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What does the Red Sox signing Trevor Story mean for Xander Bogaerts’s future?

Xander Bogaerts signed a contract extension in 2019, before he hit free agency, but has an opt-out after this season.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

FORT MYERS, Fla. — With the official addition of Trevor Story on a six-year, $140 million contract, the Red Sox will have one of the premier middle infields in baseball with him and Xander Bogaerts. The prospect was sufficiently tantalizing that Story embraced the idea of shifting to second base and Bogaerts took part in the effort to recruit him.

Both expressed delight at the fact that they will be teammates.

“He’s definitely one of my favorite shortstops at both ends,” said Bogaerts. “He can do everything. Him being here, I think that’s a game-changer. He has game-changing type of ability. It’s crazy that he’s a part of our team right now.”


“He wants to win, and he wanted me to come here,” said Story. “That made me feel comfortable off the jump.”

It’s not hard to see how the combination of Story and Bogaerts up the middle can help the Red Sox’ postseason aspirations in 2022. But the move raises some questions about Bogaerts’s future in Boston beyond this year.

Bogaerts is entering the third year of the six-year, $120 million extension he signed at the start of the 2019 season, one year before he was eligible for free agency. But the deal comes with an opt-out after this season, and Story — a Gold Glove shortstop — could be viewed as insurance should Bogaerts depart.

It’s not a given that signing Story greases the wheels for Bogaerts’s departure. The Sox can afford both in 2022, and the same may be true moving forward even if Bogaerts receives a healthy boost over his $20-million-a-year salary.

Bogaerts, 29, is now the Red Sox’ anchor, a homegrown player who signed with the team in 2009 and has won two championships while forging a place as one of the franchise’s top players of the 21st century. They do not want to see him leave.


What does the future hold for Xander Bogaerts?Barry Chin/Globe Staff

“I’ve known Xander Bogaerts since he was 16,” said Red Sox president and CEO Sam Kennedy. “I hope he’s part of this organization for as long as humanly possible. And I think that’s his goal as well.

“One of my favorite moments over the 21 years here was in the Starbucks in Seattle [in 2019] when we embraced after he and [assistant GM Raquel Ferreira] and [former president of baseball operations] Dave Dombrowski got [the extension] done. So I’m really hopeful that Xander will be here for his entire career.”

Kennedy said the Red Sox maintained “lots of communication” with Bogaerts throughout the pursuit of Story. Did that include reassurances that they want to find common ground on him staying in Boston beyond this year?

“Private conversations are private conversations,” said Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom. “But everything’s been consistent with what we’ve said publicly. We hope he’s here for a long time.”

The fact that the Sox wanted to bring in Story as a second baseman underscores Bogaerts’s position in the organization.

Xander Bogaerts flashes a smile during a recent workout in Ft. Myers.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Most publicly available defensive metrics grade Bogaerts as a below-average shortstop and Story as one of the better ones in the game. Why not consider moving Bogaerts to second and keeping Story at short?

“Bogey’s our shortstop,” said Bloom. “He’s been really good for us there. He has proven that he’s a championship shortstop.


“It’s a great feeling looking over at him and for that matter the left side of our infield and knowing who we have there. That was important to us and we wanted to make sure he knew that. It just wasn’t something we wanted to mess with.”

If they feel similarly about the Bogaerts-Story tandem beyond this year, they will need to discuss with Bogaerts how to rework his contract. They were able to find common ground on a long-term deal in March 2019. When would be the right time to discuss Bogaerts’s future this time?

“I think the time that’s right is the time that Chaim and Xander feel comfortable having that conversation,” said Kennedy. “I wouldn’t put a timetable on it, just when it’s comfortable for both sides.”

Those talks have not started. For Bogaerts, the signing of Story did not create urgency to do so. Instead, he’s simply looking forward to what it means for his team’s immediate prospects.

“We haven’t had any type of talks or anything like that as of yet,” said Bogaerts. “Obviously it’s good to hear stuff like that [the team’s interest in keeping him], but I don’t think the signing has anything to do with anything else.

“We’re just improving the baseball club and, obviously, we went so much higher as a baseball club with this signing.”

Alex Speier can be reached at alex.speier@globe.com. Follow him @alexspeier.