The San Diego Padres and free-agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts have agreed to an 11-year, $280 million deal, major league sources confirm. athleticMLB Network’s Jon Heyman first reported the news. Here’s what you should know:
- 307/.377/.456 in 150 games last season, with 73 RBIs and 15 home runs.
- he was ranked fifth athletic‘s list of top free agents for 2022-23.
- Bogaerts opted out of his final three-year, $60 million contract with the Red Sox on November 7, becoming a free agent.
Under the terms of the deal, Bogaerts will continue to play as shortstop, Kim Hae-sun will play second base, Jake Kronworth will play first base, and Fernando Tatis Jr. will play outfield.
Bogaerts is having a slightly different platform year than usual, as he hit 20 homers for the first time in a full season since 2017, but was the best-ever defensive shortstop. Bogaerts, who turned 30 on October 1, had the best defensive season of his season, according to advanced metrics. It was just his sophomore year, and his average number of outs was plus-five.
His defensive improvement offsets his hard contact loss, but the trend for all players in their 30s is lower defensive value and reduced range.
Padres immediate motivation
The Padres considered Bogaerts the best hitter among the Big 4 shortstops in this free agent class. Trea Turner was their number one priority, as evidenced by their unsuccessful $342 million bid. Then, San Diego had a sparkly but brief flirtation with Aaron Judge.
After going 0-for-2 on Superstar’s target, general manager AJ Preller was not denied a third time. Agreeing to a surprisingly hefty commitment to Bogaerts put the Padres way ahead of their competitors. The Boston Globe reported that the Red Sox’ offer for the longtime shortstop is under $200 million. – Rin
Other Factors Closing in on San Diego
No sweepstakes seem too outlandish for the Padres at this point. But their undeniable desire for attention was driven in part by future considerations. In light of his recent nine-figure contract, Manny Machado seems increasingly likely to opt out after the 2023 season, possibly pursuing another $300 million payday.
The Padres recognize that an extension for Juan Soto, the 24-year-old’s most accomplished hitter in the sport, may be unlikely. For at least one season, San Diego should benefit from Soto, Machado, Bogaerts, Fernando and his Tatis Jr., one of his foursomes who are the most powerful in baseball. – Rin
Would this make sense for the Red Sox?
Bogaerts was in many ways the heart and soul of the Red Sox, but at some point the deal stopped making sense for them. Earlier in the day, there was clear optimism from the Red Sox that they were working toward a deal, but chief baseball officer Chime Bloom was asked about a timeline for working toward a Bogaerts deal. When said to be farsighted. It’s not for me to say, but I think the game teaches you not to speculate too much about those things.
Earlier this week, the Red Sox narrowly missed out on free agency deals for Zac Eflyn, Andrew Heaney and Tommy Kanle, but this has taken it to a whole new level. Or after a productive day on hold, ending the meeting like this brings the club closer to the drawing board. – Jennings
The Red Sox have some questions to answer. Mainly, what do they do from here? In short, who are they going after? Free agency Dansby Swanson or Carlos Correa? Trade? Or shift Quique Hernandez or Trevor Story to shortstop and fill the outfield or second base hole instead? How do you fill the Bogaerts hole in the middle of the lineup? Jennings
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