Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts has been discussed quite a bit at Redbird Rants lately, and he certainly has appeal. Let’s take a look at the details involved with trying to trade for him.
The Positive: Bogaerts is one of the best-hitting shortstops in baseball. His worst OPS+ over the last five seasons has been 128. He hits for average, takes his share of walks, and has very good power. Slotting him into the lineup would offer an instant upgrade, making everyone around him a bit better in the process.
The Negative: As good a hitter as Bogaerts is, he can’t compare to DeJong defensively. Outs Above Average and Defensive Runs Saved rate his glovework among the worst shortstops, while Ultimate Zone Rating views him as mediocre.
And then there’s his salary, which is $20M for this season, and maybe beyond…
The Complicated: Bogaerts has complete control over where he plays via his full no-trade clause, so if he doesn’t want to leave Boston, he won’t. But with the Red Sox having signed Trevor Story to a six-year contract prior to the start of the season, the writing on the wall is that Bogaerts won’t be their shortstop for long.
Additionally, he has an opt-out in his contract, meaning he can void the remaining three years and $60M of the deal and become a free agent after this season. The counter to that is the risk of injury. If Bogaerts suffers a major sprain, strain, or break, he can simply choose to opt into that three-year, $60M package. What team wants to pay that much for a player who might not play?
And of course, the Red Sox have a say in whether Bogaerts will finish the 2022 season with them. If they bounce back from a rough start and see their playoff chances increase significantly, they would have little interest in sending away a key player in their pursuit of October baseball.