The Red Sox agree with Trevor’s Story on a six-year, $140 million contract. After the fourth year, 2025, Story can opt out of the last two years of the agreement. However, Boston can override that exclusion by choosing a seventh-year option for $25 million or paying a $5 million buyout. If they were to exercise that option, it would add $20 million to the deal, making it a seven-year, $160 million deal. Story will have no non-exchange protection under the contract. Story is an Excel Sports Management client.
It’s been a fairly quiet offseason for the Red Sox so far, with the club focusing primarily on its pitching squad, adding veterans like rich hill, Michael Wacha and Jake Diekman. On the positional player side, they had only really subtracted since the start of the offseason, sending Hunter Renfroe to Brewers for Jackie Bradley Jr. and prospects. History, however, they have certainly added a massive impact bat to their lineup.
After the departure of Troy Tulowitzki, Story took over the day job as a shortstop in Colorado and ran with it. Over the past six seasons, he has played in 745 games and hit 158 home runs, hitting an overall score of .272/.340/.523, for a wRC+ of 112. He has also stolen 100 bases and provided excellent defense, racking up 21.6 fWAR at this time.
Besides helping the Red Sox this year, adding Story makes sense long term. Xander Bogaerts can opt out of the remainder of his contract at the end of this season, when he has three years and $60 million left, which he looks likely to do. If that were to happen, they would already have his replacement on the roster. As stated above, the plan for this season is to keep Bogaerts short and have Story play second, moving Henri Hernandez to the regular outfield service. Story missed part of last year’s season with a pitching elbow injury, and some scouts expressed belief that he would be better used at second base due to the injury affecting his pitching arm. Boston will now have at least a year to see if Story’s arm can bounce back in any way before deciding how to proceed past 2022.
Although the writing seems to have been on the wall for a while now, this officially ends the Trevor Story era in Colorado. A little like Nolan Arenado before him, there seemed to be a falling out between the club and their star player. Last year, with Story headed into free agency and the club out of contention, he seemed like an obvious candidate to be traded to a contender. However, Deadline came and went without a deal materializing, which left Story confused. “I really don’t have anything good to say about the situation and how it turned out,” Story said immediately after the deadline. During the offseason, there didn’t seem to be any belief that a reunion was in the cards. The club apparently offered him more than the $140 million he received from the Red Sox, with Story preferring his chances of competing in Boston, by Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Between Story and Tulowitzki, the shortstop position in Colorado has been talked about since 2006. So far, it looks like Jose Iglesias will take over, as he signed with the club a week ago.
This deal also closes the book on this year’s mega class of free agent shortstops, which included Story, Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Javier Baez and Marcus Seeds. Heading into the offseason, many expected the Yankees to be big players in that market, given their penchant for high payrolls and the obvious need for the position that has since emerged. Gleyber Torres moved to second base last year. But reports emerged in November that they were considering not participating in the short auction, merely acquiring an interim solution while waiting for either of the Oswald Peraza Where Antoine Volpe go from prospects to big leaguers. This now appears to have been the case as the club acquired the first shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa to fill the job, while the big five shortstops have all landed surprising suitors. Rebuilding Rangers grabbed both Seager and Semien, while another rebuilding club, the Tigers, grabbed Baez. Correa shockingly lingered in the market before agreeing a short-term deal with the Twins, a team not known for landing the best fish in free agency. Now Story is out of the board, landing on a team that had no obvious match in that position.
Since Chaim Bloom took over as Boston’s Chief Baseball Officer after the 2019 season, the club has gone through something of a semi-rebuilding process. It is a few months later that they exchange Mookie Bets and David Price to the Dodgers as part of a payroll reduction process, despite winning the World Series in 2018. On the heels of that trade, the club went 24-36 in the pandemic-shortened season, slipping below the lowly Orioles and in last place in the AL East. After a few modest additions to the club, many entered 2021 expecting the club to be unable to compete in such a strong division. However, they rallied for a 92-win season, just edging out the Blue Jays for a Wild Card berth, making it all the way to the ALCS before falling to the Astros. On the heels of that surprise campaign, it had looked for some months that the club could once again opt for modest improvements. Instead, the Fenway Faithful have the big splash they’ve been desperately hoping for, easily the biggest of Bloom’s tenure, as the AL East looks to be a four-headed beast once again.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale first reported that Boston and Story were on board, along with the $140 million guarantee. (Twitter connections) Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report the six-year term. The fact that there was an unusual opt-out was first reported by MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The fourth-year opt-out with the seventh-year options structure was first relayed by Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The $5 million buyout and $25 million salary for the final year were relayed for the first time by Heyman. The absence of a no-trade clause was reported for the first time by Sherman.