Xander Bogaerts was officially introduced as a San Diego Padres player on Friday.
It was a sight that Boston Red Sox fans couldn't have imagined witnessing a year ago at this time.
But the reality is the Red Sox failed to keep their star shortstop and lost him in MLB free agency to the Padres on an 11-year, $280 million contract earlier this week.
"It was a great run," Bogaerts told reporters Friday, including The Boston Globe's Pete Abraham, when asked about his 10 years in Boston. "This is definitely a different challenge. This team really wants to win and you can see how close it is."
Tomase: Red Sox will never live down botching of Bogaerts situation
Was that Bogaerts' way of saying the Red Sox are not really trying their best to win games? Based on how many quality players the Red Sox have lost in recent years, you could make a strong case that Boston isn't doing what's necessary to win at the highest level. Regardless, he's right about the mentality of the Padres. They have been among the most aggressive teams in baseball trying to bolster their roster for a World Series run.
Bogaerts isn't the only marquee player to join the Padres over the last couple seasons. Manny Machado (free agency) and Juan Soto (trade) are the best examples. San Diego has plenty of homegrown talent, too, most notably superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr.
"The roster, I think it speaks for itself. It's pretty stacked," Bogaerts said Friday. "From top to bottom, the pitching -- I watched a lot of games in the playoffs, the trade to get (Josh) Hader at the deadline, I know he struggled a little bit in the beginning of the season but he finished extremely strong. I saw another guy, (Robert) Suarez, I didn't even know of him, but he's obviously one of the best relievers in the game. He showed that in the playoffs.
"From top to bottom, roster-wise, it was unbelievable the amount of talent they have here. Seeing the families and how amped up they were, especially when you beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs, it was something fun to watch on TV and I'm looking forward to that experience."
The offseason isn't over and plenty of quality free agents remain unsigned. The trade market also is a great place to find roster upgrades. But the Red Sox need to act quickly.
The longer they wait, the harder it gets to put together the best possible team for 2023. And right now, both the lineup and pitching staff have major holes that need to be addressed ASAP, including shortstop now that Bogaerts is gone.