Monday, April 1, 2019

The X-Man Stayeth

There have been a few surprising things thus far in the Red Sox season. Chris Sale and the rest of the starters getting lit up one after another is high on the list. The bullpen performing better than the starters is up there. But, the highest of the highs is that the Red Sox signed a Scott Boras client to an extension. A player who some predicted would be the top free agent this offseason is no longer slated to be on the market.

I never saw it coming.

Not only that, but it wasn’t a Godfather offer that did it. The deal that Xander Bogaerts signed was actually pretty reasonable. Compare his extension to the monster deal that Manny Machado signed, and I’d say the Sox got off cheap. But, whatever the finances, I’m thrilled that Xander will be staying in a Boston at least a few more seasons. Added to the recent Sale extension, it locks up a large group of really good players for the coming seasons.

Of course, in Boston, people couldn’t let good news be good news. It immediately brought discussions of other players.

What does this mean for Mookie?

The popular opinion was that clearly this means Mookie is gone in two years. Clearly the two extensions have spent the money the Sox needed for a Mookie deal. So, count your blessings because he’s out of here.

Which, of course, might be true. But it’s not a guarantee. Remember, it doesn’t have to be ”one or the other”. It can be “all”. Maybe these are the extensions that the Red Sox plan to use to convince Mookie to stay. Like when the Sox wanted to sign Pedro, so they signed Troy O'Leary and John Valentin to show him they had the talent to win. What if the pitch to Mookie is a few more years of the core players that just won the World Series? What if these are the smaller moves you need to make to land the big fish? The Ray Allen to Mookie's Kevin Garnett?

No matter how the Mookie extension happens, or doesn't happen, I'm excited to have so many talented players on the team for a few more years. And, if there really are only two more years of Mookie, I'm glad he'll be surrounded my Xander and Sale and Price and Eovaldi and Devers and Benintendi.

Because it'd be hard to leave the three-time defending champs.

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