Sam Kennedy Hopes ‘Grateful’ Red Sox Keep Xander Bogaerts ‘Forever’

'He's family to all of us... '

by

March 30

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is everything an organization strives to cultivate.

He’s a homegrown superstar whose on-field talent is surpassed only by his off-field professionalism, and his contributions will live in Boston lore regardless of what happens next offseason, when Bogaerts can opt out of his contract and test Major League Baseball free agency.

Still, it’s hard not to wonder what the future holds for Bogaerts, especially in wake of the Red Sox signing Trevor Story to a six-year contract. Story, a shortstop throughout his six-year tenure with the Colorado Rockies, is slated to play second base in 2022, but he theoretically could shift back to his natural position in 2023 if the Red Sox are unable to re-sign Bogaerts.

Surely, none of this is lost on Boston’s front office. But when asked Wednesday on 1080 WTIC NEWSTALK’s “Brian & Company” about Bogaerts’ future, Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy made it clear he’d like to see the face of the franchise remain in Boston for a long, long time — like, forever.

“First of all, we wouldn’t have Trevor Story without Xander Bogaerts,” Kennedy said. “He was the key member of the recruitment effort. What he did to bring Trevor in was extraordinary, reaching out and wanting to add another player to what we hope is going to be a championship-caliber team. So, we’re really grateful for that and we’re grateful for Trevor moving over to second base.

“Xander Bogaerts is our shortstop. He’s been with the organization since he was a teenager. He’s family to all of us given we’ve known him since his teenage years, and we hope he’s with the organization for his entire career. We’ve engaged in extension talks in the past with him, back prior to the 2019 season, and my hope is that we’re able to talk to him and get him and keep him a part of the Red Sox forever, and I’ll leave it at that. But there is a lot of love for Bogey, he represents what we’re all about and he’s a world champion.”

The Red Sox signed Bogaerts, a native of Aruba, as an international free agent in August 2009. He was 16 years old at the time. To say the relationship has been fruitful would be an understatement. Bogaerts, who made his major league debut in 2013, has won two World Series titles and earned three All-Star selections while cementing himself as one of the best shortstops in MLB.

The business of baseball can be tricky, with change sometimes inevitable despite the strong emotional attachment developed between a player and his original organization. But it really is hard to imagine Bogaerts wearing a different MLB uniform. And Kennedy would rather not envision that scenario.

Thumbnail photo via Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports Images
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