To conclude our look at the four major free agent shortstops on the market this winter, let’s take a look at Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts is under contract in Boston for the next three years at $20 million per year, but is widely expected to opt out of that deal, as is his right under his contract, and become a free agent. So you’d think he’s figuring he can get more than that on an AAV basis, either that or more than the $60 million total he’s owed over the next three seasons. (There’s a fourth-year vesting option in that deal that vests at $20 million if Bogaerts has at least 535 PAs in 2025 and finishes the year healthy.)
Anyway, what sort of deal could bring Bogaerts to the Cubs? He turned 30 earlier this month, so he’s the “oldest” of all the FA shortstops, though I put “oldest” in quotes because Bogaerts has been generally healthy his entire career and a five- or six-year deal could still be in the cards for him.
He appears to have had his two best offensive seasons in 2018 and 2019, when he had SLG of .522 (2018) and .555 (2019) respectively. His power numbers have been down somewhat since then, with his overall SLG from 2020-22 at .479. In 2022 he batted .307/.377/.456 (171-for-557) with 38 doubles and 15 home runs.
He’s also one of the three finalists for a Gold Glove at shortstop in the American League this year, along with Carlos Correa and Jeremy Pena. His defensive numbers were always decent, not great, but he took a step forward in 2022. Will that continue? Who knows?
Jim Bowden of The Athletic has Bogaerts going to the Mariners for seven years and $196 million. Do you think he’s worth that in dollars or years or both? Bogaerts turned down a 4/90 offer from the Red Sox earlier this year, an AAV of $22.5 million, which obviously isn’t enough.
What about six years, $180 million? Would a slightly higher AAV than the 7/196 noted above do it?
This poll is closed
... the Cubs should sign him to a deal like the one proposed in the article
... the Cubs should sign him, but it will cost more in years or dollars or both
... the Cubs should not sign him
Something else (leave in comments)