Red Sox’s Rafael Devers has heartfelt goodbye for Xander Bogaerts

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Rafael Devers had only known Xander Bogaerts as a teammate over the first six years of his career. When he begins his seventh MLB season, he’ll have a new shortstop next to him.

On Wednesday, Bogaerts signed an 11-year deal worth $280 million with the San Diego Padres, spurring a touching goodbye from Devers on his Instagram Story.

“Thank you for teaching me many things,” he wrote, as translated by Google. “I’m always going to admire you as a person and as a baller, the best. You’re an example to follow.”

Rafael Devers penned a heartfelt message to his friend and former teammate Xander Bogaerts.
Rafael Devers

The loss of a player Devers often referred as his “brother” could have an effect on the third baseman’s own free agency, which is set for after the 2023 season. Devers is likely to follow in his friend’s footsteps and cash in — the only questions is if it will be in Boston.

“People look at Xander as a ballplayer,” Devers told Audacy’s Steve Perrault in July. “I don’t look at him as a ballplayer, I look at him as a friend. As my brother.

“He’s meant so much to me for my career. He’s someone that I can go to whenever I have questions about what I’m doing on the field. Offense. Defense. But also the same thing with J.D. (Martinez). He’s a huge part of my success, and those two guys have meant so much for my career and are some of my best friends.”

Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox and Xander Bogaerts, left, in the dugout
Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox and Xander Bogaerts, left, in the dugout.
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Devers was just one of several Red Sox players and fans to weigh in on the new Padres star’s departure. Utilityman Enrique Hernandez posted an image to his own Instagram Story of he and Bogaerts, with the song “Baby Come Back” playing over the image. In a second story, Hernandez simply posted a sad face emoticon.

It is unclear what the Red Sox’s solution at shortstop is with the absence of Bogaerts. Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa are two big-name items still without a home for the 2023 season. If president of baseball operations Chaim Bloom and Red Sox ownership weren’t going to pay Bogaerts, it leaves plenty of questions — namely if they’d be willing to do it for another big name free agent, and what message they’re sending to Devers over the next year.

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