Xander Bogaerts will reportedly join the list of talented free-agent shortstops this offseason.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, the Boston Red Sox shortstop is "expected to opt out" of his deal. Heyman noted Carlos Correa is expected to do the same with the Minnesota Twins, which would mean the list of free-agent shortstops would include Correa, Bogaerts, Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson.
Heyman also noted the Red Sox would prefer to keep Bogaerts.
If the 30-year-old stayed locked into his deal, he would have been in line to make $20 million a year for the next four seasons until he was an unrestricted free agent after the 2026 campaign.
Even with the positional competition, he figures to receive what could be the last major deal of his career given his age. His resume includes two World Series titles, four All-Star selections and four Silver Sluggers.
He was excellent again in 2022 with a .307/.377/.456 slash line, 15 home runs and 73 RBI. He was a bright spot for a Red Sox team that finished in last place in the American League East.
There is some additional context for Boston when it comes to Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, who is scheduled for arbitration in 2023 and free agency in 2024. The high-profile team traded franchise cornerstone Mookie Betts after the 2019 season, and he proceeded to join the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Los Angeles won the 2020 World Series with Betts in the lineup.
Heyman previously reported "the mistake of trading Mookie Betts raises the urgency" for Boston when it comes to the Bogaerts and Devers decisions and appeasing a fanbase that is likely still upset with the previous decision and the poor finish in 2022.
The Red Sox will have to compete with other teams on the open market, though, as Bogaerts seems to be headed to free agency.