Thursday, August 18, 2022

Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts says he’s received assurance team won’t trade him before Aug. 2 deadline

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USATSI

The Boston Red Sox entered Thursday with one of the worst records in the majors (11-19) over their last 30 games. The Red Sox improved their standing slightly with a win against the Cleveland Guardians on Thursday, with shortstop Xander Bogaerts delivering a three-run home run in a starring role. Bogaerts chose the occasion to share with reporters that the organization has assured him he won’t be traded ahead of the Aug. 2 deadline, according to Christopher Smith of MassLive.

Bogaerts, 29, is barely removed from his fourth career All-Star Game appearance. He came into the day hitting .317/.389/.454 (132 OPS+) with seven home runs and five stolen bases (on five attempts) in his first 95 games. His contributions had been estimated to be worth 3.6 Wins Above Replacement, per Baseball Reference.

Bogaerts had been one of several Red Sox, including designated hitter J.D. Martinez, starting pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and third baseman Rafael Devers, subject to recent speculation because of his ability to opt out of his contract at the end of the season. Bogaerts has at least three years and $60 million guaranteed remaining, with an option worth an additional $20 million for the 2026 season that will vest if he achieves a certain number of plate appearances. 

In other words, Bogaerts simply has to believe he can top four years and $80 million to justify becoming a free agent. That seems more likely than not based on his play.

The Red Sox, now 50-50 on the year, were 4 ½ games out of the American League wild card race entering Thursday. Boston’s assurance to Bogaerts doesn’t mean the Red Sox will necessarily stand pat, or avoiding moving one their veterans. Martinez and Eovaldi, for instance, are also both impending free agents who would appeal to contenders.

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