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Report: Red Sox star likely to become free agent after season

Xander Bogaerts running the bases

Aug 14, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Cleveland Indians during the third inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox are off to a slow start this season, and they may need to replace one of their best players during the offseason.

The New York Post’s Jon Heyman wrote a story on Thursday about the upcoming free agent class of shorstops. He included Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson on the list because both players will be free agents. But he also included two players who can choose to become free agents by opting out of their contracts.

Heyman says there is a “decent chance” Carlos Correa opts out of his contract with the Minnesota Twins. Additionally, a friend predicted to Heyman that Bogaerts will opt of his deal and leave the Red Sox.

Bogaerts signed a 6-year, $120 million contract with the Red Sox ahead of the 2019 season. He is in his third season of the extension and has the ability to opt out after this season. Heyman indicates the shortstop will probably do so.

Bogaerts, 29, batted .295 with an .863 OPS last season. The shortstop is off to another strong start this season and batting .354.

There might be other nice shortstops available on the market next offseason, but Bogaerts will be highly coveted if he chooses to become a free agent. His reported contract demands were revealed last month.

Boston added Trevor Story over the offseason and they have him playing second base. He played shortstop throughout his career in Colorado, but his batting average has tanked the last two seasons, and he might not be a viable replacement.

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