A.J. Preller and the San Diego Padres have done it again! They strike for gold as they sign a top-5 shortstop to an expensive deal.
Xander Bogaerts leaves the Boston Red Sox after 10 successful seasons and signs an 11-year $280m deal. Preller and Peter Seidler wasted no time trying to improve this roster. They offered massive deals to both Trea Turner and Aaron Judge, who declined and signed elsewhere. Bogaerts was arguably the top player left in free agency, and the Friars secured him for what could be the rest of his career.
Bogaerts is a 5-time Silver Slugger winner and won the award the past two seasons at SS for the American League. He was on the All-MLB first team in 2019 and has the most games played at SS in Red Sox history.
The deal includes no opt-outs or trade clauses.
Source: Xander Bogaerts’ deal with Padres does not have opt-outs. It includes no-trade protection. @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 8, 2022
This is a shocking move. However, Bogaerts was forced to sign this deal as it was noted that the Red Sox offer was south of $200 million.
What does Bogaerts bring to the table?
Again, Bogaerts is a top-5 shortstop in baseball. He’s one of the top hitters in the game and has been a huge part of the Sox’ success over the years, especially in 2018 when they won the World Series. The slugger is a 4-time All-Star and has a career WAR of 34.9.
Bogaerts brings all-around offensive talent to the Padres’ lineup. He can bat anywhere from 1-5 in the lineup and can hit for contact and power. It’s tough to really tell how a right-handed hitter will adjust leaving Fenway Park. However, Bogaerts’ numbers on the road are not far off from his home stats.
Last season, the former Red Sox hit .307 with 15 home runs and 77 RBIs. He smashed 171 hits and had an OPS of .833. He hit .317 at home and .297 on the road (which is still very elite).
His career numbers add up to his expectations. Bogaerts has a line of .292/.356/.458 for his career. That is electric.
— PressPlay ▶️ (@PressPlay_NYC) December 8, 2022
It’s hard to believe the Sox let a player with his caliber walk away.
Bogaerts will more than likely play shortstop. That should shift Ha-Seong Kim over to second base, which also shift Jake Cronenworth to first base (for the time being).
Where does Fernando Tatis Jr. play? That remains to be unknown. Tatis will not play until late April, and when he returns, don’t be shocked if he starts out at DH or in the outfield. Tatis won’t be happy about it, but if he’s as competitive as everyone says he is, he’ll understand what it takes to win a World Series.
The Silver Slugger can also play very elite defense at the shortstop position. He was named as a finalist final AL Gold Glove in 2022 and turned himself into an all-around player.
The X-man is the newest star in San Diego. He will bring more jersey sales and merchandise to a city that is starving for a championship. He joins Manny Machado in the infield, as those two were arguably two of the best right-handed hitters in the game last season. Machado, Tatis, Juan Soto, and now Xander Bogaerts. That is as good as any core-4 in the MLB and if they all stay healthy … watch out MLB.