BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox made a huge splash in free agency on Sunday, signing shortstop Trevor Story to a six-year deal reportedly worth $140 million. Story brings another powerful bat to the middle of the Boston lineup, though signing a shortstop to a long-term deal has many wondering what it means for the future of Xander Bogaerts.
For now, Story will shift to second base so that Bogaerts can remain at short. The newcomer is deferring to Boston’s de facto captain, which should come as no surprise. Bogaerts doesn’t seem to mind having another shortstop in the mix either, as he was one of the many Red Sox players to reportedly make a recruitment pitch to Story.
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But Bogaerts has an opt-out clause after the upcoming season, and will likely command a big payday when it’s his turn to hit free agency. Whether the Red Sox go above and beyond to bring him back next winter (when Rafael Devers will also be due for a big raise) remains to be seen. But Story does give Boston some insurance should Bogaerts sign elsewhere next offseason.
But before we all start worrying about what might happen eight months from now, let’s focus on what will be happening eight days from now — and beyond. And that is the Red Sox sending out a lineup that has both Story and Bogaerts in the heart of the order. WBZ-TV’s Steve Burton and Dan Roche discussed the Story signing on Sunday night’s Sports Final, and both agree that this is the big move that Boston fans have been clamoring for since the MLB lockout ended.
“[Ownership] let Chaim Bloom sign a big bat, the biggest signing since David Price,” said Rochie. “They signed a legitimate right-handed power bat and he now goes into the middle of that lineup to help replace Hunter Renfroe and his 35 home runs last year. It lengthens the lineup and I think a lot of the Red Sox players were pleased to see it [Sunday] morning.”
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Story launched 24 homers in his 142 games for the Colorado Rockies last season, and is only a few years removed from 37- and 35-homer seasons in 2018 and 2019, respectively. He earned All-Star selections and Silver Slugger awards in each of those seasons.
As for Story’s move to second, Roche says that it shows the player’s commitment to win with his new team.
“What it says is that Story is willing to sacrifice playing shortstop in order to win — for now. I think that is the way you’ll see it unfold. Alex Cora leans on Xander Bogaerts to be a leader, and I think Bogaerts will be the starting shortstop this year. You play Story at second base and keep Kiké Hernandez in center field the entire year.
“Story wants to win so he wants to fit into this clubhouse, so you come in and say ‘I’m fine playing second base.’ He’ll be one of the best second basemen in the league if he can keep up his power, so I think it’s the right move all the way around,” added Rochie.
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Check out Steve and Dan’s full chat about the Story signing — plus what Chris Sale’s injury means for the Boston rotation — in the video above. Tune in to Sports Final every Sunday night on WBZ-TV following the WBZ-TV News at 11!
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