Red Sox

Sam Kennedy says Red Sox will ‘keep talking’ with Xander Bogaerts

"We'll keep the conversations going and turn our attention to this season."

Xander Bogaerts Red Sox
Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Barry Chin/Globe Staff

As exciting as the signing of Trevor Story is for the Red Sox’ immediate future, it’s hard not to also see it as unsaid preparation for the potential departure of Xander Bogaerts at the end of the season.

Bogaerts’s acknowledgment on Thursday that he and the team couldn’t agree on a new contract before the start of this season — “Nah,” he replied when asked if he expected an extension before Opening Day — won’t dispel those fears.

“I can’t do nothing about it right now,” he added, acknowledging that the team did make him an offer but apparently weren’t close on the terms. “I’ve got a season coming up in front of me and I don’t want to put any of our teammates in that type of distraction…We had time to get something done. It didn’t work out.”

When asked about Bogaerts’s comments on WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” on Friday, Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy predictably punted on the question but seemingly left the door open for more conversations in the offseason.

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“We appreciate the way Xander’s handled everything, handled himself, handled our conversations. I’ll leave it at that,” Kennedy said. “We’ll keep talking. We’ll keep the conversations going and turn our attention to this season. But we’ll see where the future takes us.”

The question is: has the Red Sox’ inaction on the Bogaerts front already signaled what the future holds?

According to ESPN’s Joon Lee, the 29-year-old shortstop is seeking a contract that would keep him in Boston for the remainder of his career and pay him more than $30 million a season, which would put him in the realm of Carlos Correa, Corey Seager and Francisco Lindor as one of the highest-paid players at this position.

Though Kennedy claimed allocating money for players “has never been an issue” for the Red Sox, one team source seemed to indicate the team would be loath to pay Bogaerts what he’s looking for, telling Lee the Sox are “not in the business of signing 10-year deals for a lot of money.”

The one exception to that rule might end up being Rafael Devers, who could be due a massive extension soon.

The Red Sox, via Lee, are weighing whether not to pay Devers along the lines of the 10-year, $300-million contract signed by Manny Machado in San Diego before the 25-year-old budding star hits free agency in 2023.

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Though the Sox also couldn’t get a deal done with Devers before the season, reportedly asking well below his target price, the young third baseman noted he has “one more year” before the clock starts ticking more furiously.

“We’re not going to talk about it [more] this spring. Let’s see how this season goes,” Devers said.

Kennedy also gave a short update on Chris Sale’s health, saying the ace left-hander is “feeling a lot better” but still might not return until midseason. Sale is currently on the 60-day injured list, which would optimistically put his return around June 6.

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