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#pounditTuesday, February 7, 2023

Pedro Martinez issues warning to Red Sox

Pedro Martinez smiles

Jul 20, 2019; Cooperstown, NY, USA; Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez arrives at the National Baseball Hall of Fame during the Parade of Legends. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox have some major decisions to make this offseason, and one of the best players in franchise history believes they could seriously alter the direction of the franchise if they do not make the correct ones.

JD Martinez is set to become a free agent, and star shortstop Xander Bogaerts can join his teammate if he does not opt into the remainder of his contract. Rafael Devers has one year of arbitration eligibility remaining. Pedro Martinez spoke with Alex Speier of the Boston Globe recently about the Red Sox potentially losing some of their core, and he issued a warning to his former team.

“If Xander opts out and leaves the team and J.D. [Martinez] leaves the team, I think [Rafael] Devers is most likely going to head the same way,” Martinez said. “Those guys are going to go. They’re not going to have the essence of the franchise that we left. The culture that we left is going to be lost. And we don’t know when we’re going to get it back and how we’re going to get it back.”

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom has said on numerous occasions that the Red Sox intend to keep both Bogaerts and Devers. It is unclear if the team is as committed to Martinez, who will turn 36 next season. Though, he would cost a lot less to re-sign.

When the Red Sox signed infielder Trevor Story to a six-year, $160 million deal last offseason, many thought they were doing so as a precursor to letting Bogaerts walk. If that were the case, the predictions we heard some MLB executives make about Bogaerts a few months ago probably would have come true.

Devers, who will turn 26 this month, hit .295 this season with 27 home runs and 88 RBI. He was named to his second consecutive All-Star team. Bogaerts, a career .292 hitter, batted .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBI. He has been an All-Star in three of the past four seasons. Bogaerts, Devers and Martinez all played key roles on Boston’s 2018 World Series champion team.

The Red Sox may not keep all three, but it would be very difficult for them to replace Bogaerts and Devers in their lineup. Many with the organization likely agree with Pedro’s assessment.

H/T CBS Sports

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