BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox have a core of young stars to build around, but eventually those young stars are going to want to get paid.
Mookie Betts is on a power surge, blasting five homers in the last two games, while Xander Bogaerts is riding a 25-game hitting streak. They’re the future of the franchise, along with Jackie Bradley Jr., with Betts under team control until 2020 and Bogaerts 2019.
It could be in Boston’s best interest to explore locking them both up long-term to avoid the arbitration process, but it may not be that easy. And which one should the team focus on first?
The easy answer is both. Money should not be an issue for the Red Sox when it comes to these two young stars, even if it means they’ll have to pay a luxury tax. But which of the two should they prioritize? Adam Jones and Rich Keefe discussed that aspect of the equation on Wednesday night, and had differing opinions.
“Mookie Betts is my guy,” said Jones, just as Betts led off Wednesday night’s game with another homer. “Why does no one else say Mookie? That jumps out to me a little bit.
“There’s no wrong answer, but every time we ask the question people say Bogaerts,” said Jones.
Riche Keefe said it’s all about position with Bogaerts.
“Both of them make perfect sense, but for me I’m going to go with the shortstop,” he said. “They’re the same age, they’re both improving each year it seems. Last year Bogaerts hit over .320 and right now he’d win the batting title. Mookie is on pace just insane numbers, things leadoff hitters haven’t done since your Darin Erstads.
“Both are putting up, forget All-Star numbers, they’re putting up MVP numbers. They’re both in that conversation. But give me the guy who is already a silver slugger at shortstop,” said Keefe, adding that Bogaerts defense has become above average after some early-career concerns. “I would want to lock him up first.”
Jones notes that Bogaerts’ agent is Scott Boras, who traditionally doesn’t have his clients re-sign early and gets the biggest possible contract on the open market.
Listen to the full discussion in the podcast below: