Red Sox manager Alex Cora has already made it known he wants Xander Bogaerts back in a Boston uniform next year and for the years to come.
But whether that happens since Bogaerts can opt out of his contract at the end of the season will be up to the four-time All-Star, according to Cora.
“I do believe going into whatever situation comes up in the upcoming weeks, or months, whatever, we’re going to be prepared to bring Xander back,” Cora said while appearing on The Ringer’s “Off The Pike” podcast. “Obviously, it takes two. Like I’ve always said, the ball is in his court right now. He’s the one that has to decide if he’s going to opt in or opt out. We know about his agent. I have a great relationship with Scott (Boras) and we’ll see what happens.”
Bogaerts, 29, is having another terrific campaign in his 10th season with the Red Sox. Coming into Thursday night’s game against the New York Yankees, the two-time World Series champion is batting .317 with 14 home runs and 68 RBIs. Whether Bogaerts returns to the Red Sox next year will likely come down to money, but Cora only further cemented his stance that he wants the shortstop back.
“This is a guy that we really respect. This is a guy that we really like. He’s a winner,” Cora said. “And people can talk about, whatever, his defense. And he hasn’t been like Francisco Lindor or Carlos Correa. But like I always said, in the wild card game hitting fourth, I want Xander Bogaerts, or hitting third.”
While the Red Sox are well out of playoff contention, Bogaerts is in the middle of the American League batting race with Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who is also on a quest to tie Roger Maris’ American League home run record.