Red Sox executive Chaim Bloom dances around the subject of Xander Bogaerts’ extension

Will the Red Sox give Xander Bogaerts a new contract?

The question of Xander Bogaerts’ future has hung over the season like an ominous storm cloud.

Throughout the year, various Boston Red Sox executives sang the longtime shortstop’s praises, extolled his contributions and leadership, and proclaimed they hoped he would be part of the team for a very long time.

Of course, no legitimate offers have been revealed to back up these effusive claims. The most recent offer to date has been an extra year and $30m added to the end of Bogaerts’ current, team-friendly deal, which runs until 2025 but includes options withdrawal each year starting this fall. So the intricacies are just that. The proven home stars’ lowballing tells the real story.

In a conversation with WEEI’s Rob Bradford this week, Bloom touched on a plethora of topics, including Bogaerts’ future. Although Bloom spoke with surprising candor at times, he continued to dance around Bogaerts’ questions with more hollow statements:

Bradford: “With Bogaerts’ improvement on the field helping the 29-year-old to the fourth-highest war (wins over substitution) in the American League, your opinion on the shortstop has- has it changed since the start of the season?

Bloom: “That’s a good question. He’s been such a good player for so long. That’s a hard question to answer, in a way. I think he’s had a good year defensively, but I don’t tell you anything that people watching our games don’t see I keep coming back, I know a lot of us do, to his consistency I worked in my old organization with a veteran scout who had l ‘used to look at amateur players and call them a compliment, “boring, good”. And it was a compliment. This player is going to show up every day and he’s going to do whatever it takes to get you in position to win a baseball game. Now Xander happens to be a really talented athlete and a great player on top of that. But the consistency of showing up and doing it every day is something he brings as well as probably any player who plays now and as well as any player I met. It’s not always flashy on any given day, but you can count on it. It is enormous. It’s really important.

Bradford: “How much do you appreciate the whole Bogaerts package, including all the off-pitch elements?”

Bloom: “A lot. I’ll put it this way: normally when you look at players at the stage of their careers they’re getting to, on paper, that’s usually the time to get off the bus. For me, it’s basically a threshold question. It’s because of all those things that he brings that he’s the kind of guy you want to have here for a long time. That you want to have here hopefully for his entire career.

To paraphrase, more of the same.

But it’s fair to express frustration with the constant stream of stop words while understanding that the front office isn’t going to open up its game plan to the world.

Let’s talk about this consistency that Bloom loved.

Excluding his 18-game debut in 2013 and 60-game season in 2020, Bogaerts has played over 136 games in each of his eight 162-game seasons. If he plays two more games this year, that number will jump to over 140 games in seven of the eight games. He had 150+ hits six times, 190+ three times. In his eight full seasons, he doubled at least 28 times and hit double-digit home runs every year. Even playing through injury this season, he has 38 doubles and 14 homers.

By the standards of today’s game, Bogaerts doesn’t hit often and he often ends up on base. This could be the fourth time he has finished a season with over .300. By OPS+ standards, he’s been an above-average hitter in seven seasons.

Jessica C. Bell