McAdam: Red Sox owners have met with Xander Bogaerts more than once in recent weeks to kickstart contract negotiations.

soxhop411

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Even before the Red Sox seek improvements from outside their organization, they acknowledged that retaining two of their own stars top their off-season to-do list. Xander Bogaerts can opt out of his current contract after the World Series, and Rafael Devers is under control for just one more season.

Addressing the Bogaerts matter first, chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said Thursday: "I never want to make public the blow-by-blow of negotiations. But what I can say is that that process is going to start right away.''
In fact, multiple sources have told BostonSportsJournal.com that it already has. The Red Sox have wasted little time getting to work on getting a new deal done with Bogaerts. The team, including principal owner John Henry and team chairman Tom Werner, has met with Bogaerts "several times,'' in the last week, a source said.

One source said no new proposals were exchanged at the meetings, which were conducted without the presence of Bogaerts' agent, Scott Boras. Rather, the meetings were held to emphasize to Bogaerts that the team wants to retain him and will make him its top priority.

Bogaerts is due to return home to Aruba within days, but his travel plans have been somewhat scuttled by forecasts of a tropical storm in the Caribbean. As late as Thursday night, there remained the possibility that the two sides could meet again before Bogaerts leaves Boston to return home. But by Thursday morning, another meeting seemed unlikely due to logistics.

At a press conference at Fenway in the aftermath of the team's last-place finish in the American League East, team president and CEO Sam Kennedy and Bloom made the team's priorities known.
https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2022/10/06/mcadam-red-sox-identify-re-signing-bogaerts-and-extending-devers-as-top-priorities-ownership-has-met-recently-with-bogaerts

Kind of shocking this is only being learned now.... and has not leaked prior to this
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Not that shocking to me (the lack of leaks part). Bogaerts made a point of not wanting to negotiate or talk contract during the season, so why would he or his side leak it, and if the ownership is sincere about bringing him back, why would they risk upsetting him by leaking it early? Probably helps that Boras wasn't directly involved.

I think it's pretty obvious where most of the leaks from the FO used to originate (Lucchino and his underlings/cronies). Theo hated it and Cherington tolerated it. Dombrowski probably had more independence and he was damn fast moving so leaks couldn't stay ahead of him anyway. I imagine Bloom is out of the same tight-lip, tight ship mold as Theo, and without LL around, lids stay on. As they should.
 

E5 Yaz

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Yeah, it's not shocking ... and it probably means little until the talks involve Boras. Unless X pulls a Tek and tells Boras to get the best deal the Red Sox will offer, he's going to opt out.
 

jon abbey

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Yeah, what is shocking? They didn't even make any concrete proposals, sounds like.
 

Harry Hooper

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Per Xander's interview with Rob Bradford yesterday, Xander said there had been no talks. The team feeling compelled to counter that narrative today raises all sorts of issues.
 

sezwho

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On the latest Carrabis podcast, Jared says the people he’s talked to about Bogaerts are optimistic that a deal can be done by the World Series.
That would be great: fill a hole, get some certainty, and set the stage for a strong (and much needed) offseason.
 

Van Everyman

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Per Xander's interview with Rob Bradford yesterday, Xander said there had been no talks. The team feeling compelled to counter that narrative today raises all sorts of issues.
What kind of issues? It’s all just words in the press. All that matters is that they’re talking which they apparently are.

I’m sort of interested in knowing whether Xander was in Chaim’s plans going into the year and whether that changed once the season blew up in their faces. Not that we’ll ever know.
 

teddywingman

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Get it done. Bogaerts needs to be here.

Best defensive season yet, and you know when the time comes, he can play any position. And despite the little power outage this season (injured I presume) he's shown to be a durable, reliable threat in the lineup.

Not resigning him will be a marketing disaster.
 

Sausage in Section 17

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It could be a case of splitting hairs ... no talks on contract details, but talks about how much they want him to stay.
Right. I don't think any Boras client would enter into any proposals independently. They haven't offered him a contract, so there's been no contract talks, but they've been talking. Seems like semantics.
 

RG33

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This is very reassuring. It would strike me as odd if they were doing this without the explicit intent of locking him up long-term.

