I just don't understand why people seem so certain that he'll opt out. He'll be two years older and two years further removed from full time OF duty. He'll have 3/$62.5 remaining and he wasn't exactly overwhelmed with suitors last time. I think it's just as likely he opts in.This is correct... opening day lead off as a reward for years of meritorious service and completing a tough rehab, but you’re not taking Beni/Betts off the top of the order regularly unless something goes horribly wrong.
Similarly, JDM will be opting out next year unless something goes horribly wrong. So I’m in the camp that 2019 is a window year. With Sale, JDM, Porcello, and Bogaerts to reup in 2020, the Sox are unlikely to be so elite tha year. I’m sure they’ll spend money and still be very very good...but 2019 is a much better bet.
Edit...less portentous, but Moreland, Pearce, Holt and a cast of significant non-Stars need to be addressed in 2020 too. So GFIN