Xander Bogaerts has opted out of his contract

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Let me ask this... how many dumb front offices do we think there are at the moment?

I ask because there seems to be some consensus about (a) "someone" will offer Xander an 8 year deal, and (b) that's not something the Sox should want any part of.

But given (b) how many franchises are doing to do (a)? Xander isn't Harper or Judge or Betts. I don't see him as the kind of guy that a dumb front office can sell to their fan base as worthy of a massive 8 year deal.

Maybe I'm totally wrong, but I can't squint and see someone doing that. Is there a team that will?
I don't think it's a question of a FO being dumb, it's a question of a FO having a ton of money and wanting to do something big to "win the winter", sorta like Texas did last year with Seager and Semien. I remember thinking that when Texas signed both of those guys, that they'd end up regretting it.

It's one of the genius things that Marvin Miller did and that's to have a trickle of free agents every year so that owners (and fans) go crazy for a couple of really good players every year. Charlie Finley wanted every deal to be a one-year one so that there would be a glut of FAs on the market every year. Yes, the superstars would be paid like superstars but the players on the next level down wouldn't be paid like stars because there would be too many of them and the market would collapse. The other owners hated him so much they laughed Finley out of the room and Miller (and the players) were pumped.

So would it shock me that Bogaerts breaks the bank? No. He's a terrific player, but he's no Aaron Judge and there might be a FO that sees him as a worthy consolation prize and give him a large portion of the cash that was earmarked for Judge (or deGrom, etc).
 

BigSoxFan

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I think these are all very valid questions. The cliche is that "it only takes one," but with four high-level shortstops on the market it's a little like a game of musical chairs with an unknown number of chairs.
It could well come down to Boston's best offer against a better offer (regardless of length), and at that point Xander might just decide to stay.
I’m also curious about who is going to go big on Correa given nobody bit last year and he had another solid but unspectacular season. Where are these 10/300 type offers coming from for him?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I think these are all very valid questions. The cliche is that "it only takes one," but with four high-level shortstops on the market it's a little like a game of musical chairs with an unknown number of chairs.
It could well come down to Boston's best offer against a better offer (regardless of length), and at that point Xander might just decide to stay.
My instinct is that in any game of musical chairs, don't bet against Boras to be the one with a client holding the bag. I think the fact that he has two of the top 4 (Correa) also increases the odds that it will be tough to play chicken with either of them. Conflicts of interest abound in that business, but he navigates all that better than anyone.
 

E5 Yaz

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Who might go after the Big 4 shortstops? Just off the top off my head ...

American League

Baltimore ... Maybe, they say they're going to spend.
Boston ... Who knows.
New York ... They say they're going young, but they always lie.
Tampa Bay ... They're set
Toronto ... They seem set
Chicago ... They seem set
Cleveland ... Unlikely to spend
Detroit ... Possible
Kansas City ... Unlikely to spend
Minnesota ... Another pillow contract?
Houston ... No need
Los Angeles ... Another big contract?
Oakland ... Nope
Seattle ... Possible
Texas ... They signed two of them last year

Someone want to tackle the NL?
 

chrisfont9

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I’m also curious about who is going to go big on Correa given nobody bit last year and he had another solid but unspectacular season. Where are these 10/300 type offers coming from for him?
His numbers were pretty similar to Bogaerts, slightly more power and slightly less OB% for an OPS that's .001 off. Also his 1.1 dWAR is more in line with his history, whereas Bogey's came out of nowhere. And Correa is two years younger. At the same price I'd take him over Bogaerts if I were anyone but the Red Sox.
 

Rice4HOF

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Who might go after the Big 4 shortstops? Just off the top off my head ...
....
Someone want to tackle the NL?
Too lazy to do it all, but the Phillies definitely need one. They had Gregorius, Segura, and Bryson Stott cover 2B and SS. Only Stott is returning, so they can either sign one of the SS and move Stott over, or have X play 2B.
Their Opening Day payroll last year was $228M and they only have $158 committed to 2023, so lots of room for a big contract.
 

