MLB Rumors: Xander Bogaerts On His Way Out Of Boston?

Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts
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Tristin McKinstry

It isn't often that rumors of big trades begin swirling this early in the MLB season. And yet, this season continues to set itself apart from seasons past.

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has a clause in his contract that allows him to opt-out of his current deal with the club. This would make him a free agent in November instead of 2027 when the deal ends. However, as things stand right now, there's a chance he may not last that long at Fenway Park.

"A Slap In The Face"

Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts
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Bogaerts and the Red Sox held extension talks before the season, but those talks were put on hold. Reportedly, the last Red Sox offer to the two-time World Series champion was a lowball offer.

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Red Sox offer would have added an additional year to the three years already left on the contract. That extra year would be worth around $30 million. However, Bogaerts was not a fan.

“A friend of Bogaerts referred to Boston’s bid as a ‘slap in the face,'” Heyman said.

A Trade In The Works?

Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts
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Whether a trade happens is contingent on the rest of the Red Sox season. The club enters play on Friday last in the American League East with an 11-20 record. Only the Detroit Tigers have a worse record in the American League than the Red Sox.

If Boston can turn things around, they can afford to hold on to Bogaerts for one last push at a World Series title. If things continue to go south, holding on to the three-time All-Star may not be the correct course of action when the alternative is losing him for nothing in free agency.

Bogaerts' Early Years

Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts
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Bogaerts joined the Red Sox as an international free agent at the age of 16 in 2009. He made his debut in 2013, and while he only played in 20 regular-season games, he played in all six games of the 2013 World Series as Boston defeated the St. Louis Cardinals.

Bogaerts became a regular starter in 2014, and he found success. From 2014 to 2018, Bogaerts hit 50 homers, drove in 278 runs, and held a .284/.339/.410 slash line. He won two Silver Slugger Awards and was named an All-Star in 2016.

A Second World Series

Boston Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts
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Bogaerts found his stride in 2018. He hit 23 homers, drove in 2013 RBI, and hit .288 as the Red Sox had the best record in baseball. He and the Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2018 World Series.

In April 2019, Bogaerts signed the six-year, $120M contract he currently plays on. In 2019, he hit 33 homers, drove in 117 runs, and finished fifth in AL MVP voting. He was named an All-Star in 2019 and 2021 and currently holds a .345 batting average this season.