The Boston Red Sox have an amazing core of young offensive players and they have locked one of them up for the foreseeable future, by giving shortstop Xander Bogaerts a six-year, $120 million extension, which will turn his current contract into a seven-year, $132 million contract. The deal was first reported by Evan Drellich on WEEI and the term of the deal were reported by Jeff Passan of ESPN. Joel Sherman of the New York Post is reporting that the deal includes a vesting option for the 2026 season and has an opt-out clause after 2022.
Bogaerts has been very solid during his MLB career, including an All-Star game appearance in the 2016 season, but he was able to take his game to the next level in the World Series winning season for the Red Sox last season, finishing 13th in American League MVP voting.
He set career-highs last season in doubles (45), home runs (23), RBIs (103) and OPS (.883).
Offensively you can definitely count on Bogaerts based on his track record, especially if you are the Red Sox because that lineup is so deep and he has so much protection around him.
When it comes to the value of Bogaerts to the Red Sox, it’s clear when you look at his offensive WAR that he has a very positive impact on the team. Three of the last four seasons he has posted an offensive WAR of at least 4.6.
Where this could be a concern is in the field. Bogaerts doesn’t play the best defense out at shortstop, being responsible for -48 defensive runs saved at shortstop over the course of his career and having a career defensive WAR of -1.4.
Those defensive numbers are a concern when you are someone who plays arguably the most important position on the field, but with the offense he gives the Red Sox, it’s a no-brainer for them to decide to lock him up long-term, as he’s also one of the key players for a core that is coming off of a World Series title.
This contract extension follows a trend of players deciding to sign long-term extensions to get paid before they hit free agency. I would also argue part of him doing this isn’t to avoid hitting the free agent market, but because he’s still going to get paid a lot of money and because he has a great situation in Boston where they are going to win and where he will continue to be in a lineup with some great players.
The value of this deal also feels pretty fair in my opinion because of the type of offense Bogaerts produces, despite his sub par defensive numbers, but this is also the Red Sox, so whether or not the player is worth the money isn’t usually a factor with their deep pockets.
Top Photo of Xander Bogaerts: Winslow Townson/Associated Press