BOSTON -- Based on several reports, the Boston Red Sox finally appeared to have been making some progress on potentially signing Xander Bogaerts to a long-term contract on Wednesday. And then ... it was all over.
The San Diego Padres bowled over Bogaerts with an 11-year, $280 million contract offer. And just like that, Bogaerts' Red Sox career was officially over.
While Bloom didn't offer any updates on Bogaerts negotiations on Wednesday night when meeting with reporters, he did so while smiling, which offered some level of public confidence about getting a deal done. Just hours later, though, Bogaerts was gone.
The Boston Globe's Julian McWilliams was near Bloom in the San Diego airport when news broke and was able to speak to the Red Sox' chief baseball officer just moments after Bloom had digested the information.
After twice requesting a minute to gather his thoughts, Bloom spoke to McWilliams roughly 30 minutes after the news broke.
"Everybody is sad that he's not going to be a part of the organization. We're incredibly grateful for him. For everything he's accomplished here and what he helped this organization accomplish," Bloom told McWilliams.
Bloom's voice trembled, according to McWilliams, as the 39-year-old navigated the emotions of the moment.
"I expect fans will be hurt. I fully expect that, and I also expect that we're going to put this together and deliver them winning baseball," Bloom told the Globe. "It's gonna look a little different than it would have with Xander. But it's going to happen and it's on us to show them. That's our job. Thanks for sharing."
How Bloom goes about making that happen will bear watching. He did sign Trevor Story to a six-year, $140 million contract prior to last season. Though questions persist about Story's arm being strong enough to return to shortstop, the 30-year-old is an obvious choice to immediately fill the void left by Bogaerts.
Beyond that, the Red Sox invested in the back end of their bullpen with Kenley Jansen and in their outfield with Masataka Yoshida on Wednesday. How far that gets the team after a last-place finish in 2022 -- the second in three years with Bloom at the helm -- will be seen in the spring and summer.
The fans that Bloom referenced will now be interested to see how the team approaches Rafael Devers, who's entering his final season under team control. A prolific hitter and improved defensive player, Devers will be justified to ask for one of the richest deals in baseball history, based on the way the free-agent market has moved this year.
The Red Sox can either be the team that pays Devers that money, or the team that relives the Bogaerts experience again a year from now.
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