Xander Bogaerts discusses his contract situation and future with the Red Sox
CLEVELAND, OH - JUNE 26: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox celebrates scoring on a two-run single by Trevor Story during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field on June 26, 2022 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images)
With the Red Sox four games out of .500 and seven games out of a playoff spot with just over a month to go in the regular season, many fans have already turned their attention to the upcoming offseason. It will be a crucial winter for the Red Sox, as they look to improve on what has proved to be an insufficient roster.
One of the biggest questions facing the Red Sox once the season ends is the future of shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The 29-year-old shortstop is expected to opt out of his contract following the season and test free agency.
On Wednesday, Bogaerts sat down with NESN’s Tom Carron before the Red Sox game. Their interview included questions about Bogaerts’ contract situation.
“When the season is over, anything can happen,” Bogaerts told Carron when asked if he plans on speaking with the Red Sox once he does enter free agency. “At this point, I’m really trying to get healthy back and just finishing off the season strong.”
Beyond that though, Bogaerts acknowledged that he hasn’t thought much about his contract during the season. Asked by Carron if the uncertainty this winter has been a distraction at all this season, Bogaerts replied. “for the most part of the season I’ve been pretty good at kind of handling that aspect. It’s obviously tough, it’s obviously not something you go through every day.”
“It’s obviously tough, it’s not something that you go through every day. As I said, it’s pretty much a first-time experience for me with that,” Bogaerts continued. “I’ve managed it pretty well. I even haven’t [thought] about going into September with like, 39 more games, you don’t know what’s going to happen, I haven’t even thought about one minute of that so far.”
If the Red Sox do want to bring Bogaerts back, it will likely take a significant investment. He’s expected to be one of the top shortstops and overall players on the market. His current contract that he is opting out of would pay him $20 million a year, while the top shortstops in free agency last year received deals worth $25 million to $35 million per year.
Of course, Bogaerts isn’t the only player the Red Sox likely have to pay this summer. Rafael Devers is entering his final year of arbitration. Players of his caliber rarely play on their third and final arbitration year, as teams don’t want to risk losing them in free agency for nothing. Instead, they’re usually signed to long-term contracts or traded.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarthor via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.
More from 985TheSportsHub.com…
Mazz: The Red Sox' prospects for 2023 just got better
Let’s start with the obvious truth that baseball doesn’t really have that many truly good teams. The sport always has been a collection of haves and have-nots, and the Red Sox always have been part of the former.
That said, their chances for 2023 have already improved and the Red Sox haven’t done a darned thing in the process.
Here’s why: Major League Baseball will be going to a more balanced schedule next season, which means fewer games inside the division. Does that guarantee anything for the Red Sox? Hardly. But it’s at least a small, fortunate development that might give the Sox more wiggle room to get back to real competitiveness.
Consider the math:
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – AUGUST 23: Aaron Judge #99 of the New York Yankees celebrates his fourth inning home run against the New York Mets with teammate Anthony Rizzo #48 at Yankee Stadium on August 23, 2022 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Yes, it’s only one season, but that’s the Red Sox’ record inside the division this year. The Sox don’t have a winning record against any AL East opponent, going 6-7 against New York, 5-7 vs. Baltimore, 2-8 against Tampa Bay and 3-12 against Toronto. Obviously, rosters change from year to year. But the Blue Jays have some of the best young talent in baseball, the Rays have built a time-tested model and the Orioles have turned a corner with one of the highest-rated minor league systems in the game. The Yankees, meanwhile, haven’t had a losing season since 1992. In the long term, there’s no telling what the AL East will be. But in the short term, this should give Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox more time to rebuild their operation and play more games against mediocre and downright bad competition.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 24: George Springer #4 of the Toronto Blue Jays celebrates after a RBI double during the tenth inning at Fenway Park on August 24, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Blue Jays defeat the Red Sox 3-2. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
The Red Sox’ record this year outside the division, a winning percentage that would translate into 96 wins over a full season. As a result of the scheduling changes that will go into effect next season, the Sox will now play 24 more games against teams beyond the high-powered American League East. The number of divisional games will drop from 76 to 52, which means that Sox will play the Yankees, Jays, Rays and O’s 13 times each instead of 19 times each. That’s a big benefit. The bad news? New York, Toronto, Baltimore and Tampa will have the same advantage.