BigSoxFan

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His numbers were pretty similar to Bogaerts, slightly more power and slightly less OB% for an OPS that's .001 off. Also his 1.1 dWAR is more in line with his history, whereas Bogey's came out of nowhere. And Correa is two years younger. At the same price I'd take him over Bogaerts if I were anyone but the Red Sox.
He’s a good player but I don’t see anyone giving him the Seager money that he seems to be looking for. Otherwise, where was that offer last year?
 

E5 Yaz

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He’s a good player but I don’t see anyone giving him the Seager money that he seems to be looking for. Otherwise, where was that offer last year?
True, but if Turner leaves the Dodgers I could see Correa or X winding up there.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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He’s a good player but I don’t see anyone giving him the Seager money that he seems to be looking for. Otherwise, where was that offer last year?
Do we know whether Texas offered Correa the same deal that Seager took? Correa might have priced himself beyond the top spending teams last year. If he comes in a little lower, he might just get the 10/$300, especially since he’s still the youngest elite SS available.

I’m worried about SEA and PHI for X.
 

streeter88

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True, but if Turner leaves the Dodgers I could see Correa or X winding up there.
And are we leaving out the Braves? If they don't resign Swanson, they will be looking for a replacement.

So for the NL, that would make 3-4 teams:
Atlanta ... need to resign Swanson or equivalent
LA ... need to resign Turner or equivalent
Philly ... need to sign an SS with a bat
Rockies ... Jose Iglesias is a FA, so ... maybe? Darkhorse at best.

Too lazy to go through the rest of the NL, but from what I can read those are the main NL players in the FA SS market this offseason.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Who might go after the Big 4 shortstops? Just off the top off my head ...

American League

Baltimore ... Maybe, they say they're going to spend.
Boston ... Who knows.
New York ... They say they're going young, but they always lie.
Tampa Bay ... They're set
Toronto ... They seem set
Chicago ... They seem set
Cleveland ... Unlikely to spend
Detroit ... Possible
Kansas City ... Unlikely to spend
Minnesota ... Another pillow contract?
Houston ... No need
Los Angeles ... Another big contract?
Oakland ... Nope
Seattle ... Possible
Texas ... They signed two of them last year

Someone want to tackle the NL?
Mets ... all set
Phillies ... maybe
Nats ... unlikely. Lots of payroll space, but not all that close to being good
Marlins ... unlikely. Don't spend
Braves ... maybe if Swanson leaves, but that seems unlikely
Pirates ... unlikely. Don't spend
Reds ... unlikely. Have a prospect in the pipeline, seem to be in a slash payroll phase
Cubs ... unlikely. Hoerner seems like a keeper
Cards ... unlikely. Prospects in the pipeline
Rockies ... unlikely but who knows with them
D-Backs ... unlikely.
Padres ... all set between Kim and Tatis Jr when he returns
Dodgers ... maybe if Turner leaves
Giants ... unlikely. Still have Crawford locked up for another year.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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Mets ... all set
Phillies ... maybe
Nats ... unlikely. Lots of payroll space, but not all that close to being good
Marlins ... unlikely. Don't spend
Braves ... maybe if Swanson leaves, but that seems unlikely
Pirates ... unlikely. Don't spend
Reds ... unlikely. Have a prospect in the pipeline, seem to be in a slash payroll phase
Cubs ... unlikely. Hoerner seems like a keeper
Cards ... unlikely. Prospects in the pipeline
Rockies ... unlikely but who knows with them
D-Backs ... unlikely.
Padres ... all set between Kim and Tatis Jr when he returns
Dodgers ... maybe if Turner leaves
Giants ... unlikely. Still have Crawford locked up for another year.
I thought that the Cubs were a serious name in getting Bogaerts?
 

E5 Yaz

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So, this entirely unscientific survey narrows it down to ...

Baltimore ... Maybe, they say they're going to spend.
Boston ... Who knows.
New York ... They say they're going young, but they always lie.
Tampa Bay ... They're set
Toronto ... They seem set
Chicago ... They seem set
Cleveland ... Unlikely to spend
Detroit ... Possible
Kansas City ... Unlikely to spend
Minnesota ... Another pillow contract?
Houston ... No need
Los Angeles ... Another big contract?
Oakland ... Nope
Seattle ... Possible
Texas ... They signed two of them last year

Mets ... all set
Phillies ... maybe
Nats ... unlikely. Lots of payroll space, but not all that close to being good
Marlins ... unlikely. Don't spend
Braves ... maybe if Swanson leaves, but that seems unlikely
Pirates ... unlikely. Don't spend
Reds ... unlikely. Have a prospect in the pipeline, seem to be in a slash payroll phase
Cubs ... unlikely. Hoerner seems like a keeper
Cards ... unlikely. Prospects in the pipeline
Rockies ... unlikely but who knows with them
D-Backs ... unlikely.
Padres ... all set between Kim and Tatis Jr when he returns
Dodgers ... maybe if Turner leaves
Giants ... unlikely. Still have Crawford locked up for another year.

