Rafael Devers soon will have a new partner on the left side of the infield in Boston.
Devers played alongside Xander Bogaerts for the first five-plus seasons of his Red Sox tenure, and the duo quickly established themselves as one of the best infield tandems in all of baseball. But the Devers-Bogaerts pairing at Fenway Park is no more, as the latter left Boston to sign an 11-year deal with the San Diego Padres in free agency.
Not only were Bogaerts and Devers fellow Red Sox stars, but they’re also great friends. As such, it’s fair to wonder if Bogaerts’ departure will have any impact on Devers, who’s set to hit the open market in 2024. Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom addressed the topic when he met with the media Friday.
“I’ve said it, and I know we haven’t demonstrated this to the degree that we’ve hoped to, but we believe in building around homegrown talent,” Bloom told reporters, per MassLive. “You want to do it in the right way. It’s certainly something we want to do as often as we can. Raffy, for sure, is somebody we want to build around. I don’t know that this situation (Bogaerts leaving) really changes that one way or the other.
“Obviously, the timing on him is a little different because he’s not a free agent for another year. But he has been somebody that we love and want right at the center of everything we hope to accomplish, obviously in 2023 but more importantly, in the years beyond, because those are the years he’s not under our control. We’re hoping to change that.”
If Bloom and company are serious about changing that, it would behoove the organization to talk shop with Devers sooner rather than later. As the Bogaerts situation showcased, letting a top talent hit the open market can be a dangerous game.