By Adam Thompson | | 7 mins
Xander Bogaerts Free Agency Odds: Red Sox SS To Stay On East Coast?
Xander Bogaerts batted .307 with 15 home runs, 73 RBIs and 84 runs scored for a Red Sox team that finished in last place in the American League East – not a place the proud franchise expects to end up.
The four-time All-Star shortstop is on the market after opting out of the final three years of his deal with Boston that would have paid him $60 million. That’s a lot of dough, though analysts predict he could get seven more years and upwards of $190 million on the open market.
Boston’s three-hole hitter in '21-22 could be a key player for any number of teams, including the Red Sox. Two years ago, Boston traded Mookie Betts, rather than giving him a massive contract in free agency. That looks like a bad decision now.
Will Boston pay Bogaerts? Or let him walk and face the wrath of a rabid fan base still angry about how Boston handled the Betts situation? Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson revealed his odds as to where Bogaerts ends up for 2023.
Bogaerts is 30 years of age, so the reported seven years he’s seeking on the next deal is likely his final one. He’s been with the Red Sox since he was 20. It’s the only team he’s ever played for.
Boston wants him back. Executive Chaim Bloom said bringing Bogaerts back is the top priority this offseason. Boston has $63 million in payroll heading into this offseason, so the funds are there to make a competitive deal.
That said, they do have Trevor Story, who can move back to short stop from his current spot at second base, and a complete overhaul of a squad not meeting expectations isn’t out of the question.
MLB.com has reported the Phillies have a real interest in Bogaerts. They’ve also shown a real interest in free agent Trea Turner, who would be the better, and more expensive, of the two options. The Phillies likely consider Turner more of a final piece to win a World Series. Their head of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, held the same position with the Sox from 2015-19.
The Cubs have made it clear they’re ready to spend some money, and improving at SS is at the top of their plans for the offseason. They’ve already inquired about Bogaerts, who may be interested in becoming a “face of the franchise” type guy in Chicago.
The Angels, who are always throwing money at problems in a desperate attempt to contend, need a SS. The idea of living in L.A. for the Aruba native, and batting in a lineup that features Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani, should be enticing.
The Braves are hoping to re-sign their own SS, Dansby Swanson, but Bogaerts could be a slightly cheaper Plan B. The Twins already lost their star SS, Carlos Correa, to a player opt out, but Minnesota now has the funds to ink someone else at possibly over market value.
The Field includes other legitimate teams aiming to make a statement with a huge need at the position, including the Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks.