Red Sox

Alex Cora commends Xander Bogaerts' consistency after reaching 50-double mark

Alex Cora commends Xander Bogaerts' consistency after reaching 50-double mark

After Xander Bogaerts reached the 30-home-run, 50-double mark for the first time in his career Thursday night against the Blue Jays, Alex Cora commended his shortstop's consistency throughout a turbulent season for the Red Sox. 

"We’re very proud of him," Cora said. "It’s not only the numbers it’s the consistency of him showing up every day, and the routine, and being a leader, and understanding what he means to the organization.

"For a quote-unquote bad season, he’s been showing up every day."

Bogaerts became the second shortstop in baseball history to hit 30 home runs and 50 doubles in a single season, with the other being Alex Rodrigues in 1996.

The 26-year-old superstar also joined teammate Rafael Devers as the first pair of Red Sox to record 50 doubles in one season. Only two other teams have accomplished that feat are the 2000 Rockies (Todd Helton and Jeff Cirillo) and the 1996 Mariners (Alex Rodriguez and Edgar Martinez).

Bogaerts has been a rock in the Red Sox lineup throughout an up-and-down campaign. It's a near certainty that Boston will not get the chance to defend its World Series championship past the regular season, which is a real shame considering the type of numbers Bogaerts and Devers have put up to carry this lineup. 

However, with Bogaerts locked up for the next six years, Red Sox fans can get used to seeing him at short and get excited about how much better he can become over time. The uncertainty comes with who'll be batting around him in the lineup, because the Red Sox' finances will force them into some tough decisions in the next few years. 

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Andrew Friedman announces he's staying with Dodgers, taking biggest name off board for Red Sox

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USA Today Sports Images

Andrew Friedman announces he's staying with Dodgers, taking biggest name off board for Red Sox

The Red Sox can cross the biggest name off their GM search before he was ever even an option.

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman announced on Monday that he will finalize a deal to stay in L.A. "in the next couple of days." Friedman had technically become a free agent after the Dodgers' season ending in shocking fashion against the Nationals last week.

His five-year, $35 million contract expired, but the Dodgers moved quickly to lock up the 43-year-old, who has built consistent winners in both Tampa and Los Angeles and was considered the most intriguing candidate for the job of running the Red Sox, which opened up when the team parted ways with Dave Dombrowski in September.

With Friedman off the board and the Twins reportedly nearing a deal to extend Lynn native Derek Falvey as their chief baseball officer, the Red Sox have seen the candidate pool for their opening diminish before their search even starts. Before the season ended, the Diamondbacks took another name out of play by extending GM Mike Hazen, a Massachusetts native and former Red Sox executive. Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein also declared his commitment to Chicago, though his contractual status hasn't changed.

One name that hasn't been taken off the board is Chaim Bloom, Tampa's VP of baseball operations. The 36-year-old Yale graduate oversees Tampa's baseball operations alongside Erik Neander, and the two guided the Rays to a wild card before taking the Astros to Game 5 of the ALDS.

Widely considered one of the most innovative franchises in the game, the Rays have reached 90 wins in two straight seasons despite fielding one of the lowest payrolls in baseball.

This team makes sense for J.D. Martinez in 2020>>>

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MLB Free Agents 2019-20: Top 5 designated hitters

MLB Free Agents 2019-20: Top 5 designated hitters

One of the biggest question marks of the Red Sox' offseason is the future of J.D. Martinez. Will he or won't he opt out of his contract and test the free-agent waters yet again?

If he does, Boston is put into a tough position. There aren't a whole lot of guys out there -- if any -- who can step right into Martinez's DH slot and put up numbers anything close to the 2018 World Series champion's level of production.

If Martinez indeed decides to sign elsewhere (the White Sox, perhaps?), the Sox could be left scrambling for a cheap short-term replacement off the open market. Here's a look at the top options this winter: