5. Trevor Story – 6 Years, $140 Million Remaining
Who’s the real Trevor Story? The second baseman who, while learning the position, torched the American League with six homers and a 1.120 slugging percentage last week to vault the Red Sox closer to .500? Or is he the player who batted .303 with 95 home runs at Coors Field and .241 with 63 on the road, ready to trip across the wrong side of 30 as a big earner?
Or is he the Red Sox’ shortstop of the future this offseason after Xander Bogaerts and Boston part ways?
Regardless of the answer, the Sox have six costly years left to find out, and Story’s first two months have told two different … tales.
Through April, nothing was working. The surface numbers were abysmal, and the metrics accurately reflected how ice cold he performed across the board. As May heated up, Story began to pummel the baseball, using Fenway Park to his advantage the way he once operated in Coors. There are plenty of questions still remaining unanswered, though, including how well his injured elbow will hold up (regardless of what position he ultimately plays). His salary will also escalate to $25 million annually by 2026, when he’ll be 33.
This is to say nothing of the awkwardness of Story being heavily recruited and signed to play alongside Bogaerts in his final guaranteed year. We all know how this ends. Story isn’t “there to replace” Bogaerts until he is. He approximates Bogey’s production by being 80% as good. He remains beloved in Boston anyway because that city rages against the franchise’s mistakes for ~5 minutes before ultimately siding with them.
The only question is how long it’ll take for them to turn on Story again, too. The answer might be “June.”