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The San Diego Padres were determined to find a star player to take their money this offseason and they found one late Wednesday night: Xander Bogaerts is heading to America's Finest City on an 11-year, $280 million contract. San Diego made runs at Aaron Judge and Trea Turner earlier this offseason, but were turned down.

Bogaerts is the second homegrown star to leave the Boston Red Sox within the last three years and he joins Mookie Betts in the NL West. The Red Sox at least traded Betts and got something in return, though it wasn't a whole lot given what we know now. For Bogaerts, they'll receive just a compensation draft pick after the fourth round because they exceeded the competitive balance tax threshold in 2022. It isn't much.

The Red Sox were said to be in talks with Bogaerts as recently as Wednesday afternoon, though their offer was nowhere close to what the Padres put on the table. From the Boston Globe:

According to a major league source, the Sox had an offer on the table for six years at roughly $27 million per year, with a slightly higher average annual value than the roughly $25.5 million per year that Bogaerts received from the Padres. Still, even with some belief in Bogaerts' camp that the Sox might raise their offer, the gap in the number of guaranteed seasons was so enormous that the separation between the offers was decisive.  

That is an unserious offer. I'm not sure how you could see the contracts Judge (nine years, $360 million) and Turner (11 years, $300 million) received and think six years will get it done. Bogaerts opted out of the final three years and $60 million remaining on his contract to become a free agent and earlier this year the New York Post reported Boston's extension offer was just one additional year and $30 million. Again, an unserious offer. These offers were almost designed to be rejected.

The Red Sox did land Japanese outfielder Masataka Yoshida with a five-year contract Wednesday and they've imported three relievers in recent weeks (Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin, Joely Rodríguez), otherwise the story of their offseason has been "we tried." They were in the mix for several notable players who wound up going elsewhere. To wit:

The Red Sox at least made competitive offers for Eflin, Heaney, and Kahnle. The Abreu offer and especially the Bogaerts offer were nowhere close to competitive, however. If you make a good offer and lose a free agent to another team, fine, it happens. That's how the hot stove works. But to have it happen again and again, in addition to making your top targets -- Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said re-signing Bogaerts was his top priority in October -- low-ball offers, suggests there are larger problems.

What those other problems are, I'm not sure. Maybe Bloom & Co. have repeatedly misread the market. Maybe ownership isn't all that committed to winning. Maybe free agents have identified Boston as a place they don't want to play. I don't know what's wrong here, exactly, but it feels like something is out of whack. The Red Sox are one of the sport's marquee franchises and they should be a powerhouse. Instead core players are leaving and free agent targets keep going elsewhere.

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Landing Yoshida and various relievers is good progress for a Red Sox team that lost 84 games and finished in last place in baseball's most competitive division this past season. They still have so much more work ahead of them though. They need at least one more starting pitcher (ideally two) and they also need to replace Bogaerts on the middle infield. The still unsigned Carlos Correa is very close to manager Alex Cora from their time with the Astros, but do we expect the Red Sox to make Correa a winning offer in this market given their offseason to date? Maybe it happens, sure. I'll need to see it to believe.

Then there's Rafael Devers, who is a year away from free agency. As of October a large gap existed between his asking price (north of $300 million) and the team's extension offer (around $200 million), according to the New York Post. That gap can be bridged and there's time to bridge it, but Betts is a Dodger and Bogaerts is a Padre. What reason do we have to believe this front office -- this ownership group -- will do what it takes to keep Devers in Boston? They haven't earned the benefit of the doubt.

It's sort of remarkable the Red Sox landed Jansen and Yoshida on Wednesday and still managed to have a bad day because their franchise shortstop agreed to a deal with another team. It was only four years ago that the Red Sox won the World Series and had one of the most enviable cores in the sport. Now just about all those core players are wearing other uniforms while Boston tries to climb out of the AL East cellar. It's been a rough offseason to date for Bloom & Co., and Wednesday was their worst day yet.