Before the 2019 season, the Boston Red Sox signed shortstop Xander Bogaerts to a six-year, $120 million contract that kicked in by 2020, since he had already agreed to a one-year, $12 million pact for the 2019 campaign two months earlier.
There was a caveat, though: after the third season of the six-year contract, Bogaerts had an opt-out clause.
At 30 years old, in his prime, and after having the best season of his life according to Wins Above Replacement (WAR), Bogaerts decided to opt out and test free agency.
The Red Sox couldn’t lock him up, and now are seeing how their biggest star is becoming available to all the remaining 29 teams just for money.
Red Sox insider Pete Abraham explained the reasoning behind Bogaerts’ decision.
“Bogaerts had three years and $60 million remaining on the deal he agreed to in 2019. That would seem to be well below his value on the market and, as was long expected, he will now explore that process,” Abraham tweeted.
Bogaerts had three years and $60 million remaining on the deal he agreed to in 2019. That would seem to be well below his value on the market and, as was long expected, he will now explore that process. https://t.co/OsIkw8oXOs
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) November 7, 2022
It’s Easy To Understand Bogaerts’ Decision
It’s not hard to see why Bogaerts opted out.
Marcus Semien, who is comparable with Bogaerts in recent performance, signed a deal that is paying him $25 million per year durig last offseason, at 31 years old.
Corey Seager is making $32.5 million per year, but he was about two-and-a-half years younger than Bogaerts when he signed last year.
And Carlos Correa got $35.1 million per year last offseason, too.
All of those deals set a promising precedent for Bogaerts, who hit .307/.377/.456 with 15 home runs this year, plus 6.1 WAR.
Why would he settle for $20 million per year when he can make close to $30, perhaps more?
It’s an easy market decision.