Red Sox in ‘heavy arguments’ with Xander Bogaerts

The Red Sox and shortstop Xander Bogaerts meet this morning acc Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. The sides are in “heavy discussions,” it says Jon Heyman of the New York Post.

Bogaerts, of course, has spent his entire career with the Sox, having been signed as an amateur in 2009. He worked his way up to the majors by 2013 and had a great breakout season in 2015, firmly establishing himself as the club’s Sox shortstop. He has held the job since then, completing at least 134 short starts in each full season as of 2015, as well as 52 starts in 2020.

Bogaerts signed a contract extension in 2019 with the club, which was widely regarded as very team-friendly. It had the potential to keep Bogaerts in Boston until 2026, but also offered him the option to opt out after 2022. Bogaerts has just kept going in the four years since signing that extension, hitting 82 homers and producing an overall batting line of .304/.376/.503 from 2019 through 2022. This level of production has made it clear for some time that Bogaerts would drop out, which may be the reason is that the Sox went out and grabbed Trevor story in free agency a year ago. The club reportedly made a feeble attempt at another extension for Bogaerts back in April, but that came to nothing and Bogaerts eventually dropped out.

Boston Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom has continued to insist that keeping Bogaerts is a priority for the club, although Bogaerts appears to be getting more interest from other clubs like the Padres, Cubs, Phillies and Diamondbacks. However, it’s possible that there’s a little more urgency for a reunion now. As Abraham notes, there was a call between Boston’s owners and executives last night, the content of which may have led to today’s meetings.

Bogaerts entered the free hand alongside as one of the ‘big four’ shortstops Carlo Correa, Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson. Turner has already stepped down from the board and has secured an 11-year, $300 million contract with the Phillies. MLBTR projected Bogaerts would be paid $189 million over seven years, or $27 million per season. However, the market has generally been strong so far this off-season, with most players at times significantly beating their forecasts.

The Sox have been primarily active in the aid market, he added Kenley Jansen, Chris Martin and Joely Rodriguez to her bullpen. These stores brought their 2023 payroll to $157 million per roster resource, with a competitive balance sheet tax calculation of $177 million. The Sox paid the luxury tax this year, but would still fall short of next year’s $233 million mark even if they added nearly $30 million in a Bogaerts deal. However, by moving in 2022, they have affected their pay if Bogaerts signs elsewhere. Because he received and declined a qualifying offer, the Red Sox would earn a draft pick if he joined another team, but their CBT payer status increases after round four when it would otherwise have been close to round three.

Should a deal go through, it’s likely the club would use a similar infield mix to last year, with Xander short, Story on second and Devers on third. Devers is entering his wandering year, which means it’s possible a similar “will they make it” situation play out next year with him instead of Bogaerts. For 2023, however, a Bogaerts signing would likely move forward Enrique Hernandez back to midfield on a full-time basis, giving the club less of a place to worry about.

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