The Major League Baseball world is acutely aware that Xander Bogaerts will be cashing in this offseason. The only question is just how much money will he be making?
The longtime Boston Red Sox shortstop has hit unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career, and is one of the most highly-regarded players on the open market. Outside of 2022 American League MVP Aaron Judge, Bogaerts and his shortstop counterparts have proven to be the most sought after free agents this offseason.
Possibly outside Trea Turner, who has already signed a monster deal, Bogaerts is the top option at the position moving forward, with Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson each likely to cash in with large deals of their own. With Turner signing, the Red Sox revealing where they stand with Bogaerts and MLB’s Winter Meetings soon coming to a close, it appears we now have an idea of what kind of contract will be offered to Bogaerts.
“Some agents guesstimate Xander Bogaerts will get something in the range of $180 million-$200 million when he signs, given the enormous spike in the market,” ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted Tuesday.
The “enormous spike” that Olney is referring to came off the back of Turner’s deal, which netted the former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop $300 million over the course of 11 years from the Philadelphia Phillies. That is an average annual value of more than $27 million dollars, which Bogaerts likely, and rightfully, believes he is worth. The $200 million number floated out there would likely come over the course of an eight-year deal, which would average out to $25 million per season. The Red Sox paid Bogaerts $20 million per season in 2021 and 2022.
Bogaerts saw a dip in power in 2022, belting 15 home runs and 38 doubles in 150 games. That doesn’t mean the play had dipped, however, as he played perhaps the best defense of his career while slashing .307/.377/.456. The 30-year-old has slashed .292/.356/.458 over the course of 10 seasons with the Red Sox, with 158 home runs and 658 RBIs.
The market for Bogaerts is reportedly robust, with Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe reporting “eight-11 teams” have shown interest in the free agent shortstop. The Diamondbacks reportedly are ready to make a bid on the four-time All-Star, while the Chicago Cubs have reportedly made him their top priority this offseason.