Xander Bogaerts, who has the ability to opt out of his six-year, $120 million deal following the 2022 season, declined to comment on the New York Post report that the Red Sox offered to add one year and $30 million to the remaining three years and $60 million of his deal.
“You’ve got to talk to my agent about that one. I don’t want to get into it,” Bogaerts said Friday at Fenway, where the Red Sox dropped their home opener to the Twins, 8-4. “I won’t comment on that.”
Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom likewise declined to comment about the specifics of the Sox’ offer to their All-Star shortstop.
“My own view is that we shouldn’t get into that type of stuff. It’s just not our place,” Bloom said. “I’m not going to confirm, deny, refute, or any of that.”
He did, however, make clear the extent of the Sox’ commitment to Bogaerts in 2022. The Sox signed free agent Trevor Story to a six-year, $140 million contract, a deal made possible by Story’s willingness to move from shortstop to second base. Asked if he would have considered signing a shortstop who would not have moved in deference to Bogaerts — in a free-agent class that included Carlos Correa and Corey Seager — Bloom was direct.
“The simplest way to put this is that Xander is our shortstop and we weren’t going to change that this winter for anybody,” Bloom said.
Bogaerts went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts Friday — his second three-strikeout game this season (he had six in all of 2021). Manager Alex Cora downplayed the possibility that the Opening Day hamstring injury has contributed to a 2-for-18 stretch with eight strikeouts for Bogaerts.
“Right now, he’s off balance, chasing pitches,” Cora said. “You go through stretches like this during the season. It just happens that it’s early in the season and it’s magnified.”
A Fenway reunion for Bradley
Jackie Bradley Jr. played in an empty Fenway Park in 2020, then signed a two-year deal with the Brewers that offseason. But following a trade back to the Red Sox last December, Bradley made his first return to Fenway in a year and a half, this time with fans in the stands. He received perhaps the largest ovation of anyone before the game, a fact that was not lost on him.
“It was special. I’m thankful for all of the cheers. It’s good to be back,” said Bradley, who went 2 for 3 with a bunt single (his first since 2020) and a double.
Still trying to get Arroyo right
While Christian Arroyo has endured some defensive struggles in right field as he continues to learn a new position, Cora said the team won’t consider moving him to the smaller expanse of left field at Fenway for two reasons. First, the team views Alex Verdugo’s ability to handle left field as a considerable asset. Secondly, the Sox remain mindful that both Hanley Ramirez (2015, shoulder) and Blake Swihart (2016, ankle) suffered significant injuries while converting from the infield (or, in Swihart’s case, catching) to left field at Fenway . . . Garrett Whitlock, who threw 39 pitches over four scoreless innings Tuesday, most likely will remain unavailable until Sunday, when Michael Wacha is scheduled to start. However, the team prefers to maintain the pairing of Whitlock and Rich Hill, who is scheduled to start on Patriots’ Day . . . Byron Buxton suffered a right knee injury on the first play of the game. When the Red Sox misplayed his pop-up to shallow left, Buxton slid awkwardly into second. He immediately slammed his hand on the ground and headed into the dugout even before the Twins trainer met him at second. The Twins announced that Buxton left the contest with right knee soreness. The team was hopeful that he avoided major injury but was awaiting results of an MRI.
Peter Abraham of the Globe staff contributed to this report.