“No progress towards a deal was made” when the Red Sox and Xander Bogaerts’ agent Scott Boras met yesterday, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes. Earlier reports suggested that other teams had pulled ahead of the Sox in the race to sign the All-Star, though chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Bogaerts was still a major priority for the club.
As one might expect, Boras highlighted the amount of interest his client is generating from multiple teams, while not closing the door on any other suitor. In regards to the Red Sox, Boras said “I just know we continue to talk and have dialogue and continue the process with them. The Red Sox, they kind of have four-star ownership. These guys have proven over time that they win and they pursue winning….I think everyone around them understands the Sox without ‘X’ are So-So.”
While puns are part and parcel of the Boras experience, his agency’s general policy against letting a player’s former team make a so-called final offer is also notable in regards to Boston’s chances. “We’re not the matching kind. We let teams know that they have to assert,” Boras said. “We don’t ever hold back from reaching an agreement with any team and certainly we don’t give market preference to anyone. Otherwise, I think the free agent right would be dampened if you did.”
It remains unclear if re-signing Bogaerts is still a realistic proposition for the Red Sox, and many of the team’s actions over the last year (i.e. the signing of Trevor Story, or a low extension offer to Bogaerts last spring) would seem to suggest that the Sox are preparing for a future without Bogaerts on the roster. Another hint could be Boston’s interest in Kolten Wong, as The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier reports that the Sox had some talks with the Brewers before Wong was dealt to the Mariners.
A source tells Speier that if the Red Sox had traded for Wong, “it 100 percent would not have taken [them] out of the market” to re-sign Bogaerts. The Sox would have hypothetically used Bogaerts, Story, and Wong in the middle infield mix, or possibly even flipped Wong to another team in a trade if Bogaerts had indeed been re-signed. While Wong seems overqualified for such a part-time role, “the Sox want to explore opportunities to add high-end depth” after injuries hampered the position-player mix in 2022.
If Bogaerts’ future in Boston is still up in the air, another familiar face might be a possibility for the team, as MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo (Twitter link) reports that the Red Sox were meeting today with Christian Vazquez’s agents. Cotillo did note that this meeting might not directly involve Vazquez, as MDR Sports Management also represents several other players, including free agent catchers Robinson Chirinos and Roberto Perez.
Reese McGuire and Connor Wong are Boston’s incumbent catchers heading into the 2023 season, with prospect Ronaldo Hernandez and recent waiver claim Caleb Hamilton also in the mix. It would seem like the Sox are at least exploring the market for more help behind the plate, given how Boston has been mentioned as one of the many teams with trade interest in the Athletics’ Sean Murphy. However, Cotillo reports that there is “nothing going on” between the Red Sox and the top catcher on the free agent market, Willson Contreras.
Andrew Heaney was also on Boston’s radar this offseason, and Cotillo tweets that the Sox were one of the many teams who made the left-hander a contract offer. The Red Sox fell short, however, as Heaney opted to sign with the Rangers for two years and $25MM in guaranteed money.