Late Wednesday night, it was reported that Xander Bogaerts signed an 11-year, $280 million deal with the San Diego Padres. The move crushes Red Sox Nation and makes the Padres even more of a threat for 2023.
The 30-year-old has been one of the most consistent Fantasy assets over the past few years and now finds himself in the middle of one of the most loaded lineups in the league.
Xander Bogaerts Signs With San Diego Padres
Bogaerts to Padres. $280M 11 years
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 8, 2022
The Padres were near misses for both Aaron Judge and Trea Turner, so they weren't going to miss again. Bogaerts is a major contributor on both sides of the ball, and more importantly, off the field. This is a 10-year veteran who knows what it takes to win. For a Padres team that has become synonymous with underperformance down the stretch, adding someone like Bogaerts to the clubhouse is a massive step toward winning the World Series.
This is terrible news for Red Sox Nation. Bogaerts was a cornerstone figure in Beantown, and losing him will be as big of an off-the-field loss as it is on the field.
Xander Bogaerts with the Red Sox
Xander Bogaerts broke into the league as a bit player for the future World Champion Boston Red Sox in 2013 and has been nothing short of a stalwart for the team from Boston for the past nine years. As a fixture in the middle of the diamond, Bogaerts has been a huge part of the culture for the Red Sox, while also setting the standard for consistency at the plate.
Over his career, Bogaerts is averaging .292/.356/.458 with 20 home runs and nine steals. He has been the embodiment of a "do your part" mindset, and he captained the Red Sox to another World Series since his rookie year.
In 2022, Bogaerts had another solid year slashing .307/.377/.456. He also hit 15 home runs, stole eight bases, and scored 84 runs with 73 RBI. While the Red Sox might have underachieved in 2022, and his counting stats reflect that, Bogaerts put together a season good enough for his fourth All-Star selection, fifth season with MVP votes, and fifth Silver Slugger award. Including Mookie Betts, nobody in recent memory deserved a lifetime contract from the Red Sox like Xander Boagaerts.
Bogaerts' Fantasy Potential in 2023
Bogaerts' arrival will probably push Fernando Tatis Jr. to the outfield full-time, but that is small potatoes compared to what he brings offensively to the Friars. He is a .300 avg, 20-home-run guy who will probably tally 100 runs and RBI's like he did in the Red Sox offenses of yesteryear.
Bogaerts has always been a jack-of-all-trades guy from a roto standpoint. He leads with average, but he produces pretty evenly across the other 4 categories. His career line is .292/.356/458 with 20 home runs, nine steals, 96 runs, and 88 RBIs.
That's probably a good place to start for his 2023 production. The home runs may be closer to 15 with the loss of Fenway Park, but I expect his run and RBI numbers to both eclipse the century mark. This is a guy who hits even when he doesn't hit, and is now in the best lineup of his career. Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Bogaerts. That's like the Taylor Swift discography of lineups: Put 'em in any order, and you'll still get your socks rocked off.
What now for the Red Sox?
State of the Nation — Xander Bogaerts is gone. pic.twitter.com/I8ToJeP0BT
As a Red Sox fan, this one stings. A lot. Losing Betts was one thing, but X... Man, X was the soul of this team. Big Papi almost literally handed the torch to him to carry on the Red Sox culture that was established in 2004. As much as it hurts as a fan though, the organization might actually be reeling more. Sure, they could've gotten a deal done last year, but that's water under the bridge now. There was no way they could touch that Padres offer, and it would be kind of crazy if they did.
Red Sox essentially let the face of the franchise walk out the door twice in the span of three seasons.
Mookie Betts in 2020 and now Xander Bogaerts in 2022. Both of those guys won a World Series for the franchise.
From a team perspective, losing Bogaerts not only removes a critical piece of the clubhouse, but they are also losing a cornerstone middle infielder who has more than pulled his weight over the past 10 seasons. That is hard to replace, but they've got to try right?
First things first, last season's big acquisition, Trevor Story, moves over to shortstop. The Red Sox will probably try to stopgap second base with Christian Arroyo and mercurial prospect Jeter Downs. Only time will tell how well that works, but it is certainly a step down from their infield of 2022.
This is a great deal for the Padres and Bogaerts. The veteran gets to play until he is 40, making roughly $25 million per year to do it. The Padres get somebody who actually knows how to win at the highest level. Bogaerts has proven success leading teams over the finish line and is an immediate top-four bat. Are Judge and Turner hotter commodities? Sure, but they do not bring the intangibles that Xander Bogaerts does.
The entire lineup gets a boost, but look for everyone in front of him to score more runs than usual (Juan Soto in particular), and the five and six hitters will get an RBI bump. Bogaerts isn't a big ship with big guns that pulled into San Diego Harbor, but more of a moon, steadily and quietly pulling the strings to raise all of the ships there.
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