In the here-and-now, the Red Sox' decision-making last winter and into spring training couldn't have been more suspect.
They re-signed two postseason heroes who have given them almost nothing this season. They failed to replace two veteran relievers in the bullpen. And they committed to a long-term deal for a starting pitcher who was coming off a second-half injury last season, and is again on the shelf after his worst season in the majors.
But for all the missteps they made, one move can't be second-guessed a bit: giving Xander Bogaerts a six-year contract extension with an vesting option for a seventh season. To the contrary, the way things have played out, it may go down as their smartest decision in years.
It's not yet September, and already, the shortstop is enjoying his best season. On Wednesday night, in the 7-4 drubbing of the Colorado Rockies, Bogaerts smacked two homers, giving him three for the two-game series.
The homers also gave him 30 for the season and lifted him to the 100 RBI mark for the second straight season.
To put those numbers into some historical context, Bogaerts: