Xander Bogaerts, San Diego Padres
Bogaerts is one of five Padres winter signees on this list, and that fact alone ought to be an indictable offense for a team that barely played .500 ball. If A.J. Preller doesn’t survive this offseason, you just learned the reason why.
The Bogaerts deal was for 11 seasons at $280 million, paying him $25.45 million in 2023. It also forced the move of shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (already under a long-term contract) to right field. We can debate the implications of that on the Padres defense at another time.
Bogaerts justified that money by hitting .285 (his worst average since 2017) with 19 home runs and 58 RBI. He had a .789 OPS and a 119 OPS+, suggestive of a good but hardly exceptional season. In fact by OPS+ standards, it was only the sixth best season of his 11 MLB seasons.
There’s a word for that: average.
His 4.3 WAR looks pretty good, although Bogaerts produced five superior WAR seasons during his time with the Red Sox. The problem is his -1.0 Win Probability Added, his worst season by that standard since his 2014 rookie year. My hunch is that when the Padres agreed to pay Bogaerts that $25.45 million this season, they weren’t counting on his clutch moments costing them a full game in the standings. Transactional grade: C-