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

YTF

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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.
Should the team feel mad, hurt or insulted if Bogaerts has questions about the organisations vision for the next few years? Should that not be important to him? Should those answers affect his decision about accepting an extension? I think so.
 

AlNipper49

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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.
That’s why I’d offer him 4/130. You’d effectively be buying out his production years with a somewhat massive overpay.

1. It’s worth it with 2 SS prospects (or more) 2 years away.
2. Correa and Dansby offer similar dillemas
3. Assuming playing Kike and other dreg for the next two years is not an option
4. Payroll is finally opening up with few real options of where to spend it
 

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You have to wonder if Bogaerts and Varitek have had discussions about trying to stay in Boston yet get a desirable contract.
 

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Is there any evidence that the team was talking to Xander about when he'd like to move off short? Or is that just conjecture? My own guess is that they were discussing how long a deal he's looking for. Does he want a "rest of his career" agreement or a chance to be a free agent again at some point. The plans for the team's next few years and beyond would be of interest to Xander if he's making that choice.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Is 4/130 preferable to 7/175 (the Semien deal and what I think is a reasonable target for Xander) for either the Sox or the player, though? I think it’s a close call. If I’m Xander, I think I’d be going for total value of contract and longer over a higher AAV and shorter.
 

chawson

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Is there any evidence that the team was talking to Xander about when he'd like to move off short? Or is that just conjecture? My own guess is that they were discussing how long a deal he's looking for. Does he want a "rest of his career" agreement or a chance to be a free agent again at some point. The plans for the team's next few years and beyond would be of interest to Xander if he's making that choice.
There’s this ESPN report from Oct. 25, 2021:

According to sources close to Bogaerts, the shortstop currently plans on opting out of the contract after 2022, but hopes to remain in Boston and finish his career with the Red Sox. The three-time All-Star shortstop is also open to moving to second or third base down the road.

Doesn’t explicitly say the team discussed it with him, but the team doesn’t comment on contract negotiations anyway.

It seems strange to think that a position change hasn’t, or wouldn’t, come up in those talks.
 

snowmanny

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I don’t understand the position conversation idea. Everybody on this board knows that the Red Sox could pretty much assure him he’d be the starting SS for the start of this contract, but 3-4 years down the road will be evaluated at that time.

Do people think there is some other team that is going to guarantee him the SS position for the next seven years? If no, what is the worry? If yes, then that team is lying.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Is 4/130 preferable to 7/175 (the Semien deal and what I think is a reasonable target for Xander) for either the Sox or the player, though? I think it’s a close call. If I’m Xander, I think I’d be going for total value of contract and longer over a higher AAV and shorter.
I agree. Correa took the Twins deal because it was big annual money and offered multiple ways to still get a 6+ year contract, given his young age. Xander isn’t signing a four year deal thinking there’s one big contract left after that.

And from the team’s perspective, they’re far more likely to get a luxury tax friendly deal (a hometown discount) by offering more years that would make X a Sox for life.
 
Jul 16, 2005
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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.
The Braves have a low-cost replacement for Swanson (Grissom) in place already. No one thought they'd let Freeman leave either.
 

chawson

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The Braves have a low-cost replacement for Swanson (Grissom) in place already. No one thought they'd let Freeman leave either.
They do, but my understanding is that Grissom isn’t well regarded at short.

Per FanGraphs:

(T)he Braves drafted Grissom believing that he could stick at shortstop, and in the minors he’s played 161 games there, compared to 29 at third and 19 at second. He’s a bit in the red at the keystone via both DRS (-2) and RAA (-3), which jibes with Eric [Longenhagen]’s report of him being “back to projecting more in the 2B/3B area, and [possibly] en route to a super utility role” that would include time in the outfield rather than him being the shortstop in waiting if Swanson departs via free agency on the heels of a career-best season (115 wRC+, 5.7 WAR).
 
