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Xander Bogaerts, Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox

Cora hopeful Xander Bogaerts’ future is in Boston

  • Manuel Gómez - East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director Manuel Gómez, East Coast Contributor & Podcast Director
  • December 5, 2022

What does the future hold for Xander Bogaerts?

Xander Bogaerts has been a mainstay in the Red Sox lineup for the better part of ten years. In the Winter Meetings in San Diego, manager Alex Cora expressed that he is hopeful the veteran shortstop would remain in Boston after testing free agency this offseason.

Cora is a former player, and he understands that with a market this hot on shortstops, Bogaerts has earned the right to seek offers from other teams.

“I think (Bogaerts) is doing everything that he has to do to make a decision right in the future,” Cora said. “And hopefully, that decision includes the Boston Red Sox.”

Bogaerts became a free agent this offseason after declining a 3-year, $60 million player option. He also declined a $19.65 million Qualifying Offer, meaning that if he signs elsewhere, the Red Sox will receive a draft-pick compensation.

Xander Bogaerts earned free agency opportunity

“Bogey,” an Aruba native, has been with Boston since 2013. He appeared in two All-Star games and won two World Series titles in that time. The lifetime .292 hitter also has a career 117 OPS+ and has won five Silver Slugger awards.

This has earned him a market value of $29.5 million (AAV), according to Spotrac.  That would be a higher value — by AAV — than Trea Turner’s contract, which is set to pay him $27.27 million per year with the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I think at the end of the day life with Xander or without Xander, it has to be better anyways,” Cora said. “We’re not depending on one guy. We’ve got to do a lot of work in the offseason. And obviously the conversation is going to be about Xander, but I think the conversation should be about what are we going to do to be better.”

A case of bad timing

Cora is right. With or with out Bogaerts, the Red Sox have a lot of work to do.

After reaching Game 6 of the ALCS in 2021, Boston finished in last place in the AL East in 2022 and have a lot of holes to fix.

In the American League, Red Sox pitching ranked 11th, and their hitting didn’t fare much better. They were 10th, and that’s out of 15 teams! Their fielding was in the bottom five in MLB, according to FanGraphs.

Re-signing Bogaerts won’t make much of a difference. Pair that with the fact that the free agent market for shortstops is hot, and Boston’s chances of retaining their veteran shortstop doesn’t appear too good.

With Turner leaving Los Angeles for South Philly, the Dodgers will be in the market for a shortstop. Also, with Aaron Judge potentially leaving New York for San Francisco, the Yankees will be looking to replace his bat.

Who better than “The X Man” to be that guy?

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