It's not a lot of chairs in the game
 

streeter88

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@E5 Yaz nice list. Dodgers and Braves would be serious threats if they don't resign Turner and Swanson respectively, though. Starting to understand that your bold underline might signify new potential suitors, as opposed to teams already in the FA SS market to replace a player they're losing.
 

Jack Rabbit Slim

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It seems like the definite players for the big 4 SS are Phillies, Cubs, Dodgers, and Mariners (2B only?). Then there is a tier of maybes like the Orioles, Twins and Giants. I think the Braves will definitely bid on Swanson but I don't think they would be in on the rest if he leaves. I think the Sox should be in on all of them but it may be Bogey or bust.
 

E5 Yaz

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@E5 Yaz nice list. Dodgers and Braves would be serious threats if they don't resign Turner and Swanson respectively, though. Starting to understand that your bold underline might signify new potential suitors, as opposed to teams already in the FA SS market to replace a player they're losing.
Yes, and italics are the possibles depending on circumstances to be determined
 

chrisfont9

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He’s a good player but I don’t see anyone giving him the Seager money that he seems to be looking for. Otherwise, where was that offer last year?
well he was coming off a fine year but before that he was bad in weird 2020 and injured in 2019. I also wonder if there's a buzz about him maybe not being a great hang? Because otherwise he's a lifetime 129 OPS+ with excellent defense and, as noted, he's young for a FA.
 

nighthob

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I thought that the Cubs were a serious name in getting Bogaerts?
The Cubs desperately need a 2B, Nick Madrigal is pretty meh. Maybe they're hoping that Xander will make the switch for them? But Bogaerts is going to have to be open to moving off SS to play in Chicago because Nico Hoerner is pretty good.
 

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Yes, I know. But Mike Trout would need about 500 more strikeouts to double his walk total. And both Ortiz and Manny weren’t even close to having twice as many strikeouts as walks. I just don’t get it. How can it be a bad thing for these guys to have a better idea of the strike zone. I mean I love watching Devers, but wouldnt he be much better if he didn‘t make so many outs swinging at shit? I once heard an interview with Mike Schmidt. He said he knew he was breaking out of his slump when he started to get at least one walk a game. It’s not really the strikeouts I’m complaining about with someone like Xander. It’s the number of awful pitches he falls for. I really don’t know what Bloom should do, but if you want to see Xander at 35, my guess is you should study JD Martinez’s at bats recently.
Velocity and spin rates dude. Even Tony Gwynn would strike out more often.
 

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Is there an expectation that as the Sox are negotiating with Boras / Bogaerts, they are also letting him know he will likely be off the SS position within 2-3 years?
Or is that nothing that comes up at all either from his side or the FO’s?
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Is there an expectation that as the Sox are negotiating with Boras / Bogaerts, they are also letting him know he will likely be off the SS position within 2-3 years?
Or is that nothing that comes up at all either from his side or the FO’s?
Can’t imagine it’s something they bring up if they really want to sign him, especially since it’s impossible to know what will happen in 2-3 years and what their best options at pretty much any position will be . Or who will even be making those decisions .
 

nighthob

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Is there an expectation that as the Sox are negotiating with Boras / Bogaerts, they are also letting him know he will likely be off the SS position within 2-3 years?
Or is that nothing that comes up at all either from his side or the FO’s?
I'm guessing that even he knows that going into his mid 30s it's time to move to 2B or 3B.
 

StuckOnYouk

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I guess my point being Boras will be taking the position he should be paid for 8 years or more as an elite SS when in fact he will likely only be playing the position for another 2-3 years max. The Sox top prospect is a SS who will be in the majors by 2025 unless he falls on his face.

