The Red Sox are currently in the thick of their pennant race, but it appears that they may be facing some tough decisions about who will make up their core moving forward. Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts have been considered by many to be “cornerstone players” for Boston’s success this season – however, with both players set to become free agents after the year is over, any decision made now could have a significant impact on how well Boston fares next season.
The “Boston Red Sox to evaluate futures of ‘cornerstone players’ Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts” is a news story regarding the Boston Red Sox. The team has decided to evaluate the futures of their cornerstone players, Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts. Read more in detail here: boston baseball team.
BOSTON (CBS) — Despite the fact that the Boston Red Sox did not win the World Series in 2021, they believe they are on to something.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom, president Sam Kennedy, and general manager Brian O’Halloran addressed the team’s future as they reminisced on their journey to the American League Championship Series, which they lost in six games to the Houston Astros.
While the Red Sox face a slew of choices and roadblocks moving into the summer, including designated hitter J.D. Martinez’s player option decision and starter Eduardo Rodriguez’s imminent free agency, the future of the team’s left side of the infield has emerged as a recurring topic.
According to Bloom, both shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers are “cornerstone players” for Boston’s future, but when asked whether they saw both players staying in their positions, Cora was unsure.
“There are a number of teams where Raffy Devers’struggles defensively,’ but you want Raffy Devers on a daily basis. Xander Bogaerts is in the same boat. Christian Arroyo, [second baseman], is in the same boat “Cora said. “We’ll go through everything we discussed. I mean, it’s definitely too early to start looking into all of this, but I feel the way we ended up playing and the defensive lessons we learned as a group will help us improve not just in the summer, but also next year.”
This possible position reevaluation for Bogaerts and Devers comes at a time when the team’s front staff will have to make choices about both players’ futures. Devers is eligible for arbitration for the first time this summer, and club sources tell ESPN that the front office in Boston would prioritize contract extension discussions with the 25-year-old slugger.
Devers had elbow irritation towards the conclusion of the 2021 season, which he will recover from with rest.
Bogaerts, who may opt out of the remaining three years of his six-year, $120 million deal at the end of 2022, is another potential crossroads for the Red Sox. According to sources close to Bogaerts, the shortstop intends to opt out of his contract after 2022, but aspires to conclude his career with the Red Sox. The three-time All-Star shortstop is also willing to play second or third base in the future.
The rotation, especially Rodriguez’s future in Boston, is one of the key topics of discussion this summer. The organization has yet to decide whether or not to issue a qualifying offer to the 28-year-old lefty, according to Bloom. In addition, the organization will assess its approach to the futures of Garrett Whitlock and Tanner Houck, both of whom Boston believes have the potential to be rotation starters.
“One of the reasons we won the wild card and got to where we are now is because of those individuals, as well as Chris Sale being healthy and finishing the season the way he did,” Cora said. “I believe everyone here and in the organization is extremely excited about his offseason program and what’s going to happen next year,” he said.
Kyle Schwarber, who indicated desire in returning to Boston, will face a choice. Bloom expressed mutual admiration for his teammates and said that the squad had no concerns about his ability to adjust to a larger position at first base.
“With Kyle learning that position on the fly, we played some of our greatest baseball,” Bloom said. “I believe we watched him improve as time went on.”
Bloom and company will also have to decide on the future of catcher Christian Vazquez, who has a club option with the organization.
“He’s an extremely significant individual to us,” Bloom said, “and we know how important the organization is to him.” “It’s a difficult position to check all the boxes, and you don’t take it for granted when someone has shown he can do it.”
Tom Goodwin, the first base coach in charge of outfield defense and baserunning, was also let go by Boston. Due to his unvaccinated status and MLB standards, Goodwin did not complete the season with the club, but Bloom claimed it did not figure into the organization’s decision to fire the coach, who has been with the team since the 2018 season.
Because he was an unvaccinated close contact of coaches or players who tested positive, Goodwin served two stays on the COVID-19 injured list. The coaching staff as a whole will be back.
Devers, Bogaerts, Nathan Eovaldi, Chris Sale, and Kike Hernandez are among the players under contract for next season. During the 2021 season, Bloom planned to establish a foundation for long-term success, placing Boston in a position to be a contender year after year. He thinks that the 2021 season is only the beginning of a long run of success at Fenway Park.
“Even if we went all the way and won the entire thing,” Bloom said, “we wanted to walk out of it feeling like this might be the start of something, like we had our next core.” “I believe we’ve arrived.”