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

OCD SS

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Probably not something they can do this year, but in 2024 they could decide to play Rafaela at SS until Mayer is ready. That would still require them to have a CF, but Rafaela is a pretty good SS. He's a better CF but he's good at short.
Depending on who signs for what, we’ll see just how much SS Kike winds up playing next year. So far Rafaela looks like he could step on as defense 1st CF IN 2024, but he seems at the very least a solid defender who can hold down spots until Mayer and Bleis develop. He can be more if he can improve his pitch recognition and plate discipline.
 

grimshaw

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What is the relevance of all this? It sort of sounds as if you’d be more likely to be ok with paying whatever the going rate for Correa might be, but not ok with paying the going rate for Xander. Because you expect Correa to be better.

Would you pay appreciably more for Correa than for Xander? Historically the speculation has been that Correa would get a higher AAV and more years. Would you pay the going rate for either?

I’d much rather have Xander at 27.5 x 6 than Correa at 35 x 8. But who knows what the actual numbers will look like.
I would too. I thought with Correa being an all world defender in 2021, that if his bat held steady he'd be an MVP candidate. Instead he went from that to having a low rated defensive season, and it makes 2021 look more like an outlier on the field.

Honestly, I only brought Correa up in the first place because I think X is very underrated here and not seen in that tier. Hell, if you go back from 2016, X still has the offensive edge in wOBA, all three triple slashes and by far is the better base runner which has a greater impact when your .obp is near the top of the league. The defense is obviously hugely the other way.
 
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YTF

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Is 5/160 that much different than 7/175 from a team building perspective? Are those last 2 years going to kill the sox, especially if the contract is front loaded? It's $15 million more total, but it's $7 million less annually.

At 5/150 I'd probably sign him, yet 5/160 gives me pause. I guess there has to be a limit, but 2 years and $15 million for a home grown talent to finish out his career in Boston seems like a nothingburger. Yet I probably wouldn't.
Not picking on the poster here, but this sort of mentality eats at me. We've no idea what sort of impact (if any) that added years and $$$ will have the team. Generally speaking, we want Devers extended, we want a solution to the corner OF situation, we'd like to see a top tier arm in the rotation and possibly in the pen as well. Guess what, we're always going to want these types of signings. How many here thought JDM was tying up a roster spot this season? How many were complaining about wasted payroll dollars? Tie up that sort of money for a couple of extra years on a player who might be impacting the team's financial flexibility or tying up a roster slot and we'll see how much of a nothingburger it is.
 

dhappy42

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Assuming X will gracefully change position, to 3B or LF after two or three years, what’s the longest contract you would offer him?
 

chawson

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Assuming X will gracefully change position, to 3B or LF after two or three years, what’s the longest contract you would offer him?
Xander is a smart guy and seems to me like a fairly sensitive one. As he weighs offers, I'm sure he'll consider the difference between aging into his decline years in Boston, where he'd do so a minor legend like Pedroia, and doing that in another city. In, say, Chicago, he might encounter a chillier fanbase and less opportunity for a kind of leadership role in 2025-26. A lot of Cubs fans aren't terribly fond of Jason Heyward.

That factor applies to Dansby Swanson, too, who I can't imagine leaves a team set up to perennially contend as well as Atlanta, and that’s putting aside that it's his hometown.

All of which is to say, I think Xander wants to stay, and stays for less than we think. I think his contract will have to be higher than Story's, but not by especially much. He's already said he's fine with moving off position, and he knows if he signs here that that day will come when Mayer is promoted. I'm predicting something in the 6/$150 range — three years of an elite shortstop (3/$90) and three years of a solid-hitting, adequate-fielding left fielder in his age 33-35 seasons (let's say McCutchen's Philly deal, 3/$50), plus another $10-15 million for inflation.

If it gets much higher than that, there’s a better argument for ponying up for Correa, who gives you two more prime years at the top of the deal.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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There’s no point in determining what position he needs to move to until there’s someone viable to replace him. Hell, a few months ago the consensus was that Story should be playing SS, now nobody thinks he even can. Worry about switching positions when and if it’s a real thing. Sox should offer X the Semien deal (7/$175), the captainship, and try to get a deal done quickly. If he waffles or is looking for more, than I think you have to move on.
 

