Poll: Will loss of Bogaerts sting worse than when Betts left?
Last week at this time the news of Xander Bogaerts signing with the San Diego Padres on an 11-year/$280-million deal was still settling in as reality.
This week, it's fully sunk in, as has the dread of what the rest of the off-season will hold for the Boston Red Sox, who continue to operate in the mold of the Tampa Bay Rays.
It makes sense, though. Afterall, that's where Chaim Bloom cut his teeth. Let's look back to Bloom's first move on the job (trading Mookie Betts) and compare it with his most recent (letting Bogaerts walk).
Which hurt more from the perspective of a Red Sox fan? I'd argue the loss of Mookie the player hurt more in the sense of wins and losses. While Betts has yet to replicate a season quite like those he had in Boston thus far during his time in L.A., he still hit 35 homers, 40 doubles, drove in 82 runs and scored 117 last year for the Dodgers, where he's made back-to-back All-Star appearances. If that's a "down year," that ain't bad.
But something must be said of losing Xander the leader. While his numbers last year aren't quite 'Betts-ian' (.307/15/73) chances are whoever the Sox replace him with in the lineup won't have the same level production. Yet, the biggest instance where Bogaerts' void will be felt is simply his presence on the club.
He was the longest tenured player in Boston. Apart from Chris Sale and Matt Barnes, he was one of the few remaining connections to the last championship squad. There are plenty of reasons why Bogaerts should still be playing in Boston that extend well beyond the baseball diamond, but apparently none of those mattered in the negotiation process.
Which loss of an All-Star fan favorite do you think will prove to be the harder pill for Sox fans to swallow?