Jul 16, 2005
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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?
Yorke's bat will determine his role. He's likely never going to be a plus defender, and could profile best as a good-hitting utility guy. He also could be traded, but I doubt he'd be the centerpiece of a trade for someone like Alcantara or Cease.
 
Jul 16, 2005
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They do, but my understanding is that Grissom isn’t well regarded at short.

Per FanGraphs:

(T)he Braves drafted Grissom believing that he could stick at shortstop, and in the minors he’s played 161 games there, compared to 29 at third and 19 at second. He’s a bit in the red at the keystone via both DRS (-2) and RAA (-3), which jibes with Eric [Longenhagen]’s report of him being “back to projecting more in the 2B/3B area, and [possibly] en route to a super utility role” that would include time in the outfield rather than him being the shortstop in waiting if Swanson departs via free agency on the heels of a career-best season (115 wRC+, 5.7 WAR).
Then maybe it will be someone else. But Swanson's headed for a $30 million-plus AAV, and Atlanta's strategy is clearly not to pay top dollar.
 

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I suppose we're all thinking about Jeter as a comp.
Wouldn't that be the ideal situation? Jeter was a good hitter until he was 38 and probably wasn't much worse a shortstop then than he was at 30. If Xander does the same, sign him up for 8 years today.

Xander's throws are good and he doesn't make many errors. His defensive issues are range-related with a slow first-step reaction time. Like Jeter, I wouldn't expect it to get much slower as he gets older. It actually got better at age 29 when he said he worked on it over the offseason. If the team could win the World Series with his defense in 2018, they can do it in 2024, too.
 

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Xander's throws are good and he doesn't make many errors. His defensive issues are range-related with a slow first-step reaction time. Like Jeter, I wouldn't expect it to get much slower as he gets older. It actually got better at age 29 when he said he worked on it over the offseason. If the team could win the World Series with his defense in 2018, they can do it in 2024, too.
Jeter avg dWAR (age 21-29) -0.23 (Bogaerts 0.20)
Jeter avg dWAR (age 30-35) -0.67
Jeter avg dWAR (age 36-40) -0.82

Like Jeter?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Standard "Beware of the Boras Factor" bit by Tomase. https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/red-sox/red-sox-desperate-keep-xander-bogaerts-scott-boras-smells-blood?cid=Yahoo&partner=ya4nbcs

I'm a fan of Xander and would like him to stay, but I know that there's a price limit (and time limit) on what should be offered. My biggest concern is that Boras wants Xander to wait and wait and wait and then the Sox are left with (worst case scenario IMO) insurance Story at SS. Maybe that's a little bit of leverage the Sox have there, but it seems that everyone in Baseball World is aware of Story's arm strength and his lack of health. If I was Boras I would call Bloom's bluff on that and wait it out.
 

YTF

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Standard "Beware of the Boras Factor" bit by Tomase. https://www.nbcsports.com/boston/red-sox/red-sox-desperate-keep-xander-bogaerts-scott-boras-smells-blood?cid=Yahoo&partner=ya4nbcs

I'm a fan of Xander and would like him to stay, but I know that there's a price limit (and time limit) on what should be offered. My biggest concern is that Boras wants Xander to wait and wait and wait and then the Sox are left with (worst case scenario IMO) insurance Story at SS. Maybe that's a little bit of leverage the Sox have there, but it seems that everyone in Baseball World is aware of Story's arm strength and his lack of health. If I was Boras I would call Bloom's bluff on that and wait it out.
I'm not exactly sure what the bluff is here. Yes the Sox have Story signed through '28, but they've refused to play him at short this season whenever they've had the opportunity to do so. I don't know that the Sox have been using his presence on the team as a any sort of bargaining chip against Bogaerts, nor do I think that anyone sees him as such.
 