I predict 6 years and $185M.
 

Harry Hooper

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Team is trying to get the player to sign on the line which is dotted, so dashing to the media to point out to Red Sox Nation that the player is lying seems counter-productive
 

DJnVa

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Team is trying to get the player to sign on the line which is dotted, so dashing to the media to point out to Red Sox Nation that the player is lying seems counter-productive
That seems like an uncharitable reading of things.
 

chrisfont9

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What kind of issues? It’s all just words in the press. All that matters is that they’re talking which they apparently are.

I’m sort of interested in knowing whether Xander was in Chaim’s plans going into the year and whether that changed once the season blew up in their faces. Not that we’ll ever know.
yeah, Bogaerts probably just assumes he shouldn't acknowledge any talks, that's his agent's job.I like the fact that they are sending strong signals to Bogey. Can't hurt.
 

burstnbloom

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Not if Bogaerts doesn't think so. Boras works for Bogaerts, not the other way around.
This strikes me as a letter of the law/spirit of the law read. I would think all parties would acknowledge exchanging numbers without Boras would be viewed as inappropriate by Boras. I don't think Red Sox ownership would attempt to do that.
 

lexrageorge

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Owners and Baseball Ops reaching out directly to Xander to express their willingness to engage in talks in the offseason seems like standard operating procedure for a team that wants to keep the player. How many times have we heard from departed free agents "You know, if they just reached out to me once I certainly would have considered staying...."?

Exchanging concrete proposals will not happen without Boras present, however.

Literally nothing in the media report indicates that the team is trying to throw the player under the bus or accuse Xander of lying.
 

sezwho

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What kind of issues? It’s all just words in the press. All that matters is that they’re talking which they apparently are.

I’m sort of interested in knowing whether Xander was in Chaim’s plans going into the year and whether that changed once the season blew up in their faces. Not that we’ll ever know.
I’m interested as well and equally sure we’ll never know. That said, if he isn’t resigned, I realize now I’ll assume he most likely never was in the plans. Maybe just a me thing.

The fact the Red Sox produced runs at a highly competitive rate (9th overall) in spite of the power outages makes me think Bloom feels better about this team generating runs than preventing them. That’s where his dollars (should?) go: pitching and defense. Sure there’s plenty to go around, but spending in 30m$ annual chunks makes it go pretty quick. It almost makes me rethink the latest JBJ tenure. Almost.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I’m interested as well and equally sure we’ll never know. That said, if he isn’t resigned, I realize now I’ll assume he most likely never was in the plans. Maybe just a me thing.

The fact the Red Sox produced runs at a highly competitive rate (9th overall) in spite of the power outages makes me think Bloom feels better about this team generating runs than preventing them. That’s where his dollars (should?) go: pitching and defense. Sure there’s plenty to go around, but spending in 30m$ annual chunks makes it go pretty quick. It almost makes me rethink the latest JBJ tenure. Almost.
I don’t know how to look it up or parse out the details, but the overall average of runs scored by the Sox in ‘22 is very misleading. We need a way to look at distribution. The offense was horribly inconsistent and seemed to pile on offense in wins.
I posted before that the Sox seemed like a NYY’s team of the 1960 WS against the Pirates. They piled on an insane amount of runs and heavily out scored them, but still lost.
You can argue that spread that across 162 games, the MFY’s 1960 would win much more….. but maybe not, and I suspect that’s what we’re seeing here.
The impatient, swing hard swing often approach I believe was exposed.
 

Madmartigan

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I could be wrong but I think bankshot is sarcastically referencing the lowball offer the Sox gave Jon Lester.

Edit: Jim Ed Rice beat me to it
 

YTF

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This strikes me as a letter of the law/spirit of the law read. I would think all parties would acknowledge exchanging numbers without Boras would be viewed as inappropriate by Boras. I don't think Red Sox ownership would attempt to do that.
Yeah, according to the OP no proposals were made. I'm sure that Bogaerts is interested in hearing first hand what sort of course the team is looking to take in the off season and if they are truly interested in bringing X back, they should be wanting to have that conversation with him. There's no real need for Boras to be involved in that.

