The Xander Bogaerts’ contract will continue to plague Padres

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The San Diego Padres are already having financial issues, and the signing of Xander Bogaerts continues to be an issue for the team. 

Xander Bogaerts is an excellent Major League player.

I have nothing against him.

However, his deal with the San Diego Padres will be a problem. It already is. You cannot deny that fact.

Last winter, the Padres were rumored to be all-in on Aaron Judge and Trea Turner. Reportedly, the Padres offered more money to both players before they signed with the Yankees and Phillies. That seemed to infuriate A.J. Preller, who changed gears and signed Xander Bogaerts away from the Boston Red Sox. Bogaerts was offered an 11-year/$280 million deal by the Padres, which was clearly above market value for a 30-year-old player.

Bogaerts could not deny the Padres offer. He took it.

Immediately, the baseball world shook their heads at the Padres and A.J. Preller. The signing of Bogaerts gave the Padres a remarkable top-4 players (Fernando Tatis Jr., Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Bogaerts) in their lineup. Not much vocalization was made by the fans in San Diego, except for excitement for the coming season.

We all know how the 2023 season went, as the Padres played with no cohesiveness and struggled to do anything productive except for the last few weeks of the season when the club finally showed some life. It was far too late, though, as the club disappointedly missed the playoffs in a season with so much hope.

Xander Bogaerts produced a .790 OPS, which was his worst since the 2017 season. He struggled with a wrist problem from the beginning of the season and was unable to consistently put forth his best effort. To his credit, he never once complained about the injury or used it as an excuse for his down year. Bogearts is undoubtedly a professional in every sense of the word.

The issue for Bogaerts and the Padres comes down to timing.

His deal’s AAV is $25.4 million. It isn’t that excessive, but the longevity of the deal will certainly hurt the Padres in the long run. Especially as Bogearts ages and will need to come off the shortstop position. You certainly cannot deny that fact. His range is already showing signs of decreasing. This is troubling.

Juan Soto is due for free agency next winter, and the Padres are working hard to secure the slugging outfielder.

You have to figure that the money given to Bogaerts is an issue when you may spend $400 million to secure Juan Soto long-term. Soto is the type of player you build your team around. He is 25, and his best years in the game have arguably not come yet. If you invest hundreds of millions of dollars into a player, you do it with the promise that they will be better. You cannot pay a player presently for what he has done in the game. Xander Bogaerts may continue to produce, but will he get better, and more importantly- will he improve with age? This is a huge risk.

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The likelihood of Xander Bogaerts continuing to be productive with the bat is very low after the first five or six years of the contract. That is just a fact. As a ballplayer ages, his reflexes diminish, and there is nothing you can do about that. The Padres will be hard-pressed to get the same production from Bogaerts at the end of this massive deal.

This winter, Blake Snell and Josh Hader are dipping their toes in the free agency waters. It is unimaginable that the Padres will not be players when it comes down to securing them. The team will lose its best starter and reliever from the 2023 season. Again Xander Bogaerts’ contract cripples the team. It’s not his deal alone, but the fact the Padres have two $300 million players in Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado. Three players making that type of money certainly makes you thrifty when completing the rest of the roster.

That is the position the Padres are presently in right now.

The San Diego Padres front office went out and spent money like it was going out of style, and now they are dealing with the repercussions. The future for the Padres is still bright, but they crave stability and balance. It may take a major trade or two to deliver that.

Xander Bogaerts and his massive deal is proving to be a mistake for the Padres. The pain from this deal has the potential to hurt for a long time.

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