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This is an amazing paragraph:

“It's also worth noting that Boras has made an art out of extending negotiations. He memorably took Bryce Harper to the end of February before signing a 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies in 2019. While shortstops like Corey Seager, Trevor Story, and Javier Baez took the money during last year's lockout-shortened offseason, another Boras client, Carlos Correa, instead effectively signed a one-year contract with the Twins so he could hit the market again this winter.”

Back in the real world, both Harper and Correa were the single best FA in their season, and both had to settle for less than what other guys got because Boras priced them too high. So the exact opposite of what this paragraph says, and Boras was lucky the Phillies stepped in late with a lengthy deal for Harper or he might have had to settle like Correa did.
 

Marbleheader

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I feel similarly about Xander as I did about Ellsbury, it feels like the right time to move on. Sign Devers.
 

Mystic Merlin

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Re: Tomase: Isn’t letting Boras live rent free in your head so 2005? He’s not a wizard, he convinces the many of the best players to sign on with him then, shockingly, teams offer them lots of money.

At least he isn’t writing about the Patriots, I guess.
 

jon abbey

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Don’t we have to wait and see what Correa gets this year before declaring it a loss (or a victory) for Boras?
Sure, but it's almost impossible to lose when you are representing the single best FA in a class, and those were two examples of Boras overshooting, so for the writer to pull them out as examples of Boras 'outwaiting' the market is pretty hilarious.
 

Jimbodandy

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Sure, but it's almost impossible to lose when you are representing the single best FA in a class, and those were two examples of Boras overshooting, so for the writer to pull them out as examples of Boras 'outwaiting' the market is pretty hilarious.
"The writer" is a grief vampire who will spin things in the worst possible light for Boston fans in order to get clicks. He's like Shank except for the "40 years ago the guy had game" factor.

Xander will do what's best for Xander, which very well may mean leaving. But it won't be because of Boras trying to set the market. The Sox have done numerous deals with Boras over the years, and pretty much everyone who matters knows that he's not some baba yaga. He's an agent, just like the others. MM above is correct that the "oh noes, Boras" stuff is anachronistic.
 

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The craziest thing about the last 20 years of Boston sports is that somehow Tomase wasn't blackballed from every single Boston media outlet after the walk-through story and is still giving terrible takes in 2022.
 

RobertS975

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I feel similarly about Xander as I did about Ellsbury, it feels like the right time to move on. Sign Devers.
Ellsbury was far more injury prone and really only had one true outstanding season. IMO, the "average " Xander season is on a far higher plain.
 

amfox1

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Don’t we have to wait and see what Correa gets this year before declaring it a loss (or a victory) for Boras?
Of course. Correa, Turner, Bogaerts and Swanson will be battling for top-end contracts, with MIN/LAD/BOS/ATL/CHC/PHI/SF/LAA/STL/BAL among the teams considering upper-tier SSs. Note that Boras does not represent Turner or Swanson.

My gut is Bogaerts to CHC or PHI.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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Of course. Correa, Turner, Bogaerts and Swanson will be battling for top-end contracts, with MIN/LAD/BOS/ATL/CHC/PHI/SF/LAA/STL/BAL among the teams considering upper-tier SSs. Note that Boras does not represent Turner or Swanson.

My gut is Bogaerts to CHC or PHI.
If it’s an either/or situation and Bloom needs to go to a max contract…. Im leaning more towards X over Devers. A two year hold at 3rd as a FA after ‘23 would seem easier to find with X moving there later
 
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Jul 16, 2005
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If it’s an either/or situation and Bloom needs to go to a max contract…. Im leaning more towards X over Devers. A two year hold at 3rd as a FA after ‘23 would seem easier to find with C moving there later
If that's the case, they should be thinking about trading Devers by the deadline next summer.
 

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You have to wonder if Bogaerts and Varitek have had discussions about trying to stay in Boston yet get a desirable contract.
Varitek is one of the few people where Boras' strategies likely hurt his wallet.

