Xander Bogaerts wary of possible Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. trades

Xander Bogaerts (2), Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. could be broken up as part of Boston’s push to slim its payroll.
Xander Bogaerts (2), Mookie Betts, and Jackie Bradley Jr. could be broken up as part of Boston’s push to slim its payroll.Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images/Getty Images

SAN DIEGO — Xander Bogaerts has seen the trade reports swirl around his teammates, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. It concerns him that they might not share the field next season, but he’s also trying to keep everything in perspective.

“It’s really getting to a point now where you have to make some decisions — some tough decisions,” said Bogaerts, who was on hand to receive his first-team All-MLB award at shortstop.

“If it was for me, I would try to keep everyone. I’m anxious to see what happens. There’s been a lot of talk and a lot of uncertainty.”


Xander Bogaerts doesn’t sound like he likes the idea of trading Mookie Betts.
Xander Bogaerts doesn’t sound like he likes the idea of trading Mookie Betts.John McCoy/Getty Images

Bogaerts called Bradley and Betts his brothers, but understands there’s a business side to this, too. Bogaerts signed a six-year, $120 million extension at the start of last season, which now looks like a steal for the Sox after his breakout 2019.

At the time, the team had the mind-set of repeating as champions, not shopping some of their better talent. Now, however, it’s a much different scenario with an uncertain future.

“We have a lot of pieces to keep contending for a while,” Bogaerts said. “But it’s a matter of which way the organization feels is better.”

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The All-MLB teams were chosen half by a fan vote, and half by a vote of media, broadcasters, former players, and baseball officials. Joining Bogaerts on the first team were infielders J.T. Realmuto (Phillies), Pete Alonso (Mets), DJ LeMahieu (Yankees), and Anthony Rendon (Nationals); outfielders Mike Trout (Angels), Cody Bellinger (Dodgers), and Christian Yelich (Brewers); DH Nelson Cruz (Twins); starters Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander (Astros), Jacob deGrom (Mets), Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg (Nationals); and relievers Kirby Yates (Padres) and Josh Hader (Brewers). Betts made the second team.


Everybody talks

Trade talks are inevitable for Bradley, his agent, Scott Boras, said.

“Any player that’s really really good, is a Gold Glove-type guy — particularly in the center field category, which the industry starves for — and you’re a year away from free agency,” Boras said, “you listen and people call.”

The Globe reported Monday that the Sox are actively trying to trade Bradley, who is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to make $11 million in his final year of arbitration. One of the trade scenarios involved the Mets, but they acquired Jake Marisnick from the Astros.

“To say whether a club has intent, I don’t know,” said Boras. “All I know is that when players are good, people talk about it.”

No timetable

Brian O’Halloran didn’t have a recovery timeline for Dustin Pedroia, who underwent a fifth knee surgery in August. He expressed caution when speaking about the second baseman.

“There are no updates,” the Red Sox GM said. “We’re glad to hear that Pedey is continuing to feel better. We know that if anyone can come back from this, it’s him.”

O’Halloran said Pedroia isn’t doing any baseball activity, to his knowledge. When asked if he was running, O’Halloran didn’t have specifics, but noted that Pedroia wasn’t sprinting.

“He’s doing a progression activity,” O’Halloran said.

Going shopping

After trading backup catcher Sandy Leon, the Sox will survey the market to find their complement to Christian Vazquez.

“We’re evaluating the catching market,” O’Halloran said. “We had an opportunity to trade Sandy in a deal that made sense for us. Certainly, there was a financial piece to that calculation. There’s a fairly robust catching market for the non-starting catcher variety that we’re evaluating now.”


Leon made close to $2.5 million last season. Finding a catcher beneath that number might prove tough to do.

“We’re looking to add to the catching depth,” O’Halloran said. “Whether it’s someone who comes in more established as the clear second catcher, or if there’s some sort of competition. It depends on what the market yields.”

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Open door

The Red Sox flirted a bit with an opener last season as the starting staff took a hit down the stretch. That, of course, wasn’t the plan, and they never really embraced the tactic. Nonetheless, the Sox have just four starters for now, with the fifth spot a potential place for an opener.

“We’re definitely open-minded to that,” O’Halloran said. “Certainly, we have talked about different ways to handle that. I think, the main goal is to improve our depth [on the pitching side] to add to that mix so Alex [Cora] will have a number of different ways to go about it. Whatever is going to put our pitchers and team in the best position to succeed, we’ll certainly a look at it now.”

Julian McWilliams can be reached at julian.mcwilliams@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @byjulianmack.