BOSTON, MA – JULY 5: Wander Franco #5 of the Tampa Bay Rays scores a run in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 5, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Where the AL East collectively stands this year relative to .500. That’s right, if you add up the records of all five teams in the division, the AL East teams are an aggregate 54 games over .500, easily the highest margin in baseball. Every other division in the game has at least two clubs that are 10 or more games below .500; the AL East has zero. Nobody should cry for the Sox this year because the division was a known issue entering the season, but you get the idea. More creampuffs on the schedule should keep the Red Sox in the hunt longer in 2023, though it hardly guarantees anything if the Sox don’t improve their roster and overall play.
Red Sox reveal 2023 season schedule
The Boston Red Sox might not be done with their (wildly frustrating) 2022 season just yet, but dates and opponents for the entirety of the 2023 season have been finalized.
It will be a ‘first’ of sorts for the Red Sox and Major League Baseball as a whole, as the 2023 season will mark the first time in league history that all 30 teams will play one another in the same season. With interleague play now a full-time thing, divisional play will take a slight hit, as the Red Sox will now play their American League East foes 13 times each (opposed to the ‘normal’ 19 times per year.)
This will probably feel like the longest season yet, too, as the season will begin in March and end in October. The good news this time around: Weather permitting, every single baseball team will be in action on Opening Day, meaning there will be no bizarre, multi-day wait for things to get started.
So when does the potential fun get underway for the 2023 Red Sox?
BOSTON, MA – JULY 28: Alex Verdugo #99, Jackie Bradley Jr. #19, and Jarren Duran #40 all hug after beating the Cleveland Guardians at Fenway Park on July 28, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
Mar. 30 – Apr. 2: vs. Baltimore Orioles
Apr. 3 – Apr. 5: vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Apr. 6 – Apr. 9: at Detroit Tigers
Apr. 10 – Apr. 13: at Tampa Bay Rays
Apr. 14 – Apr. 17: vs. Los Angeles Angels
Apr. 18 – Apr. 20: vs. Minnesota Twins
Apr. 21 – Apr. 23: at Milwaukee Brewers
Apr. 24 – Apr. 26: at Baltimore Orioles
Apr. 28 – Apr. 30: vs. Cleveland Guardians
BOSTON, MA – JULY 5: Trevor Story #10 celebrates with teammate Franchy Cordero #16 of the Boston Red Sox after hitting a solo home run against the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park. (Kathryn Riley/Getty Images)
May 1 – May 4: vs. Toronto Blue Jays
May 5 – May 7: at Philadelphia Phillies
May 9 – May 10: at Atlanta Braves
May 12 – May 14: vs. St. Louis Cardinals
May 15 – May 17: vs. Seattle Mariners
May 19 – May 21: at San Diego Padres
May 22 – May 24: at Los Angeles Angels
May 26 – May 28: at Arizona Diamondbacks
May 30 – May 31: vs. Cincinnati Reds
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – JULY 29: Alex Cora of the Boston Red Sox takes Brayan Bello #66 out of the game against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. (Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
June 1: vs. Cincinnati Reds
June 2 – June 5: vs. Tampa Bay Rays
June 6 – June 8: at Cleveland Guardians
June 9 – June 11: at New York Yankees
June 12 – June 14: vs. Colorado Rockies
June 16 – June 18: vs. New York Yankees
June 19 – June 22: at Minneota Twins
June 23 – June 25: at Chicago White Sox
June 27 – June 29: vs. Miami Marlins
June 30: at Toronto Blue Jays
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 15: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox sends the ball to first for the out against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on July 15, 2022. (Elsa/Getty Images)
July 1 – July 2: at Toronto Blue Jays
July 4 – July 6: vs. Texas Rangers
July 7 – July 9: vs. Oakland Athletics
July 11: 2023 All-Star Game
July 14 – July 16: at Chicago Cubs
July 17 – July 19: at Oakland Athletics
July 21 – July 23: vs. New York Mets
July 25 – July 26: vs. Atlanta Braves
July 28 – July 30: at San Francisco Giants
July 31: at Seattle Mariners
ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – JULY 12: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox pitches during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on July 12, 2022 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Aug. 1 – Aug. 2: at Seattle Mariners
Aug. 4 – Aug. 6: vs. Toronto Blue Jays
Aug. 7 – Aug. 10: vs. Kansas City Royals
Aug. 11 – Aug. 13: vs. Detroit Tigers
Aug. 15 – Aug. 17: at Washington Nationals
Aug. 18 – Aug. 20: at New York Yankees
Aug. 21 – Aug. 24: at Houston Astros
Aug. 25 – Aug. 27: vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Aug. 28 – Aug. 30: vs. Houston Astros
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS – AUGUST 14: Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox is pushed in a laundry cart in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run against the New York Yankees. (Brian Fluharty/Getty Images)
Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.