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#pounditFriday, September 29, 2023

Red Sox reportedly gave Xander Bogaerts ‘disrespectful’ contract offer

Xander Bogaerts running the bases

Aug 14, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Cleveland Indians during the third inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

If the Boston Red Sox were hoping Xander Bogaerts would give them a hometown discount, it sounds like they should have made a stronger effort to sign the star shortstop to a contract extension a year ago.

Bogaerts was willing to sign an extension with Boston heading into the 2021 season, ESPN’s Joon Lee reports. He was hopeful of getting a new deal done after the Red Sox signed Trevor Story to a six-year, $140 million free-agent contract. A source told Lee that Bogaerts would have strongly considered signing a similar deal, but the offer never came.

Bogaerts became a free agent after the 2022 season when he opted out of the three years and $60 million remaining on his contract. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported back in April that the Red Sox offered to add an addition year and $30 million onto that, which would have essentially amounted to a four-year, $90 million extension.

Bogaerts felt disrespected by the offer and considered it “a slap,” according to Lee.

When Bogaerts signed a six-year, $120 million extension prior to the 2019 season, he felt he was giving the Red Sox a hometown discount. He was hoping his loyalty would be rewarded this time around. He reportedly told those close to him that he wanted to remain in Boston and would even be willing to move to second or third base down the road if needed.

Bogaerts, 30, ended up signing an 11-year, $280 million deal with the San Diego Padres. He seemed to send a message to the Red Sox in his introductory press conference with his new team.

Fans in Boston have been frustrated with the team’s unwillingness to pay market value for their own star players. Bogaerts joins fellow former Red Sox superstars Mookie Betts and Jon Lester as players who wanted to remain in Boston but had to leave to be paid what they were worth.

Rafael Devers is now set to become a free agent after the 2023 season. The Red Sox may finally understand how important it is to re-sign the slugger.


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