Xander Bogaerts Knows End Of Red Sox Season Could Be ‘Emotional’

'I'm just trying to enjoy the moment'

by

September 12

The Red Sox entered Monday’s off day with 21 games remaining in the regular season. Will it also be Xander Bogaerts’ final 21 games in a Boston uniform?

Neither the Red Sox nor Bogaerts hopes that’s the case. Quite the opposite, in fact. Both the organization and the All-Star shortstop have stated publicly they’d like to continue their relationship for the foreseeable future.

But the two parties are well aware of the reality: Bogaerts, who signed a six-year, $120 million contract extension in 2019, can opt out of his deal and become a free agent this offseason, thereby casting uncertainty over his future in Boston beyond 2022.

Add everything together, and the final three weeks of the Red Sox’s season could be filled with emotions.

“I can’t lie. Right now, I’m extremely focused,” Bogaerts said Sunday on WEEI after Boston’s 1-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles, as transcribed by WEEI.com. “Right now, we have 21 games left, or whatever the calendar says. I’m just being extremely focused, one pitch at a time, trying to swing at strikes. I know it’s coming down to the finish line, and obviously stuff might get a little emotional. I’m just trying to enjoy the moment. Like I said, I feel like I really need to be locked in, really need to be focused. I’m not saying just to get hits, but to focus. I have to be on point, I feel, if I want to perform good with everything going on.”

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Bogaerts has been on fire of late, adding an extra layer of intrigue to his impending free agency. If Bogaerts opts out, which seems likely given his continued production and his potential to land a more lucrative payday, he’ll be one of the best players available on the open market this winter.

Will that ultimately lead to his departure? Only time will tell. Until then, Bogaerts intends to enjoy the ride.

“I just want to enjoy these 20 games as much as possible,” Bogaerts said, per WEEI.com. “As I said, I just need to be extra focused, and hopefully I’m here for a long, long time. But I guess that’s not in my control.”

Thumbnail photo via James A. Pittman/USA TODAY Sports Images
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