While a return to Boston for Bogaerts remains possible, Boston had a contingency plan in place in case he left.
However, those plans have been foiled.
According to Jon Heyman, Boston’s top target from outside the organization was Jose Abreu, who recently signed with the defending champion Houston Astros.
Abreu was not retained by the Chicago White Sox, and as soon as free agency began, the Red Sox had a meeting with the 35-year-old slugger.
Jose Abreu was Boston’s No. 1 outside target. The Red Sox met with him as soon as free agency opened.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 29, 2022
Sox Whiff On Abreu
This is the last thing that the Red Sox needed to happen.
With Bogaerts a free agent and Trevor Story in the fold, the former’s departure seems increasingly likely.
Now that Abreu is off the board, Boston will need to pivot to another impact bat, or put all of their resources into retaining Bogaerts, the last holdover from their 2013 World Series championship team.
They could also attempt to bring J.D. Martinez back on a shorter-term deal.
But if Bogaerts does ultimately depart Boston, losing out on Abreu could hurt the Red Sox in their search for a bat.
They also could potentially target one of the other three premier shortstops on the market.
But for now, losing out on the veteran slugger hurts for the Sox, and they’ll need to pivot to another bat quickly, or put all their efforts into re-signing Bogaerts.