Van Everyman

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Is that Stick to Your Gameplan NFL as the Miami Miracle? Is that X who crashes into another X at the goal line a ooor hobbled Gronk?
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

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There’s no point in determining what position he needs to move to until there’s someone viable to replace him. Hell, a few months ago the consensus was that Story should be playing SS, now nobody thinks he even can. Worry about switching positions when and if it’s a real thing. Sox should offer X the Semien deal (7/$175), the captainship, and try to get a deal done quickly. If he waffles or is looking for more, than I think you have to move on.
Determining the position is unnecessary before the contract is signed. A willingness to move off shortstop at some point in the future absolutely has to be part of the conversation.
 

chawson

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There’s no point in determining what position he needs to move to until there’s someone viable to replace him. Hell, a few months ago the consensus was that Story should be playing SS, now nobody thinks he even can. Worry about switching positions when and if it’s a real thing. Sox should offer X the Semien deal (7/$175), the captainship, and try to get a deal done quickly. If he waffles or is looking for more, than I think you have to move on.
I agree with this in principle, but there’s a limited number of positions in question that he could move to, right? Story’s got second and neither party can talk in good faith about him switching to third. Casas seems entrenched at first.

It’s strange to pencil Xander into left field at any point, but that’s the timeline where the incumbent (Verdugo) is slated to leave on the timeline a new shortstop comes up. It seems from here like maybe the position change least likely to be disruptive.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I get all that, but until there’s someone ready to replace Bogaerts at SS, why bring it up? It seems premature and overly speculative. I think the team should take their assessment of his ability to remain at SS into thier internal evaluation of him - but making it a key part of their negotiation with him seems unlikely to go over well, especially when their will be other teams blowing smoke up his ass and telling him he can play SS forever.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I agree with this in principle, but there’s a limited number of positions in question that he could move to, right? Story’s got second and neither party can talk in good faith about him switching to third. Casas seems entrenched at first.

It’s strange to pencil Xander into left field at any point, but that’s the timeline where the incumbent (Verdugo) is slated to leave on the timeline a new shortstop comes up. It seems from here like maybe the position change least likely to be disruptive.
There's also DH. I think Petegine is on the right track that there doesn't need to be any discussion of specific future positions. I think the key is that if Bogaerts wants a long term contract, it can't come with any promises or expectations that he'll be a shortstop for the entirety of the deal. That doesn't mean the Sox have to insist he be willing to change at some indeterminate time, but it also means there can't be any misunderstanding on Bogaerts' part that he can cling to the position Jeter-style if/when a defensively superior player/prospect enters the picture.
 

chawson

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There's also DH. I think Petegine is on the right track that there doesn't need to be any discussion of specific future positions. I think the key is that if Bogaerts wants a long term contract, it can't come with any promises or expectations that he'll be a shortstop for the entirety of the deal. That doesn't mean the Sox have to insist he be willing to change at some indeterminate time, but it also means there can't be any misunderstanding on Bogaerts' part that he can cling to the position Jeter-style if/when a defensively superior player/prospect enters the picture.
Sure, but if Bloom values the back half of Bogaerts’ new contract as though he’s locking in a 115 wRC+ bat at DH for 3-4 years, wouldn’t that be reflected in his offer?

Plus there’s whatever he’d value the opportunity cost of not having the DH available in any Devers negotiations.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Who knows, worry about it when you get there. How many of John Henry, Chaim Bloom, and Alex Cora will be with the org in 5-7 years, anyways?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Not for nothing, the "Worry about it when you get there" philosophy has been something that fans here have been griping about all season.
Talking about a hypothetical position change several years down the road just seems pointless to me; who knows what will happen, and no one who could propose something now is likely to be around when it would even happen. Hell, it’s not like something they need the players permission to do anyways, and I really don’t see how it helps any negotiation lead to a deal .
 

moondog80

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Guys can get traded. Having too many good SS, if that's how it ends up, is a great problem to have.
 

