Red Sox boss Bloom: Bogaerts still 'our 1st choice' at SS
The Boston Red Sox are now in the market for a new shortstop, but they don't intend to make a change at the position this winter.
Shortly after longtime Red Sox star Xander Bogaerts opted out of his contract Monday, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom stressed that re-signing the All-Star remains his top priority.
"(Bogaerts is) our first choice. That's not going to change," Bloom told reporters at the GM meetings in Las Vegas, according to Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. "Part of our jobs is to explore every option to field a contending team next year and put together a really good group. We need to explore every possible way to do that, but Bogey's our first choice."
Bogaerts, a staple of the Red Sox infield since 2013, chose to forego $60 million over the next three seasons to test free agency now. The 30-year-old is heading to the open market after a stellar campaign that saw him hit .307/.377/.456 over 150 games. He was a rock for Boston on both sides of the ball during an otherwise disappointing season for the franchise.
The Red Sox braced for Bogaerts' opt-out all summer and reportedly met with him about a possible extension shortly after the season ended. However, it became clear to the team in recent weeks that he planned to test the market, a source told Speier.
The Aruba native joins a star-studded free-agent class of available shortstops that includes Trea Turner, Carlos Correa, and Dansby Swanson. The Red Sox would have no shortage of options to replace Bogaerts if he moves on, but Bloom said he can only picture the 30-year-old manning shortstop at Fenway Park.
"I should be clear about this: generally speaking, the thought process is to look past somebody you're really familiar with for somebody else who you might see as similar but a little shinier. The grass isn't always greener on the other side," Bloom said. "We've seen that for years in many different cases. So like I said, finding common ground with Xander is our first choice."