FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox have three core players heading into free agency after the 2019 season:
Chris Sale, who has been the team's best starting pitcher in his first two seasons with the club;
Xander Bogaerts, who broke out last season and established himself as one of the game's better offensive shortstops, and;
Rick Porcello, the team's most durable starter for the last four seasons.
Talks on an extension with Sale are ongoing, with cautious optimism on both sides an agreement can be reached before (or soon after) the start of the regular season.
The Sox also approached Bogaerts during the winter to determine if there was ground to work out an extension. An industry source indicated little progress was made, not entirely surprising given that Bogaerts is represented by Scott Boras, who typically advises clients to reach free agency in order to provide themselves with better leverage.
That leaves Porcello. His representatives were in camp earlier this month -- more to visit with Porcello as much as anything -- and were seen chatting for a period of time with assistant GM Brian O'Halloran. There's no indication that anything substantive came of the discussions, or for that matter, whether the issue of an extension was broached at all.