The craziest thing about the last 20 years of Boston sports is that somehow Tomase wasn't blackballed from every single Boston media outlet after the walk-through story and is still giving terrible takes in 2022.
I'm completely ignorant of this, what did he do/say?
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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If that's the case, they should be thinking about trading Devers by the deadline next summer.
Yeah.... I love Devers but if it's an either/or and the Sox aren't looking better than they were this past trade deadline then they really should consider trading him then.
Again... ideally they extend them both but if it's determined by the FO that they can only have one of them on a max contract, my feeling is that X will likely age better and could still put up .800OPS at 3rd with very good defense into and past his mid 30's, while Devers could possibly put up elite offensive numbers but his defense could deteriorate to the point that he's more a comedian out there... and that expensive contract wouldn't be a good value at DH only.
 

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The Sox Prospect guys mentioned that the advanced defensive numbers that came out on Baseball Savant sort of put the lie to his defensive improvement. According to them his improvement is primarily on plays when he was playing the shift and therefore another player was further over in RF...

I can't parse Baseball Savant's defensive numbers that closely, but looking at his fielding, he's +8 vs LHB in 2022 (which is a pretty big outlier), which is when you'd assume the team is playing the shift, and everything else looks to be within the range of his career numbers (where he's improved to being a bit below average - he's -1% added sucsess over the course of his career). FWIW in regard to trying to play Story at SS instead, X's arm strength also grades out as below average, but not nearly to the extent of Story... who is probably going to be a 2Bman going forward.

I think the bottom line is that you have to be very wary of single season defensive stats (especially improvements as a player ages) and we need to look at the trends in his offense while we assume that his defense is going to start degrading from an admittedly not very high plateau. I don't have a creative solution, but if X's offense declines, he doesn't look playable at another offense-first position. It is going to come down to getting him on reasonable deal as he declines.
 

Daniel_Son

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The Sox Prospect guys mentioned that the advanced defensive numbers that came out on Baseball Savant sort of put the lie to his defensive improvement. According to them his improvement is primarily on plays when he was playing the shift and therefore another player was further over in RF...

I can't parse Baseball Savant's defensive numbers that closely, but looking at his fielding, he's +8 vs LHB in 2022 (which is a pretty big outlier), which is when you'd assume the team is playing the shift, and everything else looks to be within the range of his career numbers (where he's improved to being a bit below average - he's -1% added sucsess over the course of his career). FWIW in regard to trying to play Story at SS instead, X's arm strength also grades out as below average, but not nearly to the extent of Story... who is probably going to be a 2Bman going forward.

I think the bottom line is that you have to be very wary of single season defensive stats (especially improvements as a player ages) and we need to look at the trends in his offense while we assume that his defense is going to start degrading from an admittedly not very high plateau. I don't have a creative solution, but if X's offense declines, he doesn't look playable at another offense-first position. It is going to come down to getting him on reasonable deal as he declines.
I mean, the obvious conclusion is don't sign either Devers or Bogaerts to long-term deals, right? I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to that, but I know that a lot of the fanbase would crucify ownership for letting them both go after Mookie.
 

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I mean, the obvious conclusion is don't sign either Devers or Bogaerts to long-term deals, right? I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to that, but I know that a lot of the fanbase would crucify ownership for letting them both go after Mookie.
I'm not necessarily advocating that course... at least with Devers you're still buying some prime years. But with X I go back to the idea that the only way to make an opt out work for the team is to be disciplined enough to not chase after them to resign them for even more money as they get closer to their decline. The Sox are sort of stuck in that as each player would shift down the defensive spectrum, there's another player there already: X can't really go to 3B because of Devers or 2B because of Story. Devers can't shift to 1B because of Casas (and Devers issue has never really been his range, but rather inconsistient throwing and footwork, so I'm not sure that a transfer to 1B would suit him anyway).

