The Boston Red Sox were in the public eye Tuesday at the Major League Baseball winter meetings, with reports pointing to pitcher Rick Porcello, shortstop Xander Bogaerts and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. as potential trade candidates if the organization decides to trim payroll this offseason.

Perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into the rumblings, though.

Not only did Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski downplay the chatter while speaking to reporters later in the day. A baseball source with direct knowledge of the situation also told NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich on Tuesday night that the idea Boston is actively shopping some of its more established players has been “overblown.”

The source told Drellich the Red Sox would have to be blown away to trade Bogaerts, who solidified himself as one of the best shortstops in baseball with an excellent 2018 season in which he batted .288 with a career-high 23 home runs, 103 RBIs and .883 OPS.

So, where are the rumors coming from? It’s hard to tell, but it’s not far-fetched to think the Red Sox could consider trading certain veterans, even if the speculation has been overstated to this point. Several key players, including the aforementioned trio, are nearing free agency, making the next two offseasons of the utmost importance for Boston.

Porcello and Bogaerts are set to become free agents next winter, while Bradley is slated to hit the open market after the 2020 season. Porcello will earn a $21.12 million salary in 2019, while Bogaerts and Bradley — both arbitration-eligible — are projected to make $11.9 million and $7.9 million, respectively, according to MLB Trade Rumors.

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