Tomase: How Cora jokingly threatened Bogaerts after huge Padres offer originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
When Alex Cora heard how much the Padres were willing to pay Xander Bogaerts, he took off his manager’s hat and replaced it with his friend hat.
“When I saw the deal, I actually told him — jokingly, don’t take me too serious — he said, ‘Alex, it was 11 years.’ I said, ‘Listen, if you would have signed with the Red Sox and I found out somebody offered you 11 years, I would have killed you,'” Cora said on Wednesday with a laugh. “That was me talking to him as his brother or his dad.”
Such was the place the Red Sox found themselves in when the Padres trumped their offer of roughly six years and $160 million by coming over the top with 11 years and $280 million. There was no way Bogaerts could turn down that money, and Cora didn’t even try to dissuade him. He was a player once, too, and he was active in the union, so he knows whose interests should always come first.
That said, it didn’t make it any easier for him to say goodbye to team’s starting shortstop for most of the last decade.
“Still love that kid,” Cora said. “No way I was going to change his mind. He got 11 years. … Very proud of him. Obviously it doesn’t erase what he means to us, what he meant to us, and what he did here. No. 2 is probably the greatest shortstop in the history of the Red Sox. He’s very aware of what’s going on. We texted yesterday. I’ll text him a picture of his little brother (Rafael Devers) later on today. And I know he’s very proud of him.”
“I said, ‘Man, you guys are going to make me watch a lot of West Coast baseball after we play here,'” Cora said. “But I’m proud of all of them. It’s part of the business. Do we miss them? Of course. But this is where we’re at, this is the route we took, and this is where we’re going to be. We’re going to have a good baseball team. We’re going to miss them, but you’ve got to move forward and you’ve got to keep grinding. And we will do that.”