Red Sox

Stats comparing Xander Bogaerts and Manny Machado prove Red Sox got a bargain

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Stats comparing Xander Bogaerts and Manny Machado prove Red Sox got a bargain

Xander Bogaerts signed a six-year, $120 million contract extension prior to the 2019 season, and that proved to be a steal for the Boston Red Sox.

Bogaerts' age-26 campaign was the most productive of his career thus far. The Aruban shortstop earned his second All-Star selection, slashed .309/.384/.555 with 33 home runs and 117 RBI, and finished fifth in American League MVP voting.

To really put Bogaerts' bargain contract in perspective, one need not look further than San Diego Padres third baseman Manny Machado's 10-year, $300 million contract.

After signing that mega-deal in free agency last year, Machado went on to post a modest slash line of .256/.334/.462 with 32 homers and 85 RBI.

While the ex-Baltimore Oriole still is undoubtedly one of MLB's biggest stars, Bogaerts has actually been better in nearly every offensive category when comparing the first 3,545 at-bats of their careers, despite making $10 million less per season.

Bogaerts' contract becomes even more of a bargain when considering the leadership role he's assumed in the Red Sox clubhouse over the last couple of years. His presence will be even more important in 2020 with superstar outfielder Mookie Betts now out of the picture.

David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez meet up for nostalgia-filled workout session

David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez meet up for nostalgia-filled workout session

Boston's Bash Brothers are reunited once again.

Former Red Sox stars David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez met up at a batting cage Wednesday to take some swings -- and Big Papi has the awesome proof.

Here's the selfie Ortiz posted of he and Ramirez (who has added a few gray hairs...) on Instagram:

According to Ortiz's Instagram story, it appears his teenage son, D'Angelo, also got in on the session.

The Ortiz-Ramirez crew likely were somewhere in South Florida at a batting cage operated by Gradum Baseball, which posted a 36-minute live interview of the two former Sox sluggers Wednesday on Instagram.

Ortiz and Ramirez spent five-plus seasons as teammates in Boston, winning two World Series titles together in 2004 and 2007 and representing one of the most feared 3- and 4-hitter combos in baseball. The duo racked up 10 All-Star appearances between them and both already are members of the Red Sox Hall of Fame.

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Ortiz retired in 2016 and now works as a special assistant on the Red Sox' staff. (He appears to be in good health after being shot in the Dominican Republic last summer.) But the 47-year-old Ramirez still wants to play, recently expressing his desire to join Taiwan's Chinese Professional Baseball League in 2020.

What better way to train for a comeback than with an old friend and fellow living legend?

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 75-51

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 75-51

With MLB players and owners struggling to come to terms on a return-to-play strategy for 2020, we're focusing on the actual players who will take the field when games eventually get back underway.

Over the next several weeks, NBC Sports Boston is counting down the Top 100 players for 2020. While our list won't include several aces who will definitely not play this season — Noah Syndergaard of the Mets, Luis Severino of the Yankees, and Chris Sale of the Red Sox — our countdown includes many other All-Stars.

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Red Sox closer Brandon Workman kicked off our list at No. 100, and there's another Boston hurler in the next group of 25 players. 

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez finally delivered on his considerable promise in 2019, going 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA and finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young race.

He was the rock of a rotation missing Nathan Eovaldi for most of the season, David Price for large chunks, and Chris Sale for what amounted to the final two months. Just 27 years old, E-Rod remains firmly in his prime, and with another strong season should climb even higher next year.

Click here for Part 2 of our Top 100, featuring players 75-51.