The San Diego Padres weren’t exactly shy about coveting some of the biggest free agent names out there. Not only were they in on Aaron Judge and Trea Turner, but Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts was someone that they had firmly in their crosshairs.
Despite Fernando Tatis Jr. returning to San Diego after his year away from the team, the Padres were interested in adding one more infield. With Manny Machado already at third base and names like Ha-Seong Kim and Jake Cronenworth floating around, the Padres may have the league’s best infield if they signed one of these titans.
With the Red Sox committing upwards of nine figures to the signings of closer Kenley Jansen and star NPB outfielder Masataka Yoshida, the odds of giving Bogaerts the long-term deal he wanted were slim. San Diego stepped in, giving him a whopping deal that pried him away from Boston.
Bogaerts agreed to a 11-year, $280 million deal with the Padres that will keep him in San Diego until the 2034 season. With Soto likely staying in San Diego for a very long time, Tatis locked up, and Machado signed for a few more prime seasons, San Diego’s infield is as good as it gets.
The San Diego Padres have signed Xander Bogaerts.
There are questions about how amazing his defensive potential truly is, but Bogaerts is, without question, one of the game’s best middle infield hitters. Over the last five seasons, Bogaerts has hit .301 while averaging 45 doubles, 27 home runs, and 102 RBI per 162 games.
With four All-Star nods and five Silver Sluggers in his trophy case, Bogaerts is an accomplished hitter that will only get better with so much protection in this lineup. It remains to be seen if he will switch positions, but the fact he’s even made the trip to San Diego is exciting enough.
Bogaerts’ deal isn’t as expensive as it sounds when one looks at average annual value. At $25.4 million, Bogaerts’ deal is cheaper on average than Kris Bryant and Chris Sale while only slightly exceeding Marcus Stroman and George Springer. For a bat like that, you splurge like this.
According to Jon Morosi, Bogaerts’ deal will have no opt-outs and includes a no-trade clause. He is in for the long haul.
While paying Bogaerts an exorbitant amount of money past the age of 40 is likely not going to age well, the first part of this deal will likely justify their gaudy price tag. The Padres are settling for nothing less than a championship in the next half-decade, and Bogaerts gets them closer to that goal.