MLB Rumors: How Red Sox can make up for losing Xander Bogaerts

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout before a game against the New York Yankees on September 13, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 13: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox looks on from the dugout before a game against the New York Yankees on September 13, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

Long-time Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is off to San Diego having signed an 11-year deal for $280M with the Padres. While much of Red Sox Nation might be up in arms, that’s not the case here.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing that Bogaerts has left. First, most long-term deals are lousy deals, unless the player is named Aaron Judge, or Shohei Ohtani (more on him later).

Most long-term mega million-dollar deals will flop. Yet, conversely, for those two superstars (and for a guy like a certain Mookie Betts), they are just the cost of doing business as a big-time club.

Guys like Aaron Judge are worth it. Boston passed. But if you want to be a big-time player in any major team sport, you have to pay the piper.

The Boston Red Sox and their ownership’s flawed “sustainability” model under Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom is a failure at this point. Not signing Bogaerts may play right into that thinking. But not here, and here’s why.

Boston Red Sox should concentrate their resources on the very best

Bogaerts is a good player but letting him go if part of a broader policy could be positive. First, the Sox signed shortstop Trevor Story to a long-term contract last season. Assuming his arm is right, he slots immediately in at shortstop.

Paying big money for a second baseman isn’t cost-effective. Yet, if Story can’t play short, re-signing free agent Jose Iglesias to play short would be an excellent move. He shined in a cameo with the Sox in the 2021 playoff season.

A second part of the strategy, if that’s what it is, may also be subject to question or criticism. That would be the Rafael Devers situation. Devers is an All-Star, and a young terrific player. Yet, if he can’t be signed now, the best move for Boston Red Sox is to trade him.

The team to move him to is the Los Angeles Angels for Shohei Ohtani if in the unlikely event he becomes available. Make a long-term deal part of a sign-and-trade and make him a $500M man before he becomes a free agent in 2023, and like Boston, with Bogaerts the Angels maybe get little in return if he leaves.

This trade makes sense on a whole host of levels. First, LA isn’t going to trade Ohtani for chopped liver. Devers is a bonafide All-Star and at his best more. That’s a good base for the trade. The Sox would also have to pony up top prospects probably at least two of their top three.

The Boston Red Sox should try to trade for Ohtani for whatever it takes rates shortstop Marcelo Mayer, first baseman Triston Casas, and outfielder Miguel Bleis as the top prospects in the system. Bryan Mata would be the top pitching prospect. If you can add two to Devers and maybe a lower prospect to get Ohtani, just make the deal.

Ohtani solves two major problems. First, he’s an outstanding pitcher and probably will be for another four or five years. He’s immediately your top starter and your rotation stinks at the moment.

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In addition, he’s a slugger, a former MVP, and will be your best hitter and anchor your lineup for a half dozen-plus years. The cost is steep. It always is for the best but Ohtani’s worth every bit of it. If they can get this deal done, frankly, it’s a no-brainer.

The question is will the Red Sox use Bogaerts’ defection as an opportunity to make a major statement or just continue bottom-feeding themselves into the cellar of the American League East?

It’s show time for the absentee ownership and by proxy for Chaim Bloom. Swing for the fences or strike out. The bet here is they have neither the foresight nor the gumption to even try to make a deal like the Ohtani deal.

They were fleeced for Mookie Betts and are probably gun-shy. Fine, that deal was a disaster. But, that was then and this is now. Go all in and show you’re a big-time player in the 2023 market.

Next. Red Sox rumors: Kenley Jansen is a fantastic addition to the bullpen. dark

And by the way, how many Red Sox prospects have amounted to anything in recent years anyway? They haven’t had a starting pitching draft pick make any noise since Jon Lester and their draft picks usually flop. Their international signings like Bogaerts and Devers mainly have kept them afloat.

The Boston Red Sox are up to bat. Will they play another joke on the fans or swing for the fences? Bet on the latter but you never know.

Maybe like under Dave Dombrowski they’ll surprise us. But don’t bet the farm on it. It’s all about the Benjamins on Jersey Street. It always is.