Padres sign Xander Bogaerts to 11-year deal
The San Diego Padres have signed free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million deal, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman was first to report just after midnight EST on Thursday.
Per ESPN Stats and information, the 11-year deal is the most years given to a player 30 years or older. Bogaerts turned 30-years-old on Oct. 1.
Bogaerts was one of top — if not the top — shortstops left on the free agent market, along with Dansby Swanson and Carlos Correa. Bogaerts has been one of the Red Sox’s top hitters since he made his debut in 2013, sporting a career slash line of .292/.356/.458 with a 117 OPS+ and five silver sluggers added to his name.
Last season, the four-time All-Star hit .307 with an .833 OPS — a 131 OPS+, the third-best mark of his career. His power dipped, but he still managed to hit 38 doubles with 15 home runs and 73 RBIs, finishing in the top-15 leaguewide in fWAR. Since the start of 2019, he’s hit .304 with an .879 OPS (133 OPS+), averaging 53 extra-base hits, 20 bombs and 74 RBIs in 539 plate appearances; over that span, he’s No. 11 — third among shortstops, behind Turner and Francisco Lindor — in fWAR (18.0). Throughout his career, he’s made considerable improvement defensively and has been a very well-respected leader/clubhouse presence. That matters.
This comes mere hours after the Padres swung-and-missed on Aaron Judge, who they reportedly offered $400 million, and Trea Turner, who they reportedly offered $342 million. So, in essence, over the last 72 hours, the Padres have offered $1.02 billion to three of the top free agents on the market. And the Padres still have to pay Juan Soto, who’s a free agent after the 2024 season, after giving a combined $640 million to Fernando Tatis and Manny Machado. That’s the definition of #BananaLand™.
But I couldn’t respect their motives enough. AJ Preller has been on a spending spree the last 2-3 seasons and he might not be completely done anytime soon. And it’s honestly hard not to respect it, from an outsider-looking-in on a franchise who’s seemingly hasn’t gotten over the hump.
Boston, however, reportedly wasn’t willing to do the same spending-wise.
If what the Boston Globe‘s Alex Speier reports is true, my instant reaction is: That’s a tough look for general manager Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox front office. Another Boston Globe Red Sox reporter, Peter Abraham, reported earlier this week that Boston has yet to make a “competitive offer” to Bogaerts. Though those talks looked to have progressed as of Wednesday afternoon, as Boston was reportedly in “heavy discussions” with re-signing Bogaerts. The grass looked green for both sides.
Now, the grass is only green for the X-Man — really green.
For Boston, not so much. I’m interested to see if we ever officially find out what Bloom’s final offer to Bogaerts was, and what the years were. The latter appears to have mattered more, and personally, I’m not sure I would’ve done what San Diego did if the franchise presumably bidding against me wasn’t even touching $200 million (years aside). Was Bloom not offering $200 million because of the years? Could any hypothetical deal upwards of $240 million with the extra year or two be on the table? And would Bogaerts have accepted that, in a vacuum?
Nevertheless, the Padres had to overpay to land their guy (a Scott Boras client), and they did!
Now it’s just a matter of what’s next for Boston, who now have a gaping hole at shortstop. I’d expect them to still be in play for either one of Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson. Though one could assume the Red Sox are already behind the 8-ball in those negotiations, as plenty of teams — the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers, among others — have been looking to fill their needs at that same position.
Boston retaining Xander Bogaerts was — and if it wasn’t, it should have been — their biggest free agency priority this offseason. His departure is now extra salt in the wound to the Mookie Betts trade in the winter entering 2020. So far this offseason, Boston’s added much-needed bullpen help with southpaw Joely Rodriguez, Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen while also nabbing arguably the top international free agent in Masataka Yoshida. But now, I’m not sure where they pivot (outside of Correa/Swanson).
And I’m not completely sure if their brain trust does, either.
This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.
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