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David Ortiz tried to ease some of the worries coming from “Red Sox nation” regarding star free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
“Big Papi’s” comments come just two days after Peter Gammons tweeted a concerning update on Bogaerts’ situation, reporting that he “severed” his “Boston ties.”
After the 30-year-old four-time All-Star and Red Sox were unable to reach a contract extension last offseason, Ortiz spent much of the 2022 campaign urging Boston’s front office to retain both Bogaerts and star third baseman Rafael Devers. While Devers made his major league debut in 2017 (Ortiz retired after the 2016 season), the duo have a relationship and are both from the Dominican Republic.
Bogaerts debuted late in the 2013 season and played in 12 playoff contests alongside Ortiz and the rest of that year’s World Series champions.
As Ortiz alluded to, Red Sox fans may still hold a grudge from when the organization traded 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers in February 2020 after the two sides couldn’t agree on an extension. Betts — now 30 — has shown no signs of slowing down since arriving in Los Angeles, adding two All-Star honors, two Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards and a pair of top-five NL MVP finishes since the trade.
Bogaerts opted out of his six-year, $120 million contract in November, a deal he signed in 2019. He’s been connected to a host of teams this offseason, including the Philadelphia Phillies.