|Photo courtesy of the Boston Herald|
Ben Cherington has confirmed that they're not negotiating a long-term deal with 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts...at least not yet, according to MLB.com. They'll be monitoring his progress over the course of the 2014 season, then make a decision. They've gone down this road with other young guns from 2008-11 (think Dustin Pedroia, Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz, Kevin Youkilis). What they'll likely do with Bogaerts is extend his contract and give him more than what he would likely get in arbitration, according to MLB. That is, assuming X-man proves he's worth the investment. And does anyone out there really doubt that this kid is worth it? *crickets*. Yeah, that's what I thought.
Here's what Cherington had to say about it, per MLB.com:
"I think in our situation, the ones we've done that would fit in that category -- Pedroia and Youkilis, Buchholz, Lester; guys like that -- there's been an established performance track record," said Cherington. "We've known them all as individuals, come to trust who they are, as far as how they work, et cetera. That gives [the team] comfort in extending a guarantee past where you absolutely have to, because you can choose to go a year at a time if you want to."
And going year to year is what they did whit Jonathan Papelbon and Jacoby Ellsbury, who the Red Sox let explore free agency. Pap signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, and Ellsbury is currently a free agent.
Other examples of international players who signed with their respective teams beyond arbitration are Hanley Ramirez and Jose Reyes, who both worked out pretty well fort their respective clubs.
Bogaerts is eligible for arbritration in 2017 and free agency in 2020, but may have no interest in an extension according to MLB.com. I just hope that proves to be wrong and we can lock him up long term.