If you’re too stressed about the Aaron Judge free agency sweepstakes, then it might be best to focus your attention to what’s going on in Boston. The Red Sox seem to be in a much worse position than the New York Yankees, if we’re to believe the latest MLB rumors.
The Yankees’ most hated rivals are expected to have a lot of turnover heading into 2023. Xander Bogaerts, JD Martinez, Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Wacha, Matt Strahm and others are hitting free agency.
Could some of those guys return to Boston? Definitely. But the most important ones, at this point, seem like they won’t. Fans are accustomed to the discourse surrounding Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, so we’ll get to that in a bit as to not bore you.
At the trade deadline, many believed the Sox would be smart and capitalize on getting value for their top expiring contracts, mainly Eovaldi and Martinez. Nothing ever happened, and the Red Sox stood pat from a selling standpoint with the exception of moving Christian Vazquez. They actually acquired Tommy Pham, Reese McGuire and Eric Hosmer instead of wholesale selling.
They understandably didn’t trade Eovaldi because it seems they want him back. But wouldn’t it have been clever to move him, get something in return, and then offer him a contract in free agency (and tell him that was the plan all along)? Instead, the Sox kept him, finished last in the division, and are now apparently making offers the right-hander isn’t interested in.
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Chaim Bloom just doesn’t seem like the general manager to go big game hunting. Eovaldi is among the upper-middle class options in free agency and won’t be taking any discounts on what’ll probably his final lucrative multi-year contract.
If the two sides are apparently not close to an agreement, that has to mean the offer wasn’t sufficient or Eovaldi is having second thoughts about remaining in Boston. Yankees fans would love him out of the division. Look for the Mets, Padres and Dodgers to get involved in the bidding, and if that happens, the Red Sox will officially be out.
And now for Bogaerts. The non-existent/disrespectful contract talks with the star shortstop have undoubtedly created a wedge between the two parties, and now his former GM, Dave Dombrowski, is reportedly interested in reuniting with him in Philadelphia.
What a twist that would be. Dombrowski was the one who signed Bogaerts to his current contract and granted him an opt-out clause after the 2022 season. He was the first to pay Bogaerts after his arbitration years. Sox fans know Dombrowski doesn’t cheap out in free agency, which makes the Phillies a legitimate threat to swipe him. They have a flexible payroll and a glaring need at shortstop.
Per MLB insider Jon Heyman, there’s a better chance the Sox ink Devers to an extension over Bogaerts … but it gets better. Despite the “odds” being more favorable with their star third baseman, the two sides still remain “oceans apart.”
Without exaggeration, the Red Sox are in legitimate danger of losing their entire core after winning the World Series in 2018. First Craig Kimbrel went. Then Dombrowski (for reasons we still don’t understand). Then Mookie Betts went. Then Andrew Benintendi. They haven’t had a first baseman since 2019. They let Martin Perez walk after the 2020 season. They traded Hunter Renfroe after he hit 31 home runs.
The Red Sox are a mess. Enjoy it now before they inevitably win the World Series in 2026, if not sooner. We know we will.