Red Sox

Rafael Devers hopes Red Sox re-sign Xander Bogaerts ahead of negotiating his extension

Bogaerts will become a free agent this offseason while Devers has one year left on his deal.

Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers might be playing their final games together this week. Greg Fiume/Getty Images

As the Red Sox’ disappointing 2022 season nears its conclusion, the attention turns toward the offseason. The biggest question: How much of an effort will they make to keep their two best players?

Rafel Devers is certainly hoping so. The Red Sox’ All-Star third baseman is one of the players in question as he’ll become a free agent following the 2023 season. The more immediate matter for the Red Sox to address is Xander Bogaerts, who will reportedly likely opt out of his contract to become a free agent this upcoming offseason.

The Red Sox re-signing Bogaerts could lead to Devers signing an extension to stay in Boston, the organization that he’s been a part of since 2013.

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“That would be really nice,” Devers told MassLive’s Chris Cotillo via Red Sox translator Carlos Villoria Benítez. “I hope it happens like you said – they sign Bogey long-term and then me long-term. But I don’t know what’s going to happen. The only thing I know is to play ball. I don’t know about (contract) numbers or anything like that. I’ll leave that to the team and my agent. I’m just trying to keep doing what I’m doing, which is play baseball, and they’ll take care of it.”

Bogaerts and Devers have arguably been the best left side of the infield duo over the last few seasons. Bogaerts is second in the American League in batting average this season (.307) a year after he posted 23 homers and 79 RBIs with a .295 average.

Devers, meanwhile, has a .291 batting average with 27 homers this season, posting a better batting average than a year ago but has 11 fewer home runs this season as of Saturday. Devers though will be turning 26 later in October while Bogaerts celebrated his 30th birthday on Friday.

While Bogaerts’ impact on the field is undeniable, Devers mentioned how important the shortstop is to the locker room. He told Cotillo that he considers Bogaerts a “brother.”

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“We know how important Bogaerts is for the team not only as a player but also as a person,” Devers said. “And we don’t know what conversation is going on between him and the team. But for me personally, he’s just a big part of the team and he’s always been here in Boston. So for me, he’s a friend, he’s family, so I wish he’d stay here.”

Bogaerts is set to become a free agent at an interesting time. The shortstop market has blown up in recent years with Francisco Lindor signing a 10-year, $341 million deal with the Mets and Corey Seager signings a 10-year, $325 million deal with the Rangers. In addition, Bogaerts will be opting out of the final three seasons of his six-year, $120 million contract to join the likes of Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, and Dansby Swanson, who have all been All-Star shortstops in recent seasons, in free agency.

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden projected that Bogaerts could be in-line to sign an eight-year deal worth $216 million in May, a clear pay bump compared to his current salary.

As for Devers, he told Cotillo that he and the Red Sox haven’t discussed a new deal this season, but he also told them that he didn’t want to negotiate during the season, either.

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“We don’t know what’s going to happen in the offseason,” Devers said. “Obviously I’m open to talk to them. And we’ll see what happens.”

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