Owners and Baseball Ops reaching out directly to Xander to express their willingness to engage in talks in the offseason seems like standard operating procedure for a team that wants to keep the player. How many times have we heard from departed free agents "You know, if they just reached out to me once I certainly would have considered staying...."?

Exchanging concrete proposals will not happen without Boras present, however.

Literally nothing in the media report indicates that the team is trying to throw the player under the bus or accuse Xander of lying.
Exactly this.
 

nvalvo

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I don’t know how to look it up or parse out the details, but the overall average of runs scored by the Sox in ‘22 is very misleading. We need a way to look at distribution. The offense was horribly inconsistent and seemed to pile on offense in wins.
I posted before that the Sox seemed like a NYY’s team of the 1960 WS against the Pirates. They piled on an insane amount of runs and heavily out scored them, but still lost.
You can argue that spread that across 162 games, the MFY’s 1960 would win much more….. but maybe not, and I suspect that’s what we’re seeing here.
The impatient, swing hard swing often approach I believe was exposed.
This can be the result of an untrustworthy bullpen, if you think about it. One way of looking at the dynamic you describe — an unusual proportion of runs scored in blowouts — is that there are missing low-scoring wins.

If our bullpen turned a bunch of winnable close games into close losses, that would skews the distribution of offensive results between wins and losses, giving us a few extra, say 5-3 losses where we lost a 3-2 lead in the eighth. If we win 10-4, the bullpen doesn't really factor, even if we may have led 10-1 in the seventh or something.

Think about that last Yankee series. We were swept in four games, despite only being mildly outscored: 5-4, 5-4, 7-5, 2-0, or 19-13. That's actually a pretty consistent offense: 4, 4, 5, 0, isn't terrible, especially when the last game was cut short by rain and the opponent has a 119 ERA+ as a pitching staff. In the first three games, the bullpen gave up the decisive runs in the 7th inning or later — i.e. we were at least tied in the late innings. But the Yankees' pen did a better job holding close games than ours did, so we get four close losses and no close wins. Looked at from their perspective, their deep and effective bullpen helped them turn a 6-run advantage in run differential into a 4-0 advantage in wins and losses. Ours... didn't.
 

chrisfont9

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This is very reassuring. It would strike me as odd if they were doing this without the explicit intent of locking him up long-term.

I predict 6 years and $185M.
Ooh, that's a good number. I don't think too many people would be upset about that, and it's not too likely he'd get much more on the open market. Maybe another team would add a year or two, or options to that effect, and maybe an opt-out, but the AAV of (almost) $31m sounds in line.
 

ponch73

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I'm not going to lie. I'm extremely wary of the Sox brass' sudden eagerness to re-sign Xander long-term. I worry that it will the big Pedroia contract all over again. Beloved homegrown middle infielder with offensive numbers boosted by Fenway entering the decline phase of his career. Signs big deal with Sox with presumed hometown discount. Contract becomes an albatross in a few years (and, to be fair to Pedroia, he was less to blame for the rapid decline than Manny Machado and his contract extension was much less egregious because it was struck before he could become a free agent).

Xander OPS by year (Overall/Home/Road)

2019: .939 / 1.001 / .877
2020: .867 / .799 / .936 (only 225 PA and 56 games played)
2021: .863 / .937 / .796
2022: .833 / .886 / .779

Xander SLG by year (Overall/Home/Road)

2019: .555 / .592 / .518
2020: .502 / .451 / .555
2021: .493 / .553 / .438
2022: .456 / .504 / .407

Xander Exit Velocity by year

2019: 91.1
2020: 89.0
2021: 89.6
2022: 88.1

Xander Hard Hit % by year

2019: 47.3%
2020: 37.0%
2021: 43.1%
2022: 39.6%

Is a 30 year old future 3B/LF with progressively-declining offensive numbers really worth a long-term deal with an AAV of $25-30 million?
 
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brandonchristensen

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I'm not going to lie. I'm extremely wary of the Sox brass' sudden eagerness to re-sign Xander long-term. I worry that it will the big Pedroia contract all over again. Beloved homegrown middle infielder with offensive numbers boosted by Fenway entering the decline phase of his career. Signs big deal with Sox with presumed hometown discount. Contract becomes an albatross in a few years (and, to be fair to Pedroia, he was less to blame for the rapid decline than Manny Machado and his contract extension was struck before he could become a free agent).

