The Boston Red Sox could have a serious hole to fill in their lineup.
Xander Bogaerts is set to opt out of the final three years of his contract, ready to enter free agency for the first time. It is something that the Red Sox have been desperate to avoid, having attempted to extend him already. However, their offer, which was essentially tacking another year at $30 million to the end of his contract, was considered a “slap in the face” by Bogaerts.
Boston Red Sox still hoping to bring Xander Bogaets back
But hope springs eternal. The Red Sox have said that bringing Bogaerts back is their top priority and that they are looking to start that conversation immediately. Bogaerts, for his part, has left the door open for a return as well.
In the end, it is going to come down to dollars and cents. Even if he is willing to give the Red Sox a bit of a home team discount, he is still going to need a lot more than their previous offer to return to Boston. On the positive side, the Red Sox do have approximately a month to try to hammer out a contract before the offseason begins and he would be able to opt out of his deal.
Bogaerts could also set the tone for the Red Sox offseason. They are going to need to replace several key pieces in their lineup and rotation as it is. If they are able to find a deal that works, they would be able to lock in a key part of the middle of their lineup while providing far more hope for their chances in 2023.
This could also be their last chance to lock Bogaerts in for the long term. He would attract plenty of attention in free agency, his .307/.377/.456 batting line with 15 homers and 38 doubles fitting well in any lineup. With several teams in need of help at short this offseason, Bogaerts is going to get paid. The only question is whether or not it will be in Boston.
The Boston Red Sox have said Xander Bogaerts is their biggest priority. It is a matter of whether or not they will open the checkbook and give him what he is looking for.