Let the Countdown Begin | Alex Bennett and Coach Duggs Make Their Fighting Debuts In Rough N' Rowdy 18 Next Friday 8PM ETBUY NOW

CHAIM BLOOM SIGNED A TOP FREE AGENT! Trevor Story Agreed To A 7-Year, $160 Million Deal To Play Second Base For The Boston Red Sox

For my money the biggest storyline here is that Red Sox fans can no longer bitch about Chaim Bloom being too afraid to open the check book and sign a top tier free agent. That storyline died a very public death this morning with this signing. The haters are furious.

The second biggest storyline is: what does this signing mean for the future of Xander Bogaerts? Trevor Story is a natural shortstop. One the Padres attempted to acquire and move to centerfield during last season's trade deadline. If the Colorado Rockies knew the trade deadline was a real thing perhaps they would have moved Story for prospects instead of *checks notes* nothing. And now, at least for this season, Story is the Red Sox second baseman. Which is simultaneously incredible and, also, wildly annoying. There will be a loud minority of the fanbase constantly calling for Story to play short all season long. Yes, he has a better glove than Xander. I actually don't know if Story's arm, given his injury history, is still better than Xander's, which may be why the longterm commitment and dollar amount ultimately swayed Story to come play second in Boston. It also may have been promised to him that this was only a one year move to the right side of the infield, which is certainly a real possibility. Xander will opt out of his contract this winter and could likely be the best free agent available. There will be no "hometown discount" nor should there be for someone entering his last real window of earning potential. Xander deserves to get paid, his bat is great enough to demand top dollar, and I hope he and Story form the best double-play duo we've seen since Manny Machado took out Dustin Pedroia's knees. 

And while that's the second biggest story to come out of this signing, that's also tomorrow's problem. Today, Trevor Story's bat is what I'm most interested in. The Red Sox lineup is now significantly deeper than it was when I went to sleep last night. Christian Arroyo moves to a utility bench role, which is no small footnote in all of this. There's now less pressure on Bobby Dalbec to carry the middle of the order, though his barrel % and second half numbers from '21 imply he might just be ready to make that step. Jarren Duran and Triston Casas can marinate a little longer in AAA before being called upon to be regular contributors to the big club. Kiké Hernandez, Story, Xander, Rafael Devers, Julio Martinez, and Alex Verdugo form a helluva top six to start the season with. And, after all of this, Chaim maintains plenty of prospect flexibility to go add another bat before the deadline should anyone fail to win that right field job by July. 

This is a great deal, with an AAV that allows the Red Sox to be more than comfortable re-signing two homegrown pillars to well deserved contract extensions, and keeping the infield warm for when Nick Yorke and Marcelo Mayer are ready to be called up in a few years. While fans in Boston are accustomed to going out the second the offseason begins and throwing money at as many of the top guys as possible, perhaps folks should step back and embrace this new normal. One that balances today with tomorrow. Chaim got a top of the line bat, sured up a middle infield spot that had been vacant for a half decade, and relieved a bit of pressure from next winter all in one move. 

Extend Devers. Extend Xander. Win the World Series. Welcome to Boston, Trevor Story.