David Ortiz makes strong case for Red Sox to keep Rafael Devers, Xander Bogaerts

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David Ortiz sends message to Red Sox with take on Devers, Bogaerts originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

The Boston Red Sox are at a crossroads regarding franchise players Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts. But if you ask David Ortiz, it shouldn't be that hard of a decision.

The Red Sox legend has been on the record stating that Boston should do everything it can to keep Devers, who will hit unrestricted free agency in 2024, and Bogaerts, who is expected to out of his contract and become a free agent at the end of this season.

Ortiz doubled down on his opinion regarding Devers in particular Thursday.

"I hope the Red Sox make sense about the decision that they have to make with him," Ortiz told reporters ahead of his Baseball Hall of Fame induction on July 24. "We gotta keep Devers around, man. Devers is the face of that organization as of right now, and nobody can argue that."

Ortiz also called Devers "one of the top-three pure hitters in the game right now," and Devers' stats back up that statement:  The 25-year-old leads the American League in hits (108) and boasts a .325 batting average with 19 home runs and 51 RBIs.

Devers and the Red Sox haven't found common ground on a contract extension to date, however -- as is the case with Bogaerts, Boston's longest-tenured player and de facto team leader.

Ortiz believes that needs to change this offseason, because he can't imagine a world in which Devers and Bogaerts follow former Red Sox star Mookie Betts out the door.

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"You know what they're going to give you," Ortiz said. "That's why I don't understand why organizations sometimes walk away from that and prefer to explore some other options. I'm going to go with what I know. Keep it simple.

"I know exactly what I'm going to get from those guys. They are the best players that can represent the Red Sox, better than everybody else as of right now. We need to lock them in."

Keeping both Devers and Bogaerts on long-term deals might be easier said than done, considering the Red Sox project to be over the luxury tax threshold next season and also need to decide whether to keep pending free agents J.D. Martinez, Christian Vazquez and Nathan Eovaldi.

Ortiz's comments certainly resonate, however, and considering he's also a member of the organization as a "special assistant," there's a good chance he's made his stance clear to Chaim Bloom and Co. as well.