Contract Status: 1st year Arbitration Eligible, Free Agency 2020
Shortstop isn’t an easy position to fill, as the Red Sox well know from the lengthy list of failed options they cycled through for about a decade following the trade that sent Nomar Garciaparra out of town. The arrival of Bogaerts put a stop to that carousel, so now that they finally have an All-Star caliber shortstop again they won’t be eager to let him go.
Bogaerts has the potential to be a batting champ that annually flirts with the 200 hit mark. He came close in 2015 when he finished as the runner-up for the batting title. His average dipped slightly below the .300 mark this year, but the trade off was a substantial increase in home run power. He also drew nearly twice as many walks, resulting in an increased on-base percentage.
He’s still a bit below average defensively, but he’s shown improvement moving to the ball since he first arrived in the big leagues and he’s about middle of the pack in terms of committing errors. He’ll continue to get better, but if he gets much bigger as he ages he may eventually need to be moved over to third base, which many scouts projected would happen when he was a rising prospect. A move to the hot corner could be a slight hit to his value, but he would still project as a star at the position if his power keeps developing.
Bogaerts is a part of the young core that the Red Sox would like to lock up for the long run. Given that he’s a Scott Boras client, it’s unlikely he’ll agree to sign long-term right now, but there’s no reason to move him unless it becomes clear that they won’t be able to sign him when he gets closer to free agency. That’s still a few years away, so for now he’s not going anywhere.