The Boston Red Sox sign their pre-arbitration 40-man roster players to 2016 contracts, giving Xander Bogaerts a reward for his success.
The Boston Red Sox have signed their pre-arbitration eligible players to contracts for 2016.
All players on the 40-man roster sign such a contract for the 2016 season. Their salaries are based on how much service time the player has accumulated, with a maximum in the $600,000 range. In his last pre-arbitration year last year, Red Sox starter Joe Kelly earned $603,000, for example.
This season Xander Bogaerts was in a similar pre-arbitration payroll status and likely expected a salary around $550,000. What the Red Sox did for Bogaerts underscores the luxury of playing for a big market team like the Red Sox. The team gave him a contract for $650,500, about $100,000 more than they had to pay him. Not only do they immediately reward the player, but they establish more good will with a valuable player like Bogaerts with whom they could be talking about a long term deal with in the next year or two.
Pittsburgh Pirates ace Gerrit Cole (4th in NL Cy Young voting last year) found out what the other end of the spectrum is like, signing for the slot amount of $541 thousand (which includes a bonus for that 4th place finish). His pointed comments on the situation expressed his disappointment. Hopefully, he has a little savings left over from his $8 million signing bonus from five years ago to help put food on the table.
Bogaerts is represented by Scott Boras, possibly the top agent in the sport, who typically tries to get his players to wait to hit free agency before they get any kind of huge raise in salary. Considering the Red Sox payroll, it might be difficult for them to afford any kind of long term commitment to Bogaerts until at least sometime next year when David Ortiz ($16M) and Koji Uehara ($9M) both will have played out their contracts.
Mookie Betts is on a similar track to get a huge contract in a few years as well. If Betts continues on his ascent to super-stardom, a little extra salary could be coming his way too in 2017.
Stay tuned to BoSoxInjection.com as we cover Red Sox Spring Training for what promises to be a fun 2016 season.