MLB Rumors: Padres' Xander Bogaerts Felt Red Sox's Contract Offer Was 'a Slap'

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 19, 2022

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 09: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the San Diego Padres addresses the media at his introductory press conference at PETCO Park on December 9, 2022 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

Xander Bogaerts reportedly felt disrespected by the Boston Red Sox before he chose to sign with the San Diego Padres on an 11-year, $280 million deal.

According to Joon Lee of ESPN, Bogaerts "would have seriously considered" a contract extension in the range of Trevor Story's six-year, $140 million pact that he signed with the Red Sox ahead of the 2022 campaign.

However, the American League East team instead offered him one more year and $30 million on top of the three years and $60 million he had remaining on his previous deal. Someone close to the shortstop said he interpreted that offer as "a slap."

That didn't stop him from thanking the fans:

Joon Lee @joonlee

Xander Bogaerts posted a farewell to Red Sox fans on Instagram <a href="https://t.co/xrMYqr552a">pic.twitter.com/xrMYqr552a</a>

It seems that Boston had a path to prevent Bogaerts from even hitting free agency at 30 years old. Lee explained the four-time All-Star wanted to remain with the Red Sox for his entire career and was even willing to move to second or third base down the line if necessary.

However, he did not want to accept a team-friendly deal just for the sake of staying put, and the Padres "significantly outbid Boston" after he hit free agency this offseason.

"There are a couple of regrets," Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said of the negotiation process with Bogaerts.

While Boston was not interested in signing Bogaerts to a massive deal that would have taken him into his late 30s, the calculus of his value changed during the 2022 campaign. He already had two World Series crowns, four Silver Sluggers and three All-Star selections on his resume, but he turned in one of the best years of his career ahead of free agency.

Bogaerts slashed .307/.377/.456 with 15 home runs and 73 RBI while posting five defensive runs saved above average with his glove, per FanGraphs.

His 5.8 wins above replacement total was second only to the 6.3 he posted in 2019, per Baseball Reference. He was a bright spot for a Red Sox team that otherwise sputtered on the way to a last-place finish in the American League East at 78-84.

Boston was one of the most disappointing teams in MLB after reaching the American League Championship Series the prior year.

Now Bogaerts joins a Padres team that already featured Juan Soto and Manny Machado and will get the suspended Fernando Tatís Jr. back during the season. The Padres are in World-Series-or-bust mode after reaching last season's National League Championship Series and made a splash with the addition of Bogaerts.

He may be extra motivated after feeling spurned by Boston.