Xander Bogaerts and Jacoby Ellsbury are at two very different points in their respective careers. But agent Scott Boras, who represents both players, can envision a scenario in which Bogaerts follows in Ellsbury’s footsteps, so to speak.
The Boston Red Sox, in theory, don’t need to worry about Bogaerts’ contract situation right now. Several Major League Baseball teams have begun to prioritize locking up young players, though, and the Red Sox could consider a similar route with Bogaerts. The alternative entails waiting to see how Bogaerts develops — as Boston did with Ellsbury — before engaging in contract discussions.
“I think for each individual player, when you say the word benefit, there’s going to be a dollar value given by the team. And there’s going to be a need for the player that is respective to his situation,” Boras said while discussing Bogaerts’ contract situation in a Q&A with MassLive.com’s Jason Mastrodonato. “For most players I would say putting together the combination of their need with what has been offered, it usually does not meet the threshold of commitment, the contract.
“So in the process of how that happens, because when you have players that are so valued and their abilities are so great, the only reason the team would have to do something is to save. Otherwise they’ll just wait. The team will wait, the player will wait and they’ll evaluate the player — much like Jacoby Ellsbury. So a lot of it really has to do with the individual player and what their particular need is. The only thing is, and granted most of my players held still after receipt of my information and probably go the free-agent route, but some haven’t, and I leave that to each individual. The best job you can do as a player’s advocate as their attorney is to make sure they make an informed decision.”
Bogaerts is just 21 years old, and he isn’t arbitration eligible until 2017. It’s reasonable to wonder if the Red Sox might consider approaching Bogaerts about an extension soon, but Boras insists such discussions haven’t begun yet.
“I’m usually not the one that raises these subjects,” Boras told Mastrodonato with a laugh. “My job is to make sure the player plays well, he’s durable, he’s conditioned, that we’re doing everything we can. Seventy percent of my time is really about getting players to play well and focusing on what they do and how they think, and the adjustments they make, and the league, and understanding themselves.”
Ellsbury won two World Series rings with Boston before hitting the open market last offseason. The Red Sox surely hope Bogaerts doesn’t completely follow in Ellsbury’s footsteps, though, as that also would involve leaving for the New York Yankees.