I’d assume Boras won’t budge off his stance and is Bloom pricing in 5 of those 8 years as him playing corner IF or OF.

In the end, if Bogaerts signs with the Sox, I think it’s all coming from ownership.
I don’t think Bloom wants to spend heavy on a SS unless it’s Correa or a guy like Turner who Bloom would view as a player who could make the OF move more easily when Mayer comes up.
 

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jon abbey

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Yeah that was just Boras overplaying his hand, and the length of the lockout not helping.
 

RG33

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Do we know whether Texas offered Correa the same deal that Seager took? Correa might have priced himself beyond the top spending teams last year. If he comes in a little lower, he might just get the 10/$300, especially since he’s still the youngest elite SS available.

I’m worried about SEA and PHI for X.
I’m terrified of the Dombrowski Factor with X. He has never been afraid of overpaying to get an elite talent, knowing the last few years are the cost of doing business (and that he likely won’t be around for it). He also clearly is aware of the leadership factor that X brings to the lockerroom that can help mitigate the last 2-3 years of overpay to an extent (as DD’s selling point to ownership).

Watching Schwarber and X in the Philly postseason lineups for years to come will crush my soul.
 

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Xander has made $85M from salaries thus far, not sure what he has made from endorsements. This next contract thus becomes his key opportunity to create generational wealth, and he had a 5.7 WAR year - so his timing is excellent for opting out.
I think if X has made in the neighborhood of $100MM he's pretty much established "generational wealth". His great-grandkids could have drug habits and not be able to cut through that kind of dough.
 

BringBackMo

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I think this is a really interesting point. A lot didn’t go to plan for the Sox last year, quite obviously, but one thing that they nailed in the off season was Story’s eventual market. The fan in me hates the idea that they’re playing hardball with Xander, but is it possible that they’ve simply again read the middle-infielder correctly and might be able to get him at a more team friendly price? I’d prefer this not be their approach with the face of the franchise, but perhaps they have a good sense of his actual market?
 

E5 Yaz

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The more I think about it, the more I think the Dodgers make sense. Turner likely is going to get the most money, and if LA doesn't want to get involved in that, X would be the best of the alternatives for fit and price. Given Mookie's presence there, the Dodgers could be the place for X to go
 

Dewey'sCannon

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I think Philly and LA are probably the biggest competition for Xander, and we should rightfully be worried that they may go higher than the Sox. At least in the case of the Dodgers, it would mean Turner is on the market, and I think he's the best alternative to X - although he's likely to cost more, which is why I think he'd bee their second choice. But if X goes to Philly and Turner goes back to the Dodgers, I'm more worried that we're the ones with an empty chair when the music stops (of course I know that's not how musical chairs usually works, but it could be the outcome here).
 

Doc Zero

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The more I think about it, the more I think the Dodgers make sense. Turner likely is going to get the most money, and if LA doesn't want to get involved in that, X would be the best of the alternatives for fit and price. Given Mookie's presence there, the Dodgers could be the place for X to go
The WEEI calls would be positively apoplectic. The Boston Baseball Red Sox: LA’s farm system. I’m morbidly curious sbout this outcome.
 

P'tucket rhymes with...

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The WEEI calls would be positively apoplectic. The Boston Baseball Red Sox: LA’s farm system. I’m morbidly curious sbout this outcome.
The nice thing about being a SpoRTz ExPurT for EEi is that you will definitely be out of a job by the time the Dodgers are paying Mookie and X eleventy million per season for putting up 1.8 WAR eight years from now, and don't have much to show for anything in between now and then.
 

Doc Zero

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I think if the Dodgers or the Phillies value him enough to go 8 years at roughly $28-$31M per he’s probably gone, and I wouldn’t blame him. I’d be sad to see him go, of course, but at least a contract like that would take some of the sting out of it. It wouldn’t leave much second guessing on the table.
 

doc

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I think if X has made in the neighborhood of $100MM he's pretty much established "generational wealth". His great-grandkids could have drug habits and not be able to cut through that kind of dough.
Antoine Walker says hello
 

