The bolded is the risk. Fewer fans are watching than in years prior. It's been well documented that younger fans (under 30) are far less apt to both attend and watch live games. Younger fans are also far more likely to root for specific players than teams.Trade him before the season if he won't take 8/240-260. I dont think any of these guys are ever worth the price tag they come with.
There's always another Mookie/Xander/Devers people will root for. The team shouldn't be beholden to making dumb decisions based on what fans want, especially fans that are still going to watch regardless because at the end of the day the only thing that matters is laundry and rings.
Also this team is structurally flawed in so many ways. Better to slash and burn and see where we are in 5 years.
Sports exists in a very crowded entertainment space, so ignoring fan sentiment is probably not wise. Needless to say, you don't let fan sentiment dictate personnel decisions. But if you're going to make unpopular moves -- and we sure know the Sox have done that a few times in recent years -- then you really should (a) be able to clearly communicate your plans, and (b) win, a lot, and as quickly as possible.