MLB is increasingly a young man's game, but the point of stars is that they give you a higher level to decline from, so even if they're "overpaid", they're giving you better performance than you'll pick up on the scrap heap, provided that they don't get too long a runway (i.e. too long a contract) to exhibit that decline (or totally crater). X at least seems pretty stable, so if the new deal isn't too long, he's probably still the best option over the next few years, and you can live with a few clunkers on the back end as Mayer is making the minimum. If he's looking to match Seager or Semien, then you just have to wish him well in Philly...
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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I'm not necessarily advocating that course... at least with Devers you're still buying some prime years. But with X I go back to the idea that the only way to make an opt out work for the team is to be disciplined enough to not chase after them to resign them for even more money as they get closer to their decline. The Sox are sort of stuck in that as each player would shift down the defensive spectrum, there's another player there already: X can't really go to 3B because of Devers or 2B because of Story. Devers can't shift to 1B because of Casas (and Devers issue has never really been his range, but rather inconsistient throwing and footwork, so I'm not sure that a transfer to 1B would suit him anyway).

MLB is increasingly a young man's game, but the point of stars is that they give you a higher level to decline from, so even if they're "overpaid", they're giving you better performance than you'll pick up on the scrap heap, provided that they don't get too long a runway (i.e. too long a contract) to exhibit that decline (or totally crater). X at least seems pretty stable, so if the new deal isn't too long, he's probably still the best option over the next few years, and you can live with a few clunkers on the back end as Mayer is making the minimum. If he's looking to match Seager or Semien, then you just have to wish him well in Philly...
Agree with a lot of this. They could also resign both to long-term deals and eventually move X to 3B and Devers to DH. It locks up the DH spot, but provided Devers continues to be a middle of the order type bat, I'm fine with that. Which is all the more reason to go cheap(er) at DH this year. That could be JD on a 1/2 year deal, it could be someone like Drury who has some positional versatility or a guy like Brantley or Mancini on the back end of their career. This approach also works for Mayer's timeline. Give X 2-3 years at SS and make the shift provided Mayer is ready.
 

Jimbodandy

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Agree with a lot of this. They could also resign both to long-term deals and eventually move X to 3B and Devers to DH. It locks up the DH spot, but provided Devers continues to be a middle of the order type bat, I'm fine with that. Which is all the more reason to go cheap(er) at DH this year. That could be JD on a 1/2 year deal, it could be someone like Drury who has some positional versatility or a guy like Brantley or Mancini on the back end of their career. This approach also works for Mayer's timeline. Give X 2-3 years at SS and make the shift provided Mayer is ready.
I wouldn't assume that Xander's next stop on the defensive spectrum is necessarily 3B. I think that he'd be great there, but he could also be slid to corner OF depending on the roster at that time.
 

reggiecleveland

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I wouldn't assume that Xander's next stop on the defensive spectrum is necessarily 3B. I think that he'd be great there, but he could also be slid to corner OF depending on the roster at that time.
An d that is what makes a long contract worrisome. His best ops+ are around 130. If he maintains that, how much is an average defensive lf (I can't see him becoming a plus outfielder) with a 130ops+ worth? How much does his production have to slide where it is an egregious waste of money to have him at a corner OF?
 

snowmanny

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The problem is that a, say, 6/175 contract is very risky, especially in the last 2-3 years. But if you take that money and turn it into six 3/30 contracts with six different players, the odds are some of those contracts will suck too. And I'm not so sure how confident all of us are in $23Million for Trevor Story in 2026-27 - I sort of think less confident than in Bogaerts - and the Sox just did that. I kind of agree that it's a lot of money that might go bad fairly soon so I probably say no and put the money towards Devers....but if Devers isn't going to work out I'm not clear on what is better.
 

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An d that is what makes a long contract worrisome. His best ops+ are around 130. If he maintains that, how much is an average defensive lf (I can't see him becoming a plus outfielder) with a 130ops+ worth? How much does his production have to slide where it is an egregious waste of money to have him at a corner OF?
… and let’s be honest, in Fenway he’s going to play LF.

Have there been that many conversions from SS to OF? It seems like an aging SS mostly stays on the IF.
 