dhappy42

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Talking about a hypothetical position change several years down the road just seems pointless to me; who knows what will happen, and no one who could propose something now is likely to be around when it would even happen. Hell, it’s not like something they need the players permission to do anyways, and I really don’t see how it helps any negotiation lead to a deal .
Respectfully disagree. If you are going to offer a 30-year-old SS an 8+ year contract you have to consider where they’ll play if/when their fielding skills decline.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Respectfully disagree. If you are going to offer a 30-year-old SS an 8+ year contract you have to consider where they’ll play if/when their fielding skills decline.
I get that the current management needs to map out all kinds of hypotheticals but I’m not sure what feedback they need from the player, now, about a situation which or may not occur many years from now and which a player really doesn’t need to endorse or provide permission for.

I think that whomever is in charge when such a move is deemed necessary should make that call- but trying to get the player to agree to it now serves no purpose and seems only likely to piss him off.
 

Ganthem

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I get that the current management needs to map out all kinds of hypotheticals but I’m not sure what feedback they need from the player, now, about a situation which or may not occur many years from now and which a player really doesn’t need to endorse or provide permission for.

I think that whomever is in charge when such a move is deemed necessary should make that call- but trying to get the player to agree to it now serves no purpose and seems only likely to piss him off.
I partially agree with you. There is no way to know what this team will look like even two years down the road. When X needs to move, he moves to where there is an opening. Maybe that is third, maybe that is DH or maybe X is chronically injured or no longer effective and is relegated to being a bench player. That being said, the front office should not just starting throwing eight year deals at a player because hey it won't be their problem. If they really want X they should do their best to sign him, but not get overly crazy.
 

YTF

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I get that the current management needs to map out all kinds of hypotheticals but I’m not sure what feedback they need from the player, now, about a situation which or may not occur many years from now and which a player really doesn’t need to endorse or provide permission for.

I think that whomever is in charge when such a move is deemed necessary should make that call- but trying to get the player to agree to it now serves no purpose and seems only likely to piss him off.
Are people advocating that the player agree to anything? You don't think it's a good idea for a discussion to be had? I mean Marcelo Mayer is the the elephant in the room here. Both sides know it, but it shouldn't be discussed? And seriously, let the next guy worry about it? I wonder if that's what the last guy was thinking when he extended Sale.
 

Apisith

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Are people advocating that the player agree to anything? You don't think it's a good idea for a discussion to be had? I mean Marcelo Mayer is the the elephant in the room here. Both sides know it, but it shouldn't be discussed? And seriously, let the next guy worry about it? I wonder if that's what the last guy was thinking when he extended Sale.
A study was released a couple of years ago, which showed that the median WAR from the 4th pick is something like 4-5 WAR. Until Mayer is in AAA and shows that he can handle it, we shouldn't plan around him. 4-5 WAR is what Xander puts up every year. This is not my endorsement - as if it matters - for giving Xander a 6 or 7-year deal. My preference is Correa because he's a better defender and he's younger.
 

OCD SS

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A study was released a couple of years ago, which showed that the median WAR from the 4th pick is something like 4-5 WAR. Until Mayer is in AAA and shows that he can handle it, we shouldn't plan around him. 4-5 WAR is what Xander puts up every year. This is not my endorsement - as if it matters - for giving Xander a 6 or 7-year deal. My preference is Correa because he's a better defender and he's younger.
No prospect measured by median results of their draft position is going to stack up to what a player like Bogarts has done in his career so far (even if you looked at the 1/1 slot, where Mayer would have gone based on talent), but that’s not what we’re trying to figure out. We’re looking at what X is likely to do going forward to the new contract term: do you think he stays at SS and remains a 4-5 win player into his 30’s? Likewise the reason we have scouts is to assess Mayer as an individual and what he is either likely to do or has the potential to do in the next 4-6 years.
 

Pat Spillane

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At his age and with him already shoing signs of slight regression there is a high potential for this to ba an albatross contract pretty quickly. Devers is the one I would be concentrating on
 
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The discussion about moving off shortstop absolutely has to be part of the conversation now. But I think this is more because there is no internal 3B replacement, but there is one for SS. If Devers can't be resigned or, if Devers is resigned and his defense detetriorates. X to 3B and Mayer (or Rafaella) to SS is the most likely outcome unless they replace Devers with a FA.
 