Xander OPS by year (Overall/Home/Road)

2019: .939 / 1.001 / .877
2020: .867 / .799 / .936 (only 225 PA and 56 games played)
2021: .863 / .937 / .796
2022: .833 / .886 / .779

Xander SLG by year (Overall/Home/Road)

2019: .555 / .592 / .518
2020: .502 / .451 / .555
2021: .493 / .553 / .438
2022: .456 / .504 / .407

Is a 30 year old future 3B/LF with progressively-declining offensive numbers really worth a long-term deal with an AAV of $25-30 million?
If it's 4 years I'm fine with it. 5 maybe.
 

ponch73

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If it's 4 years I'm fine with it. 5 maybe.
Is it the best use of scarce resources? Yes, we have a ton of money coming off the books, but we also have a lot of deficiencies to address this offseason. And, hopefully, we'll have Mayer up in 3 years.
 
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OCD SS

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I'm not going to lie. I'm extremely wary of the Sox brass' sudden eagerness to re-sign Xander long-term. I worry that it will the big Pedroia contract all over again. Beloved homegrown middle infielder with offensive numbers boosted by Fenway entering the decline phase of his career. Signs big deal with Sox with presumed hometown discount. Contract becomes an albatross in a few years (and, to be fair to Pedroia, he was less to blame for the rapid decline than Manny Machado and his contract extension was much less egregious because it was struck before he could become a free agent).

Xander OPS by year (Overall/Home/Road)

2019: .939 / 1.001 / .877
2020: .867 / .799 / .936 (only 225 PA and 56 games played)
2021: .863 / .937 / .796
2022: .833 / .886 / .779

Xander SLG by year (Overall/Home/Road)

2019: .555 / .592 / .518
2020: .502 / .451 / .555
2021: .493 / .553 / .438
2022: .456 / .504 / .407

Xander Exit Velocity by year

2019: 91.1
2020: 89.0
2021: 89.6
2022: 88.1

Xander Hard Hit % by year

2019: 47.3%
2020: 37.0%
2021: 43.1%
2022: 39.6%

Is a 30 year old future 3B/LF with progressively-declining offensive numbers really worth a long-term deal with an AAV of $25-30 million?
I’ve been thinking the same thing; if we want to frame it within the history of other discussions then the question is “when do opt outs benefit the team?”

The answer is "When the player opts out and the team is able get out of the back end/ decline phase of the contract." The team just has to be disciplined enough to walk away the proverbial year too early.

This is complicated in Xander's case by the team clearly wanting to be competitive and the players they might otherwise sign are not likely to present much in the way of payroll savings or a shorter commitment. Correa is looking to set the market if he opts out, Turner is the same age as Xander and looking for his first big payday, and Swanson will probably have a number of suitors who will drive up the price in years/ dollars... Worse for a long term extension (other than the offensive decline) is that the positions he would move to are filled (or should be as the team should be locking up Devers at 3B), so there's no way to ease him out to pasture unless the plan is to shift him DH (but again, offensive decline).
 

snowmanny

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I'm not going to lie. I'm extremely wary of the Sox brass' sudden eagerness to re-sign Xander long-term. I worry that it will the big Pedroia contract all over again. Beloved homegrown middle infielder with offensive numbers boosted by Fenway entering the decline phase of his career. Signs big deal with Sox with presumed hometown discount. Contract becomes an albatross in a few years (and, to be fair to Pedroia, he was less to blame for the rapid decline than Manny Machado and his contract extension was much less egregious because it was struck before he could become a free agent).