Jimbodandy

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An d that is what makes a long contract worrisome. His best ops+ are around 130. If he maintains that, how much is an average defensive lf (I can't see him becoming a plus outfielder) with a 130ops+ worth? How much does his production have to slide where it is an egregious waste of money to have him at a corner OF?
Better mathematicians than I can run the numbers on that, and I'm not saying that it doesn't matter. My point is that a few years of Xander at SS, followed by a move down the spectrum seems to be something on which most people agree (even Xander). Maybe it's two years, maybe three or four before the change happens. Could depend on how much he's being pushed by Mayer et al.

My point is "but what if Devers is blocking third?" shouldn't constrain the Sox. If we have studs at 3B and 1B and Mayer forcing his way into SS in year four of Xander's deal, and we have an overpaid but productive LF in Xander, sounds like a great problem to have.
 

BaseballJones

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If you are going to give out a 7-year, $210 million contract to either Devers or X, it had better be Devers. Here's why:

1. Age. Devers is 25 (will turn 26 in a few days), Bogaerts is 30. Devers is just hitting his prime while Bogaerts is in the middle or tail end of it.
2. Production. Last two seasons:
- Devers: 65 hr, .287/.355/.530/.885, 137 ops+, 7.9 bWAR
- Bogaerts: 38 hr, .301/.374/.474/.848, 130 ops+, 10.6 bWAR
3. Age when said contract ends. Devers would be signed from ages 26-32, still his prime. Bogaerts would be signed from ages 30-36, at the tail end of his prime to the point where he's past it. So the back end of those contracts ought to look better for Devers.
4. Replacements. The Sox have one of the very best prospects in all of baseball in their system, playing SS in Mayer. They can fill the SS gap for a couple of years to get to Mayer. They have good prospects who could play 3b too, but nobody with as high a ceiling as Mayer.

The argument for Bogaerts is that SS is generally a more valuable position, and despite not being as good a hitter as Devers, he has 10.6 bWAR to Devers' 7.9 bWAR over the past two seasons. So he is bringing them more value overall.

It'll be interesting to see what happens.
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

Member
SoSH Member
May 19, 2010
1,220
If you are going to give out a 7-year, $210 million contract to either Devers or X, it had better be Devers. Here's why:

1. Age. Devers is 25 (will turn 26 in a few days), Bogaerts is 30. Devers is just hitting his prime while Bogaerts is in the middle or tail end of it.
2. Production. Last two seasons:
- Devers: 65 hr, .287/.355/.530/.885, 137 ops+, 7.9 bWAR
- Bogaerts: 38 hr, .301/.374/.474/.848, 130 ops+, 10.6 bWAR
3. Age when said contract ends. Devers would be signed from ages 26-32, still his prime. Bogaerts would be signed from ages 30-36, at the tail end of his prime to the point where he's past it. So the back end of those contracts ought to look better for Devers.
4. Replacements. The Sox have one of the very best prospects in all of baseball in their system, playing SS in Mayer. They can fill the SS gap for a couple of years to get to Mayer. They have good prospects who could play 3b too, but nobody with as high a ceiling as Mayer.

The argument for Bogaerts is that SS is generally a more valuable position, and despite not being as good a hitter as Devers, he has 10.6 bWAR to Devers' 7.9 bWAR over the past two seasons. So he is bringing them more value overall.

It'll be interesting to see what happens.
Apples to oranges comparison. Devers is not signing anything close to 7/210 whereas that almost certainly would be accepted by X (and may even be more than necessary).
 