Jimbodandy

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There is no elephant in the room. There is no such thing as too many great shortstops.

If Mayer is so good that the combination of his excellence and Xander's tailing off defensively at short in a couple of years forces the issue, then that's an good problem to have with multiple positive outcomes.
 

zougwa

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Bogaerts is already one of the older full-time shortstops in MLB. (Among those who played over 1,000 innings in the position in 2022, only Elvis Andrus and Miguel Rojas are older.)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/majors/2022-specialpos_ss-fielding.shtml

Obviously, he wants to be paid like a shortstop. That’s where the value is, so it’s part of the negotiating game. He’s also an intelligent person who is likely aware that teams tend not to stick with older players at shortstop, and he’s been playing for an organization that has taken pains to line up other options down the road.

If it’s really a sticking point that he remain at the position 2-3 years into the contract, that seems awfully naïve. Athletes are proud creatures, but I don’t gather that Bogaerts thinks so highly of himself as to think he’s entitled to remain there even as better options emerge, no matter what team he is on.
 

chrisfont9

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At his age and with him already shoing signs of slight regression there is a high potential for this to ba an albatross contract pretty quickly. Devers is the one I would be concentrating on
Dunno, his oWAR was identical the last two seasons, just below his career high, and his defense improved. I don't think the stats say it would be an albatross all that quickly. Obviously it's anyone's guess but if he gets 6 years, I bet you at least three of them are well worth it.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Bogaerts is already one of the older full-time shortstops in MLB. (Among those who played over 1,000 innings in the position in 2022, only Elvis Andrus and Miguel Rojas are older.)
https://www.baseball-reference.com/leagues/majors/2022-specialpos_ss-fielding.shtml

Obviously, he wants to be paid like a shortstop. That’s where the value is, so it’s part of the negotiating game. He’s also an intelligent person who is likely aware that teams tend not to stick with older players at shortstop, and he’s been playing for an organization that has taken pains to line up other options down the road.

If it’s really a sticking point that he remain at the position 2-3 years into the contract, that seems awfully naïve. Athletes are proud creatures, but I don’t gather that Bogaerts thinks so highly of himself as to think he’s entitled to remain there even as better options emerge, no matter what team he is on.
It's at least interesting and has to be underlying the Sox offer. Ideally he'd get paid what "he" thinks he's worth at the front end (3 years as a SS) and then hopefully the Sox are able to make him realize that he'd be getting paid the last 4 years as a likely corner outfielder at best. So $30/30/30/25/25/25/25 totaling $190K over 7 years for $27.5AAV? That seems fair. His age is definitely going to be working against him and I don't see any other team out there that will value him as an elite SS by his age 34 season
 

joe dokes

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It's at least interesting and has to be underlying the Sox offer. Ideally he'd get paid what "he" thinks he's worth at the front end (3 years as a SS) and then hopefully the Sox are able to make him realize that he'd be getting paid the last 4 years as a likely corner outfielder at best. So $30/30/30/25/25/25/25 totaling $190K over 7 years for $27.5AAV? That seems fair. His age is definitely going to be working against him and I don't see any other team out there that will value him as an elite SS by his age 34 season
Ehh, just pay him like a SS, and this:

Obviously, he wants to be paid like a shortstop. That’s where the value is, so it’s part of the negotiating game. He’s also an intelligent person who is likely aware that teams tend not to stick with older players at shortstop, and he’s been playing for an organization that has taken pains to line up other options down the road.
If it’s really a sticking point that he remain at the position 2-3 years into the contract, even though he's not good enough to do so anymore, that seems awfully naïve. Athletes are proud creatures, but I don’t gather that Bogaerts thinks so highly of himself as to think he’s entitled to remain there even as better options emerge, no matter what team he is on.
Slight fix.
 

dhappy42

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It's at least interesting and has to be underlying the Sox offer. Ideally he'd get paid what "he" thinks he's worth at the front end (3 years as a SS) and then hopefully the Sox are able to make him realize that he'd be getting paid the last 4 years as a likely corner outfielder at best. So $30/30/30/25/25/25/25 totaling $190K over 7 years for $27.5AAV? That seems fair. His age is definitely going to be working against him and I don't see any other team out there that will value him as an elite SS by his age 34 season
7/190 ($27.5 AAV) does seem fair, but X can probably do better on the open market.
 

