MLB

MLB free-agency grades – Trevor Story gives the Red Sox a new-look infield

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Seems as if everybody in baseball was working through the weekend. Starting late Friday night, the last few big dominoes in this year’s free-agent market fell in a final sprint, with Nick Castellanos landing with the Phillies, Carlos Correa stunningly signing with the Twins and, finally, the last shortstop standing, Trevor Story agreeing to a deal with the Boston Red Sox.

Story and his representatives seemed to draw inspiration from a few of the other major shortstop deals from the prolonged offseason. The basic terms of the deal — six years, $140 million, ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirms — are identical to the contract fellow free-agent shortstop Javier Baez signed with the Tigers, but the structure is different. While Baez can opt out after the second year of his deal, Story reportedly can’t do so until after his fourth. However, the Red Sox can nullify the opt-out by tacking on a seventh year to the contract, which would bring its total value up to $160 million, unless Boston decides to buy out that seventh year for $5 million. Got that?

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On Saturday, in the aftermath of Correa’s deal with the Twins, the rumor mill had the Astros as the leader in the Story sweepstakes. That notion didn’t fully make sense, as it would have left Houston answering the uncomfortable question of « Why didn’t you just give that contract to Correa? » Now, the Jeremy Pena era has begun in the lineage of Houston shortstops.

There are no such questions for the Red Sox, who significantly upgrade their depth chart for the short term and cover themselves against the possible departure of long-time shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who can opt out after the 2022 season and has widely been expected to do so. Meanwhile, for now, ESPN’s Marly Rivera reports that the plan is for Story to play second base in Boston while Bogaerts will remain the regular at shortstop.

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