Xander OPS by year (Overall/Home/Road)

2019: .939 / 1.001 / .877
2020: .867 / .799 / .936 (only 225 PA and 56 games played)
2021: .863 / .937 / .796
2022: .833 / .886 / .779

Xander SLG by year (Overall/Home/Road)

2019: .555 / .592 / .518
2020: .502 / .451 / .555
2021: .493 / .553 / .438
2022: .456 / .504 / .407

Xander Exit Velocity by year

2019: 91.1
2020: 89.0
2021: 89.6
2022: 88.1

Xander Hard Hit % by year

2019: 47.3%
2020: 37.0%
2021: 43.1%
2022: 39.6%

Is a 30 year old future 3B/LF with progressively-declining offensive numbers really worth a long-term deal with an AAV of $25-30 million?
His OPS+ has been in a very tight pocket for five years, between 128 and 139. 131 this year.

Overall AL OPS was .762 in 2019, .731 in 2021 and .701 in 2022. So there are other factors at play in the raw numbers you cite.

This year he also led AL SS on Fangraphs WAR at 6.1, with Seager second at 4.5 and Correa below that.

A long-term contract is risky with anyone and I would be cautious if I were the Sox, but his "drop-off" seems overstated - especially relative to other SS - and it is hard for me to envision how they are a better team in 2023 without Xander.
 

lexrageorge

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Bogaerts isn’t opting out of a 4 year deal with the Red Sox to sign a 4 year deal with the Red Sox.
He's opting out because he will be guaranteed more dough with a new 4 year deal than the money remaining on his existing deal.

Personally, I wouldn't go longer than 5 years. If he walks to a team offering 8-10, so be it. He's not a player we need to see struggle at age 39.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Sure, but I don’t think there’s any chance in hell he’s settling for a four year deal. If he does, his market will have collapsed and he likely won’t return to the Sox on that kind of deal. I think 6/7 is the minimum length to get a deal done. Semien (also a Boras corp client) signed a 7/175M deal which started in his age 31 season; I think that’s a reasonable comp although I’m sure Boras will argue that X is worth more.
 

Otis Foster

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Is a 30 year old future 3B/LF with progressively-declining offensive numbers really worth a long-term deal with an AAV of $25-30 million?
I seldom comment but I am concerned about the pressures on the RS in dealing with Bogaerts.

Taking all of this out of context - homegrown talent, good clubhouse guy by all reports, the overhang of the Betts fiasco, bad year for Bloom - and simply treating X as another free agent without these accessory factors, how far would the RS go, taking into account his projected decline be? Maybe you'd put a finger on the scale for what he means in the clubhouse, so tack on a year for that, but still - 5 years with some kind of mutual option for 6?

This is also complicated by the fact that he's never produced like an archetypical DH and the positions he could move to more easily once he declines - 1st, 2d, 3rd - are filled for the next number of years. (Fingers crossed on Devers.) Could he adapt to the outfield, and what do his numbers look like measured in that matrix? is he just another guy in left field?.

I love Bogey and what he's done for the RS but nostalgia and sentimentality almost always leads to bad results. .
 

RG33

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His OPS+ has been in a very tight pocket for five years, between 128 and 139. 131 this year.

Overall AL OPS was .762 in 2019, .731 in 2021 and .701 in 2022. So there are other factors at play in the raw numbers you cite.

This year he also led AL SS on Fangraphs WAR at 6.1, with Seager second at 4.5 and Correa below that.

A long-term contract is risky with anyone and I would be cautious if I were the Sox, but his "drop-off" seems overstated - especially relative to other SS - and it is hard for me to envision how they are a better team in 2023 without Xander.
Thank you, was coming to post this, as it is important context I think.

I understand people’s concerns with extending out past 4-5 years for a 30-year old shortstop, but that is just the cost of doing business in free agency. Yes, we are going to overpay in years or dollars to keep him from leaving. Yes, we will likely be *stuck* with 2-3 years on the back end of a declining player. Yes, we will likely be overpaying a 3B or LF at some point after 3 years if we sign him.

To me, that can all be understood and still have it be a great signing. You get to lock up an all-time great Red Sox and ensure he retires here, you get another 3-4 elite years out of him hopefully, and you are able to fortunately absorb the “overpay” of not signing the perfect contract or having the perfectly efficient salary-to-position-to-value ratio at the end of the deal because you are a big market team who a $30m contract in 2027-2029 is not going to hamper from doing what you need to do.

It won’t be a “win” for the Red Sox as a contract, but it still feels like a no-brainer to sign him to me.