HangingW/ScottCooper

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Jeter played SS to age 40. And was +2-3 WAR age 36-38.
His defensive WAR was negative the last 4 years of his career (and also earlier in his career as well). 35-40 year old short stops are not common. If the conversation isn't taking place as part of this contract extension than the Red Sox aren't doing their job. No decision has to be made, but they need to see if there's a willingness for him to move off the position if necessary. Derek Jeter was an average shortstop for the bulk of his career, had a few years where he pushed agility and that benefitted him, but the reality is he hurt the team defensively.
 

sean1562

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If we sign Xander to a long term deal and also sign Devers, couldn't we trade Mayer for a young pitcher a few years away from FA? If Story is our 2B for the remainder of his contract, what role does Nick Yorke really have on this team moving forward? What would it take to get someone like Sandy Alcantara from the Marlins or Dylan Cease from the White Sox?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If we sign Xander to a long term deal and also sign Devers, couldn't we trade Mayer for a young pitcher a few years away from FA? If Story is our 2B for the remainder of his contract, what role does Nick Yorke really have on this team moving forward? What would it take to get someone like Sandy Alcantara from the Marlins or Dylan Cease from the White Sox?
This definitely should be in the conversation. Will Romero/Lugo/Raffaela be fine to step in to SS in 2-3 years instead of Mayer? Can a return for Mayer and one of them at SS be better than Mayer plus whatever one (or two?) of them could bring back?
 

nvalvo

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Just FYI: assuming he has normal aging curves offensively, and is a 115 OPS+ type in his late 30s, that’s well above average at both LF and DH. This year, that would put him in the back end of the top ten at each position.

Catastrophic injuries like the one Pedroia suffered would be another matter, but Xander has enough bat to carry those bat-first positions usefully.
 

YTF

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A study was released a couple of years ago, which showed that the median WAR from the 4th pick is something like 4-5 WAR. Until Mayer is in AAA and shows that he can handle it, we shouldn't plan around him. 4-5 WAR is what Xander puts up every year. This is not my endorsement - as if it matters - for giving Xander a 6 or 7-year deal. My preference is Correa because he's a better defender and he's younger.
My reason for mentioning Mayer is that he is widely thought to be the Red Sox SS of the future. While we have no idea what his career might turn out to be, I'm sure he was drafted with an eye toward manning that position. I see no reason for the team not to have a discussion with Bogaerts about his willingness to possibly move to another position a few years down the road.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Why do they need to ask his permission to potentially switch positions several years from now? That’s the part I don’t get. He’s been a major leaguer for a long time, he should know that no deal guarantees him a set position in the field or in the batting order for perpetuity.
 

Bergs

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Why do they need to ask his permission to potentially switch positions several years from now? That’s the part I don’t get. He’s been a major leaguer for a long time, he should know that no deal guarantees him a set position in the field or in the batting order for perpetuity.
This. And if he's the one demanding a trade in 3 years, so be it.
 

chrisfont9

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Bogaerts has already said stuff about possibly moving off SS sometime in the future. It's not like he's oblivious to all this. He is in a negotiation so his official position is "pay me like a shortstop." But if he needs to be moved in year 4 of a 7 year deal or whatever, there's a pretty high likelihood he goes along with it. Has Bogaerts ever put himself above the team? He's not Jeter, who egotistically forced the Yankees to accept his defensive mediocrity for like a decade. I'm sure he sent Cashman a nice gift basket though.
 

