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MLB Rumors: Xander Bogaerts Hasn't Gotten 'Competitive' Contract Offer from Red Sox

Erin WalshDecember 4, 2022

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 5: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox salutes the fans as he exits the game during the seventh inning of a game against the Tampa Bay Rays on October 5, 2022 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox have not made a "competitive offer" to Xander Bogaerts in free agency, according to Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe.

Bogaerts "has been meeting with interested teams this weekend in person," Abraham added.

Additionally, USA Today's Bob Nightengale reported Sunday that Boston's offers to Bogaerts "haven't come close to enticing him to stay."

The news is somewhat surprising, especially after Sean McAdam of Boston Sports Journal reported in October that the Red Sox had met with the star shortstop to relay that retaining him was their "top priority."

Additionally, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said at the time that the club wanted to build around Bogaerts, per McAdam:

"That's no different than where we've been. Our position hasn't changed on that. I've said this before, but nothing I say really matters unless there's a deal. But our position has been the sameβ€”that we want to keep him here for a long time and we want him here on a deal that we're going to look back on and say, 'This was great for everybody.' ... We want to build around him and win."

Bogaerts, who has spent his entire 10-year career with the Red Sox, opted out of the final three seasons and $60 million on the remainder of his contract in November to become a free agent and search for a more lucrative deal.

Before the 2022 season, the Red Sox offered Bogaerts a contract that would have paid him $90 million over four years, which would have run through 2026. The $22.5 million per season on that offer was only slightly higher than the $20 million per year he was making.

In April, one of the shortstop's friends told Jon Heyman of the New York Post the offer was viewed as a "slap in the face."

Bogaerts became a key cog in the Red Sox lineup since making his major league debut in 2013. The 30-year-old has helped the club win two World Series titles, and he has won five Silver Slugger awards, in addition to being selected to the All-Star Game four times.

And while the BoSox had a tough 2022 campaign, finishing last in the AL East with a 78-84 record, Bogaerts was arguably the team's best and most consistent hitter, slashing .307/.377/.456 with 15 home runs, 73 RBI and eight stolen bases in 150 games.

If Bogaerts walks in free agency, it's reasonable to believe the Red Sox will shift Trevor Story back to shortstop from second base in 2023. However, they would then have questions about who to deploy at second; at this point, it would likely be Christian Arroyo unless they add another second baseman on the open market.

Bogaerts is one of four premier free-agent shortstops available this offseason, joining Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson.

The Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres are among the teams interested in Bogaerts, according to Abraham. The Cubs have Bogaerts as their "top priority," per Nightengale.