Xander Bogaerts has become a cornerstone for the Red Sox during their last two World Series runs.
The shortstop is on pace to go down as one of the franchise’s best international signings. He was scooped up as an unknown 16-year-old from Aruba for a $410,000 signing bonus after Boston was the first professional team to discover the soon-to-be star.
Once Bogaerts starting playing in more international competitions as a teen, more teams came calling. But he honored his word and kept his deal with Boston, according to The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier, who did an extensive dive into the scouting and signing process of Bogaerts and his twin brother, Jair, who also was signed by the Sox.
One of the teams that came after Bogaerts was the New York Yankees, who tried to lure the wiry infielder away from the Sox with deep pockets at the Senior League World Series in Aruba.
“The Yankees were like, ‘We’ll double that,'” Xander Bogaerts recalled regarding the Red Sox’s offer.
And it seems that Bogaerts’ uncle Glenroy Brown played a massive role in the youngster remaining with the Sox.
“The Red Sox showed interest first, so we gave them the first opportunity,” Brown said. “It was not a financial decision.”
Of course, the rest is history.
Bogaerts is a two-time World Series champ, two-time All-Star, two-time Silver Slugger and in the midst of a career year, batting .308 with 27 home runs and 96 RBI. He signed six-year, $120 million extension before the season, keeping him in Boston through 2026. Ten years later, he still is honoring that initial promise.
It’s pretty remarkable considering he turned down the chance to be Derek Jeter’s successor.
Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images