The San Diego Padres and free-agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts have agreed on an 11-year, $280 million contract, Major League sources confirmed. The athletic. MLB Network’s Jon Heyman was the first to report the news. Here’s what you need to know:
- Bogaerts hit .307/.377/.456 last season with 73 RBI’s and 15 homeruns in 150 games.
- He got up at number 5 The athletic‘s Keith Law’s list of the best free agents of 2022-23.
- Bogaerts pulled out of the last three years and $60 million of his Red Sox contract on November 7 to become a free agent.
With the signing, Bogaerts is expected to continue playing shortstop, while Ha-Seong Kim plays second base, Jake Croneworth plays first base and Fernando Tatis Jr. plays second base. goes to the outfield.
Bogaerts is coming off a platform year that’s a bit off his standards, as he didn’t hit 20 home runs for the first time in a full season since 2017, but played his best defense ever at shortstop. Bogaerts, who turned 30 on October 1, had his best defensive season according to advanced statistics – it was only his second year with a positive Outs Above Average number, at plus-5.
The boost in his defensive production makes up for the loss in his hard contact, but the likely trend for all players in their 30s is for defensive value to decrease and for them to move down the defensive spectrum.
The immediate motivation of Padres
The Padres considered Bogaerts the best hitter among the Big 4 shortstops in this free-agent class. Trea Turner, as evidenced by a failed $342 million bid, was their top priority. Next, San Diego had a sparkling but brief fling with Aaron Judge.
After going 0-for-2 on superstar goals, general manager AJ Preller would not be denied a third time. By agreeing to a surprisingly hefty commitment to Bogaerts, the Padres far outclassed the competition. The Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox’s offers for their long-term shortstop were less than $200 million. – Lin
Other threatening factors for San Diego
At this point, no sweepstakes seem too outlandish for the Padres. But their undeniable desire to impress was partly driven by future considerations. In light of recent nine-figure contracts, it seems increasingly likely that Manny Machado will retire after the 2023 season and perhaps pursue another $300 million in payday.
The Padres realize that renewing Juan Soto, the most talented 24-year-old hitter in the sport, could be a gamble. San Diego should benefit for at least one season from one of the most powerful offensive foursomes in baseball: Soto, Machado, Bogaerts and Fernando Tatis Jr. – Lin
Would this have made sense for the Red Sox?
In many ways, Bogaerts was the heart and soul of the Red Sox, but at one point this deal made no sense to the Red Sox, not so much for the $280 million, but for the 11-year term. While there was clear optimism from the Red Sox earlier in the day that they were working towards a deal, prescient chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said when asked about a timeline for working on a Bogaerts deal, “I don’t know. It wouldn’t be for me to say, but I think the game teaches you not to speculate too much about those things.”
Earlier in the week, the Red Sox narrowly missed out on free agent deals for Zach Eflin, Andrew Heaney and Tommy Kanhle, but this takes it to a whole new level. After a productive day with current or pending deals for Chris Martin, Kenley Jansen and Masataka Yoshida, ending the meetings in this way brings the club closer again. —Jennings
What’s next for Boston
The Red Sox now have several questions to answer, mainly: What do they do from here? Who will they chase in brief? Dansby Swanson or Carlos Correa in free agency? A trade? Or will they shift Kiké Hernandez or Trevor Story to shortstop and fill a gap in the outfield or second base instead? How do they fill Bogaerts’ gap in the middle of the line-up? – Jennings
(Photo: Winslow Townson/Getty Images)