Xander Bogaerts is Here to Stay!


The year was 2013.  A few buddies and I were heading to Pawtucket to check out the Paw Sox game.  This wasn’t just any run in the mill AAA game.  It was Xander Bogaerts’ debut in Pawtucket.  At the time, Bogaerts was not only a top Red Sox prospect but one of the most touted and skilled prospects in all the minor leagues.  If I remember correctly, he was a top three prospect in the league.

photo courtesy of overthemonster.com
We were enjoying the spring night as we sat in the left field bleachers anticipating XB’s first at bat.  He stepped up to the plate and our group couldn’t hold back our excitement.  Xander did not disappoint because he blasted a line drive home run that soared over our heads.  What a moment!

Ever since Boston dealt Nomar Garciaparra, they have been in a constant flux at the shortstop position.  Shortstop for years was a never-ending revolving door.  From Orlando Cabrera to Stephen Drew, the Sox were always looking for their long-term shortstop.  It seemed like Boston was cursed when it came to that specific position.

Embrace the past in Retro-Style with Cooperstown Collection jerseys and apparel from MLBShop.comThat has all changed, for the better I may add.  Now the Red Sox have locked up their shortstop for a long time.  Bogaerts has signed a six year extension worth a lot of money.  One hundred and twenty million dollars to be exact. 

It will not come as a surprise to you when I say that I am glad the two sides were able to come to an agreement.  I’m a big Bogaerts fan.  I mean, I went to his Pawtucket debut.  Xander has been a good player for Boston.  He has contributed to two World Series teams.  Even when he was number 72, he was helping the big-league club.  I believe that he has so much talent and still has room to further develop his game. 

Last year Xander had one of his best seasons as a professional.  Bogaerts batted .288 for the year and drove in over 100 runs - a first for the young shortstop.  He also set a career high in home runs last year with only 23.  In today’s hitting environment, 23 homers doesn’t make headlines, but he’s only 26, so there is time for another step forward with his power.  Maybe most importantly, Bogaerts was the batter who protected J.D. from the five hole most of the season.

Xander has routinely displayed his ability to hit for average.  He isn’t far off from a .300 average most seasons, and even in his injury riddled 2017 season he still hit .273.  Not too shabby when your down year is above league average.

When he first came into the league the organization didn’t know if he would have the skills to stay at short.  It’s not always easy for players his size to stay agile enough to play the position.  To Xander’s credit he worked very diligently on his defense and now is solid with his glove.  Obviously, the Red Sox are okay with him manning the position for the long haul.

I’ve talked about the player, and it is obvious that I am fan of his skillset, but what about the deal itself?  Personally, I love the deal.  Shocker, right? 

With the latest blitz of extensions around baseball, Bogaerts was setting himself up to be the best available free agent in the 2019-2020 class.  If he just duplicated his numbers from last year, then he would be the best hitter available.  Well, that’s if J.D. doesn’t opt out, but that’s an entirely different article all together.

On the open free agent market I could see Bogaerts getting more than the $20 mil per year he will earn in Boston.  Even though he’s good, Xander wouldn’t have received an offer like the one Manny Machado ultimately signed.  Machado signed a $300 million dollar deal this past offseason.  If this is the year he truly breaks out, and by breaks out I mean hit 30 plus home runs, why wouldn’t a team offer him a salary around $23-25 mil per season?  He is still young, only 26.

I think that his extension is good value for the team, and it makes him the highest paid shortstop in the game (Machado signed as a 3B).  It is a win-win in my book.  As a Sox fan, I am very happy that Xander Bogaerts will be around for a while.

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Boston Sports Syndicate: Xander Bogaerts is Here to Stay!
Xander Bogaerts is Here to Stay!
Boston Sports Syndicate
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