Xander Bogaerts made clear during spring training that he didn’t want to discuss a potential contract extension with the Boston Red Sox after Opening Day, a move designed to avoid becoming a possible in-season distraction.
The shortstop seemingly changed his stance, though, on Sunday leaving the door open for in-season talks if the organization and his agent, Scott Boras, can work behind the scenes to discuss a new deal.
“I don’t know how this would work. But if they talk to Scott behind closed doors and it’s something that’s fair, he can come to me,” Bogaerts told The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham. “We’ll see how that goes.”
This is an encouraging development as it relates to Bogaerts’ future in Boston. But it might not necessarily lead to much headway, as Boras on Tuesday shot down the possibility of negotiating a deal during the 2022 season.
Abraham tweeted Tuesday: Spoke to Scott Boras this afternoon. He said definitively that any negotiations with Xander Bogaerts would wait until after the season and he looks forward to talking to the Red Sox about a “championship proven player.” ? More to come later.
Bogaerts, who signed a six-year contract extension in April 2019, can opt out of his deal this offseason, a likely scenario given his earning potential if he exercises that flexibility. The three-time All-Star has continued to perform at a high level and can hit free agency at age 30 this winter, one year after several comparable Major League Baseball shortstops landed lucrative contracts.
Bogaerts has expressed a desire to remain for the Red Sox for his entire career, so it’s possible Boston ultimately strikes a new deal with its franchise cornerstone. It just might not happen until after the 2022 campaign, and perhaps not until after Bogaerts tests the open market. Stay tuned.