David Ortiz on Xander Bogaerts: Boston Red Sox would be ‘stupid to let a guy like that go’

NEWTON — Count David Ortiz among the many who want the Red Sox to sign shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a long-term contract extension before he can retire and enter free agency this winter.

Speaking at the David Ortiz Boston Heart Classic” at Brae Burn Country Club, Ortiz said he hoped the club would be able to reach an agreement with Bogaerts, who he played with from 2013-16.

“It would be stupid to let a guy like that go, to be honest with you,” Ortiz said. “I’ve played with Bogey for a long time and Bogaerts is the perfect player for any organization. He will represent that organization on and off the pitch, so that conversation needs to happen at all times.

Bogaerts is expected to opt out of his contract at the end of the season as he would get a significant increase to his average annual salary of $20 million on the open market (and potentially earn $30-35 million). The Red Sox and Bogaerts have expressed interest in a long-term deal, but so far talks have proven fruitless. According to a report, Boston made a four-year, $90 million below-market offer to Bogaerts during spring training. While the shortstop hasn’t publicly stated he’s disappointed with the proposal, his behavior in recent months suggests he wasn’t thrilled with it.

Although Bogaerts opened the door to in-season talks last week, his agent, Scott Boras, told the Boston Globe that any talks will have to wait until the end of the season. Unless there’s a surprise, Bogaerts will become a free agent this fall. Ortiz, like many others, hopes the Red Sox can retain the three-time All-Star.

“For me, he’s one of the most complete players and shortstops in the game right now. He does a bit of everything,” Ortiz said. “He’s a good clubhouse guy. He’s a hard working guy. Everyone loves him. You’ve never heard of this guy. It is therefore perfect for this organization.

“The Red Sox, I think they’re going to take a moment to sit down and have that conversation with him to keep him,” Ortiz continued. “He’s a keeper. This guy is a keeper. Believe it or not. I don’t want to hear that there is anyone else better out there. I know what I get from Bogaerts. That’s why I want Bogaerts. I know what I get from him. I’d rather take over, ‘Let’s see what’s next.’ In my clubhouse, on my team, I want him at shortstop for the next (number of years) because I know what I’m getting from him.

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