Heating up in the bullpen

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FanGraphs has posted their Top 50 Free Agents article for this off-season.
They have X at #6 (after Judge, Turner, Correa, deGrom, Verlander). Ben Clemens think X will get 7 years, $217M ($31M aav). Their crowdsource median is 6/$168 ($28 aav) and crowdsource average is 6.26/$172.8 ($27.6 aav).
I'd be ok with 6/$168. Would Bloom? $28M more than Story. I think the Sox would do that. I don't think they'd go 7/$217.
Link: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2023-top-50-free-agents/
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

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The nice thing about being a SpoRTz ExPurT for EEi is that you will definitely be out of a job by the time the Dodgers are paying Mookie and X eleventy million per season for putting up 1.8 WAR eight years from now, and don't have much to show for anything in between now and then.
Yeah. Four or five seasons of good baseball? Pffft. Losers. I pity them having to watch games into October every year with fun, really good players.
 

nvalvo

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Who might go after the Big 4 shortstops? Just off the top off my head ...

American League

Baltimore ... Maybe, they say they're going to spend.
Boston ... Who knows.
New York ... They say they're going young, but they always lie.
Tampa Bay ... They're set
Toronto ... They seem set
Chicago ... They seem set
Cleveland ... Unlikely to spend
Detroit ... Possible
Kansas City ... Unlikely to spend
Minnesota ... Another pillow contract?
Houston ... No need
Los Angeles ... Another big contract?
Oakland ... Nope
Seattle ... Possible
Texas ... They signed two of them last year

Someone want to tackle the NL?
National League

Philadelphia... likely signs one to displace Segura.
New York... Lindor is pretty good.
Atlanta... Swanson is a FA, and they have a very promising in-house option in Vaughn Grissom.
Miami... probably not signing a nine figure SS.
Washington... Just acquired CJ Abrams at the deadline.
Chicago... Has Nico Hosmer, but could seek an upgrade.
Pittsburgh... O'Neill Cruz is pretty good.
Milwaukee... Willy Adames is pretty good.
Cincinnati... has Kyle Farmer (meh) in MLB but stacked at the position in the minors.
St. Louis... They have a good, young middle infield situation, but upgrades are possible.
San Francisco... Could upgrade.
Los Angeles... Turner is a FA; they have Gavin Lux, but I think most people expect them to sign one of these guys. I'd guess Turner or Correa.
San Diego... Stacked with Tatis, Cronenworth and Kim.
Colorado... I don't pretend to understand what the Rockies might do.
Arizona... The future is soon for Arizona, but their highest-ceilinged SS, Jordan Lawler, is in AA. Probably they wait for him, but, with all their ex-Boston FO guys, it wouldn't shock me if they went for Bogaerts.
 

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You did watch some games this year, right?
You mean where in a single season X’s defense improved to about average?

If you think that a single season improvement in defensive stats somehow represents a new level of performance that we can depend on going forward, into his age 30+ seasons, instead of expecting something more in lines with his career norms, you’re more optimistic than I am.
 

teddywingman

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You mean where in a single season X’s defense improved to about average?

If you think that a single season improvement in defensive stats somehow represents a new level of performance that we can depend on going forward, into his age 30+ seasons, instead of expecting something more in lines with his career norms, you’re more optimistic than I am.
I think defensive metrics are mostly bullshit.
Watching the games is where it's at. He was legitimately good this year.

Will he decline? At some point, obviously. But I don't expect him to fall off a cliff. He's incredibly durable and he has legitimately improved his fielding.
 

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FSG has announced that Liverpool was for sale. I actually had in my mind that a post retirement ownership stake in Liverpool could be on the table for Xander's contract... I guess not.
 

DeadlySplitter

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I can barely tolerate Boras in any offseason. Having a big FA of ours this offseason makes it ten times worse.
 

buttons

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Don’t condemn Boras for trying to get the best results for his client.
GM’s know the drill and will act in their teams best interest.
There is no player that any team must have no matter what the cost.
No question that there are players that a particular team may deem
more valuable to them for whatever reason but not because of
an agents sales pitch.
 

BornToRun

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I can't decide whether Boras's terrible puns make me like him more or less. I think more, because if I were in his shoes, I wouldn't be able to resist either. I like this one even "better":

I hate him. I understand he’s just doing his job and he’s very good at it. I hope he continues to get the most for his clients. But I also hope he steps on a LEGO at least once a day.