Jimbodandy

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 31, 2006
8,589
around the way
If you are going to give out a 7-year, $210 million contract to either Devers or X, it had better be Devers. Here's why:

1. Age. Devers is 25 (will turn 26 in a few days), Bogaerts is 30. Devers is just hitting his prime while Bogaerts is in the middle or tail end of it.
2. Production. Last two seasons:
- Devers: 65 hr, .287/.355/.530/.885, 137 ops+, 7.9 bWAR
- Bogaerts: 38 hr, .301/.374/.474/.848, 130 ops+, 10.6 bWAR
3. Age when said contract ends. Devers would be signed from ages 26-32, still his prime. Bogaerts would be signed from ages 30-36, at the tail end of his prime to the point where he's past it. So the back end of those contracts ought to look better for Devers.
4. Replacements. The Sox have one of the very best prospects in all of baseball in their system, playing SS in Mayer. They can fill the SS gap for a couple of years to get to Mayer. They have good prospects who could play 3b too, but nobody with as high a ceiling as Mayer.

The argument for Bogaerts is that SS is generally a more valuable position, and despite not being as good a hitter as Devers, he has 10.6 bWAR to Devers' 7.9 bWAR over the past two seasons. So he is bringing them more value overall.

It'll be interesting to see what happens.
Agreed on positional adjustments, but using BBRef, Xander's oWAR/oRAR this year was better than Rafael's (by very little). It's not like being a shortstop alone carried him.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,864
Sox' IF prospects and the SoxProspects ranking in their system:

1. Mayer (SS) - ETA, late 2024
2. Casas (1b) - ETA...well...he's already here
4. Rafaela (CF-SS) - ETA, late 2023
5. Yorke (2b) - ETA, mid 2024
7. Romero (SS-2b) - ETA, 2026
9. Paulino (IF-CF) - ETA, late 2025
14. Valdez (2b-U) - ETA, mid 2023
16. Jordan (3b) - ETA, late 2025
17. Lugo (IF) - ETA, mid 2024
19. Bonaci (SS-2b) - ETA, late 2025

Obviously there are too many prospects for MLB IF positions. And there's no way all of these guys will hit. A bunch will fizzle out and/or get traded. But over the next two seasons, there's a number of guys that could step in and contribute to the MLB club. By the end of 2024 SoxProspects thinks that the following guys could be fixtures in Boston: Mayer, Casas, Rafaela, Yorke, Valdez, and Lugo. Again, no chance they all make it, but there's tons of high quality organizational depth at the IF positions.

I want Devers and X here, because I'm attached to those guys and they're really good, and there's not a huge chance that any of these prospects will ever be as good as either Devers or Bogaerts. BUT....the organization is in the best place maybe it's ever been to withstand losing guys of this caliber.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
18,864
Apples to oranges comparison. Devers is not signing anything close to 7/210 whereas that almost certainly would be accepted by X (and may even be more than necessary).
Maybe. Top 5 contracts for 3b:

Machado (signed at age 26): 10 years, 300m (30.0m/yr)
Arenado (signed at age 27): 8 years, 260m (32.5m/yr)
Rendon (signed at age 29): 7 years, 245m (35.0m/yr)
Riley (signed at age 25): 10 years, 212m (21.2m/yr)
Ramirez (signed at age 29: 7 years, 141m (20.1m/yr)

You're probably right that Devers would require a 9 or 10 year deal at $32ish million per year.
 

reggiecleveland

sublime
Lifetime Member
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Mar 5, 2004
26,969
Saskatoon Canada
… and let’s be honest, in Fenway he’s going to play LF.

Have there been that many conversions from SS to OF? It seems like an aging SS mostly stays on the IF.
Yeah pretty rare

Yount won an MVP in CF
Biggio (better than Jeter) went C, OF, 2b. Crazy order of positions.
Hanley Ramirez tried LF and decided the best way to play a position where you have to run further was to gain 50lb
Tha Yankees had a slap-hitting SS who refused to move to the OF sabotaging his teams' chance in a Kobesque fit of entitled pique.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

Member
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Nov 19, 2008
3,768
I wouldn't assume that Xander's next stop on the defensive spectrum is necessarily 3B. I think that he'd be great there, but he could also be slid to corner OF depending on the roster at that time.
Absolutely. Which gives them even more options.