutes the fans as he exits the game during the seventh inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on October 5, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

There is "momentum" toward a free-agency agreement between the Boston Red Sox and shortstop Xander Bogaerts, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Bogaerts is one of the top remaining players on the market, joining fellow shortstops Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson and starting pitcher Carlos Rodón.

The latest buzz seems to indicate that a reunion—or at the very least, serious contract talks for a potential reunion—is a growing possibility:

Jon Heyman @JonHeyman

Red Sox are in heavy discussions with star shortstop Xander Bogaerts

Sean McAdam @Sean_McAdam

One Red Sox person, asked by someone today whether the Sox would re-sign Bogaerts, answered without hesitation: “Yes.”

For a fanbase still stinging from the team's decision to trade Mookie Betts in 2020—and still perhaps wondering why the Red Sox haven't been a player in free agency to this point, with elite talents like Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, Jacob deGrom and Justin Verlander already off the market—reports of serious talks with Bogaerts will be music to the ears.

The 30-year-old shortstop had another strong season in 2022, hitting .307 with 15 homers, 73 RBI, 84 runs and a .833 OPS in 150 games. That was good enough to earn him his fourth All-Star Game bid, though it wasn't among his elite offensive outputs from a statistical perspective.

Nonetheless, his loss would be a tough blow for a Red Sox team looking to keep up with the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays in the loaded AL East. Fans won't long accept last-place finishes like the 2022 edition offered, going just 78-84. Even the Baltimore Orioles (83-79) managed to finish above .500.

Re-signing Bogaerts would be a good sign that the Red Sox are making the effort to retool for another deep run like the 2021 team managed, reaching the ALCS. And it would put to bed, at least temporarily, the growing fear that the Red Sox will simply part ways with their best players once it becomes expensive to keep them.

That fear will turn to Rafael Devers and his looming free agency after the 2023 season. Letting Bogaerts walk would certainly free up the money to keep Devers long-term, but it would also further stoke the concern that the Red Sox simply won't go to the top of a player's market value to keep him in Boston.