The Red Sox are finalizing a seven-year, $132 million contract with shortstop Xander Bogaerts that will run through the 2025 season, as WEEI’s Evan Drellich and ESPN’s Jeff Passan first reported on Sunday night. The deal includes an opt-out and a vesting option based on plate appearances, per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman:
BREAKING: The Red Sox and shortstop Xander Bogaerts are nearing a contract extension, sources said. Deal is not finalized, but is close.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 1, 2019
Shortstop Xander Bogaerts and the Boston Red Sox are finalizing a seven-year, $132M contract extension, league sources tell ESPN.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 1, 2019
Bogaerts, a two-time Silver Slugger and a 2016 AL All-Star, played a key role on both their 2013 and 2018 World Series teams and has arguably been the anchor of their infield in recent years as Dustin Pedroia has struggled with injuries and the corner infield positions have been in flux. Bogaerts, who doesn’t turn 27 until October, was set to become a free agent after this season, so it’s a rather major surprise to see him stick with Boston on what seems to be a very team-friendly deal, particularly for a guy who has youth on his side and plays one of the top two premium positions in the game today.
He’s the second pending free agent that Boston has signed to a lucrative long-term deal in just over two weeks — they signed Chris Sale to an extension through 2024 earlier this month. Bogaerts and Sale join a rather significant group of 2020 free-agents-to-be who have instead re-upped with their current clubs this spring, perhaps since they’re spooked by the slow free-agent market over the last three offseasons and the threat of a strike early next decade. Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Justin Verlander, Aaron Hicks, Miles Mikolas, Sonny Gray, and Ryan Pressly were among the other scheduled 2020 free agents who have signed extensions since the end of last season.