Red Sox and short star Xander Bogarts He did not agree to extend the contract before the start of the season. The four-time All-Star has officially opted out of the last three years in his deal with Boston this morning, sending him to the open market for the first time in his career. The Sox still has exclusive negotiating rights with the Bogaerts as of Thursday, but there’s no doubt at this point, as his representatives at the Boras Corporation will soon be in touch with the other teams.
Speaking with reporters (including Alex Speier of the Boston Globe) this evening, Boston baseball head Haim Blum confirmed that retaining the Bogaerts would be the ideal Sox option for dealing with the Shortstop. “We want it here. makes us betterBloom said. “We respect his right to exercise [the opt-out] and market exploration. We want him and we will keep in touch with him for him.”
The Boston baseball operations chief admitted there were a few free agent stopping points — namely Carlos CorreaAnd the Tria Turner And the Dansby Swanson. While Bloom suggested that the team would explore the market for potential alternatives, he wasn’t in words when expressing a general preference for the front desk. “he is Our first choice. This will not changehe told reporters.Part of our jobs is to explore every option to assign a competitive team next year and build a really good squad. We need to explore every possible way to do this, but Bogey is our first choice.“
Bloom noted that he also thinks Trevor’s story or Henry Hernandez He’ll be able to play Shortstops if needed, but make it clear that the team prefers to keep them in other locations to keep the Bogaerts. The story moved to second base last season. While he had played his entire career with the Rockies prior to this year, Storey spoke of wanting to hold on to the cornerstone if it means the Red Sox re-signs for the long haul. This should essentially keep Hernandez in main position, as the lackluster free agent market in that location appears to play a role in Boston’s decision to keep the utility worker in place with a $10 million Labor Day contract extension.
Of course, this isn’t the first time the Sox brass has made a record of their affinity with the Bogaerts. Immediately after the season, Bloom described re-signing the four-time Silver Slugger winner before free agency as a top priority for the team. That obviously didn’t happen, and Speier wrote that while the two sides had some discussions after the season ended, it became clear fairly early on that they wouldn’t seal a deal before the opt-out date.
Boston is sure to kick off the holiday season by flagging the Bogaerts with a qualifying show. However, they will only receive minimal compensation if it is to be signed elsewhere. Since the Red Sox went over the minimum base luxury tax last season, they only added an additional draft option after the fourth round. Conversely, signing a player like Turner or Swanson who rejects a qualifying offer from another team—Korea is ineligible to receive QO because he previously earned one in his career—would result in Boston losing their second and fifth top picks next year. Draft and $1 million in the international signature bonus space. Sure, the front office will weigh its long-term expectations of each of the top free agents more than draft choices in deciding how to proceed, but they will pay a heavier draft fine for adding Swanson or Turner than they will do in order to retain Bogart (thereby forfeiting the compensatory selection).
Bogarts is heading into his 31-year-old season, coming off the 307/.377/.456 mark with 631 board appearances. His power output is down relative to his best season, but he’s above .285 by a base percentage at .360 or better for the fifth year in a row. He’s also got slightly above average scores on the overall defensive metrics, an important step toward allaying some fears that he’ll have to walk away for a short period in the relatively near future.
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