Late Sunday night the Red Sox continued to secure their future by signing Xander Bogaerts to a long term extension in the range of 6 years and $120 million.
This was a tough opening weekend for the 2019 Boston Red Sox. Dropping three of their first four games to the Seattle Mariners was not how anyone envisioned the start to this season. Each starter has given up at least 6 runs and even this vaunted offense couldn’t make up for the pathetic performance by the starting pitchers.
However, that all changed when late Sunday night, Evan Drellich broke the news that the Red Sox were closing in on an extension with Xander Bogaerts.
Later in the night, the details started to come out courtesy of Jeff Passan of ESPN. The deal he reported was for 7 years and $132 million. Later it was reported that the extension starts after this year and the deal includes his current contract of $12 million for this year. So the contract after this year is 6 years and $120 million.
The deal also includes an opt-out opt out after 2022 and a vesting option for 2026 that automatically vest if he reaches 535 PA in 2025
A couple of months ago I wrote about how the Red Sox shouldn’t pay Mookie Betts because I’d rather them spread out their money to other players like J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale, Xander, and Jackie Bradley Jr.
Now don’t get me wrong. I would love for the Red Sox to keep Betts, along with all of the players mentioned. But I don’t think they’ll re-sign him because building a solid overall team is more important than any one player. So far, it looks like the Red Sox have decided who they want to move forward with and I’m glad they didn’t play games with arguably the best shortstop in the game.
Xander has been a model of consistency at one of the most important positions in baseball. Let’s take a look at some of the numbers.
Games Played: He’s averaged 144 games played throughout his 5 major league seasons.
RBI: He’s hit over 80 RBI’s in 3 of the 5 seasons
WAR: Posted a top 6 WAR at SS in 3 of the 5 seasons and in those 3 seasons his WAR is above 4.5 (per FanGraphs).
SB: Double-digit steals in 3 of the 5 seasons in a league where teams are stealing less and less
Batting Average: Has posted a BA above .285 in 3 of the 5 seasons.
These numbers might not look amazing but compare him to other shortstops in the MLB. You’ll find his name in the same list year after year. In a game where Manny Machado just signed for $300 million, I’m glad the Red Sox locked up Bogaerts to man the middle infield for the foreseeable future for $20 million a year.
Another factor to consider is that Bogaerts is still only 26 years old. If he can continue to improve his defense and continue to hit around 20 home runs a season, this will be one of the best deals the Red Sox have ever made.
Now let’s just get J.D. Martinez signed to a more permanent extension!