YTF

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Why do they need to ask his permission to potentially switch positions several years from now? That’s the part I don’t get. He’s been a major leaguer for a long time, he should know that no deal guarantees him a set position in the field or in the batting order for perpetuity.
Why do you insist on using the term "ask his permission" when I continually say that a discussion should be had. It's TWO entirely different things. In the past few years I've been asked where I see myself in 5 years and my thoughts on moving into a different department should the need arise. No one asked my permission, it was a discussion. I was happy to have the opportunity to express my opinion and they got answers that put them in a better position to assess the future of the department. And FWIW there's a fuck of a lot less money involved in my situation.
 

j-man

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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.
way better than story
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Why do you insist on using the term "ask his permission" when I continually say that a discussion should be had. It's TWO entirely different things. In the past few years I've been asked where I see myself in 5 years and my thoughts on moving into a different department should the need arise. No one asked my permission, it was a discussion. I was happy to have the opportunity to express my opinion and they got answers that put them in a better position to assess the future of the department. And FWIW there's a fuck of a lot less money involved in my situation.
Are you an at-will employee? Because baseball players aren’t, so I’m not sure how the situations are comparable. Sox brass can certainly ask him if he’s open to moving at some point but I’m not really sure what the point of the conversation is since they can switch his position whenever they want. What if he says no, what then? Or if he says yes but then isn’t happy about it when the time comes? I guess I don’t really understand the point to asking him not why so many people seem to think it’s essential to the negotiation.
 

YTF

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Are you an at-will employee? Because baseball players aren’t, so I’m not sure how the situations are comparable. Sox brass can certainly ask him if he’s open to moving at some point but I’m not really sure what the point of the conversation is since they can switch his position whenever they want. What if he says no, what then? Or if he says yes but then isn’t happy about it when the time comes? I guess I don’t really understand the point to asking him not why so many people seem to think it’s essential to the negotiation.
Yeah, as an at will employee I guess my employer can fire my ass for nearly any reason without being on the hook for millions of dollars over multiple years. While you may not see the two situations as comparable, one can look at them in comparison and see the clear difference. If Bogaerts gives any indication that this might be an issue you don't think it should affect the sort of offer that the team makes? MLB contracts are guaranteed, yes?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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I think bringing up a purely hypothetical situation to an elite athlete, asking what that athlete would be willing or want to do when they are not as elite, is not likely to lead to a productive discussion in a negotiation; I don’t think it’s worth asking, especially since the player has little to no jurisdiction in where he plays in the field or bats in the lineup.

What is the argument here- that we have to absolutely know that Xander claims that he might be willing to play a position other than SS a few years down the road, if ever, even though the decision on where he plays in the field isn’t his?

What if he says he is willing to move - but doesn’t agree when the time comes, that it’s the right time? Or the right player? Does the team bring up what he said now? What if whomever he said it to isn’t even with the org?

What if he says he isn’t? Should the Sox no longer be interested?

Ultimately, the Sox have a decade plus if interactions and experiences with Xander. They know enough about his character and competitiveness that I don’t think they need to ask him any questions like this.
 

BaseballJones

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Bogaerts is a really, really interesting situation and decision for Boston. Obviously a terrific player, and beloved. And that's worth a lot. Remarkably consistent over the last four seasons from an ops+ perspective: 135, 139, 128, 131. Career ops+ of 117. Just a really good baseball player, posting a career bWAR/162 of 4.5. Excellent. 4 of the last 5 seasons, in the top 25 in MVP voting.

BUT... he's now 30. A 6-7 year contract would likely mean that the back half of that would include some pretty serious decline years. His HR production has gone down the last few years:

2019: 1 hr every 18.6 ab
2020: 1 hr every 18.5 ab
2021: 1 hr every 23.0 ab
2022: 1 hr every 37.1 ab

ISO last four years:

2019: .246
2020: .202
2021: .198
2022: .149

So that's a problem. And as he ages, his range will decline, and that means his defense will worsen. So he will likely continue to decline defensively AND in HR production.

His BABIP has gone up though.

2018: .317
2019: .338
2020: .329
2021: .333
2022: .362

Is that sustainable? Here's his hard hit ball %:

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

Meanwhile, his GB/FB ratio has become much more GB-oriented than it was. So... softer contact, more grounders, less power, but his batted balls are finding holes. So is that sustainable? I worry that it's not. I worry that by 2025 he will be a significantly declined player - maybe still above average, which makes him not useless, but he won't be remotely worth the kind of money he'll be making.

BUT...

He's a homegrown star and we have no guarantee that anyone else they get will be anywhere close to as good as him.

Such a tough call, especially if he asks for a LOT of money on a longer contract.