We have used this idea for the last couple of years. The idea is to go through some of the top free agents, using the contract FanGraphs suggests and have a poll to see if we would sign him for that amount.
Xander Bogaerts is number 6 on FanGraphs’ list and #5 on Keith Law’s list.
Bogaerts turned 30 on October 1st. He’s played ten seasons with the Red Sox. His career line is .292/.356/.458, with 156 home runs. He can take a walk, has mid-range power, hits for a high average and plays good defense at shortstop.
He’s had MVP votes five times, made four All-Star teams and has five Silver Slugger awards.
Keith Law says:
Bogaerts comes to free agency off a platform year that’s a bit different from his norms, as he failed to hit 20 homers for the first time in a full season since 2017 but played his best-ever defense at shortstop. He used to destroy fastballs, but has drifted downward since 2019 and now is merely above-average against them, while against all pitches this year he swung and missed more and barreled the ball less, even in-zone. Bogaerts had his best defensive season by advanced metrics – it was just his second year with a positive Outs Above Average figure, at +5, with UZR and dRS both also showing career-best marks. He might be a $30-35 million player in the first year or two of a long-term deal, but without a return to his hard-hitting ways of 2018-19, he’s likely to underperform that over a 5-6 year deal.
Opinions vary on whether Bogaerts can, in fact, play shortstop. He’s been a bat-first guy his entire career and just turned 30; a move to third base is likely forthcoming, but he doesn’t have a huge throwing arm, so he might be below average there too. None of that stops him from being a star, and he’d be a good bat even at DH, but the further he falls on the defensive spectrum, the less special his skill set is. I think he’ll be able to hack it at short for a year or two more before declining to a Justin Turner-esque third base defense: good actions but light arm.
So the question is, ‘how long can he stay at short?’ My answer is ‘he’s a lot better than Bichette now. He can regress a lot before they would be even defensively’. If you are ok with Bo’s defense now, you should be ok with Xander’s for several years.
Ben figured Bogaerts to get a 7-year contract for $31 million yearly, totalling $217 million. That’s a fair bit of money. With Vlad and Bo getting near the amount of service time needed to get paid real money, I’m not sure the team would want to give out that much to Xander.
I think telling him he won’t have to wear that terrible yellow jersey ever again would be a huge selling point. If I’m him, I take half the pay if I don’t have to wear that again.
But then, we aren’t the team.
Should the Jays sign Xander Bogaerts if the price is $31 million a year for 7 years?
This poll is closed
Probably, but I’m not enthusiastic about it
Probably no, but I wouldn’t hate it
No, absolutely not