Boston Red Sox

  • The 2022 season didn’t go the Red Sox way, but the team has picked up a handful of nominations when it comes to postseason awards. That trend continued on Thursday when Major League Baseball announced the Silver Slugger finalists for 2022.

    Boston has two representatives on the Silver Slugger list, and as luck would have it it’s the two players (likely) vying for big paydays this winter. Those players are shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers.

    Bogaerts is coming off a season where he hit .307 – which led all AL shortstops – with 15 home runs and 73 RBIs this past season. Bogaerts has won Silver Slugger four previous times in his career, and would have his first back-to-back with a win this year. He’s nominated alongside  Bo Bichette of the Blue Jays, Carlos Correa of the Twins, and Corey Seager of the Rangers.

  • BOSTON, MA - MAY 21: Rafael Devers #11 celebrates with teammate Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park on May 21, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MA – MAY 21: Rafael Devers #11 celebrates with teammate Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox after hitting a solo home run in the third inning against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park on May 21, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)

  • Devers is looking for his second consecutive Silver Slugger after hitting .295 this year with 27 home runs and 88 RBIs. The 26-year-old is step-for-step with Guardians’ third baseman Jose Ramirez statistically, but played 15 less games after missing time in the second half of the season due to an injury. Alex Bregman of the Astros and Matt Chapman of the Blue Jays are the other two nominees here.

    These nominations come as both Bogaerts and Devers are in line for new contracts in the coming months. Neither is scheduled to be a free agent, but Bogaerts has an out in his contract that he is expected to exercise while Devers is entering his final year of arbitration.

    Devers’ situation is a bit more straight forward. The Red Sox need to sign or trade him this offseason, or they risk losing a player who has developed into a perennial MVP candidate for nothing. As of Friday afternoon, the latest report was he and the team are discussing a new deal, but “the gap remains large.”

  • BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - OCTOBER 10: Rafael Devers #11 and Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox look on in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 10, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

    BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – OCTOBER 10: Rafael Devers #11 and Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox look on in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays during Game 3 of the American League Division Series at Fenway Park on October 10, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

  • As for Bogaerts, who is nominated for a Gold Glove as well as a Silver Slugger, it’s a bit more complicated. He just turned 30, and the Red Sox have historically been hesitant to pay players at or after the age of 30 under this ownership group. Last year, the team gave Trevor Story a six-year, $140 million contract, and while he spent 2022 at second base he’s a shortstop by trade and probably projects there best in the long term. Yet Story struggled in his first year in Boston, while Bogaerts put together yet another upper-echelon campaign.

    By retaining Devers and Bogaerts, along with Story staying at second and top prospect Triston Casas projected to take over full-time at first base, the Red Sox could set themselves up with one of the elite infields in baseball. Letting either player walk would create a void the team would need to fill, with no obvious immediate replacements currently in the system.

    While a Silver Slugger nomination isn’t the basis for a big-money contract, it’s yet another example of the kind of talent the Red Sox would be walking away from if they let either of these players walk. Right now, the team feels like it is at a turning point right now, with fans vocally fed up with inconsistent play and an inability to retain young homegrown starts (see Betts, Mookie). They have a chance to break at least one, and likely both of those trends, in how they handle this offseason. Whether that will be the c

  • Xander Bogaerts career stats

     
    Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B HR RBI BA OBP SLG Awards
    2013 20 BOS 18 44 7 11 2 1 5 .250 .320 .364
    2014 21 BOS 144 538 60 129 28 12 46 .240 .297 .362
    2015 22 BOS 156 613 84 196 35 7 81 .320 .355 .421 SS
    2016 23 BOS 157 652 115 192 34 21 89 .294 .356 .446 AS,SS
    2017 24 BOS 148 571 94 156 32 10 62 .273 .343 .403
    2018 25 BOS 136 513 72 148 45 23 103 .288 .360 .522 MVP-13
    2019 26 BOS 155 614 110 190 52 33 117 .309 .384 .555 AS,MVP-5,SS
    2020 27 BOS 56 203 36 61 8 11 28 .300 .364 .502 MVP-17
    2021 28 BOS 144 529 90 156 34 23 79 .295 .370 .493 AS,MVP-12,SS
    2022 29 BOS 150 557 84 171 38 15 73 .307 .377 .456 AS
    Total 1264 4834 752 1410 308 156 683 .292 .356 .458
    162 avg. 162 620 96 181 39 20 88 .292 .356 .458
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 10/28/2022.
  • Rafael Devers career stats

     
    Year Age Tm G AB R H 2B HR RBI BA OBP SLG Awards
    2017 20 BOS 58 222 34 63 14 10 30 .284 .338 .482
    2018 21 BOS 121 450 59 108 24 21 66 .240 .298 .433
    2019 22 BOS 156 647 129 201 54 32 115 .311 .361 .555 MVP-12
    2020 23 BOS 57 232 32 61 16 11 43 .263 .310 .483
    2021 24 BOS 156 591 101 165 37 38 113 .279 .352 .538 AS,MVP-11,SS
    2022 25 BOS 141 555 84 164 42 27 88 .295 .358 .521 AS
    Total 689 2697 439 762 187 139 455 .283 .342 .512
    162 avg. 162 634 103 179 44 33 107 .283 .342 .512
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
    Generated 10/28/2022.
  • Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.