MMO Free Agent Profile: Xander Bogaerts, SS

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Position: SS

Bats/Pitch: R/R

Age: 30 (10/02/1992)

Traditional statistics 2022: 150G, 631AP, .307/.377/.456, 15HR, 38 2B, 73 RBI, 171H

Advanced statistics 2022: 134 wRC+, 5.7 rWAR, 6.1 fWAR, .362 BABiP, .323 xwOBA, 4.9 UZR, 4 DRS, 5 OAA

Note that Bogaerts is still not a free agent, as he has an option he has yet to decide. There’s still a chance he’ll opt for a home in Boston. However, the consensus pushes him to withdraw. This profile is written as if he is going to retire and become a free agent.

Tiredness

Xander Bogaerts has been one of the most consistent sticks in the Red Sox roster since becoming an everyday player. The 29-year-old made his fifth All-Star team in 2022 and had his fifth straight season with a wRC+ of at least 129. While this year has been a slack season in the energy department for Bogaerts , his strikeout rate has dropped significantly from 27.5% in 2021 to 18.7% this year, matching his career mark of 18.3%.

For a very long time, Bogaerts’ biggest concern was his glove. However, he had by far the best defensive season of his career in 2022. He recorded 4.9 UZR, compared to 2.3 a year ago, 5 OAA (negative-9 in 2021) and 4 DRS (negative- 5 in 2021). Bogaerts also offers good value on the bases with eight interceptions and 4.7 BsR this year.

Although his surface numbers are strong, Bogaerts’ forward stats suggest he could suffer some regression. His hard hitting rate increased from 43% to 39.5%, his fly ball and line driving rates both decreased and his ground ball rate increased to 46.6%, the highest since his disappointing 2017 season. His average exit speed dropped to just 88.1 MPH, and his .259 xBA and .323 xwOBA aren’t promising either.

Definitely, something to watch for in the future. Above all, don’t play in an extremely hitter-friendly Fenway Park, if he leaves Boston.

Contract

Bogaerts is expected to opt out of the remaining four years and $80 million of the seven-year extension he signed in 2019. However, it’s worth noting there’s still a chance he could opt or extend with Boston on a new deal. OK.

However, if he hits the open market, in a busy shortstop free-agent class this offseason, Spotrac.com believes Bogaerts is worth a six-year, $186 million contract. The average annual salary of $31 million would be the fourth highest ever for a shortstop, just behind Francois Lindor, Corey Seagerand Carlos Correawho have all signed their agreements within the last two years.

Bogaerts is still in his prime at the start of his 30-year-old season and is a very well-rounded offensive shortstop who could fit well into almost any lineup. Although his defense has improved this year, it’s hard to imagine it remaining effective as he gets older, and given his lack of versatility, Bogaerts, at some point, could be forced into a role. designated hitter.

Ultimately, it’s hard to imagine him earning more than $30 million per year, but expect him to receive a little more than the $25 million per year that Marcus Semien received the last off-season. Sure, if he retires and leaves Boston.

Recommendation

With Francisco Lindor stuck at shortstop for the long haul, Bogaerts has no place in the Mets infield. The only way the Mets would make sense to sign Bogaerts would be as a DH, which is one place the Mets desperately need production. However, at this point in his career, it’s hard to imagine Bogaerts accepting a designated hitting role. Especially given his defensive strength.

And again, as mentioned above, there’s no 100% given that he’s stepping down.

Statistics via Fangraphs.


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