X Leaves the Spot for San Diego: 11 years, $280M

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Seems clear that in an era of 10+ year deals a team either has to do that, or amp up the AAV considerably for a shorter term. Sox may not be willing to do either going forward.
Which i think is reasonable for the top X% of players in baseball. And, while I love Xander and dont know exactly what percentage he's in, it isn't in that bracket.
 

BravesField

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I too wish we could have kept X, but the market is what the market is. No one saw that contract for X at that amount. Bloom was wise to get Story a year ago. I always thought the Story signing was a hedge against what happened yesterday.

X at 11 years and 280 vs. Story at 6 years at 140? I'll take Story every day and twice on Sunday for those numbers
 

Yo La Tengo

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If this deal for Xander, 11 years and $280 million, was floated on here yesterday, would anyone have advocated for the Sox to sign it?
 

BigSoxFan

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I too wish we could have kept X, but the market is what the market is. No one saw that contract for X at that amount. Bloom was wise to get Story a year ago. I always thought the Story signing was a hedge against what happened yesterday.

X at 11 years and 280 vs. Story at 6 years at 140? I'll take Story every day and twice on Sunday for those numbers
Story is a 2B now. His weak arm can't handle SS. He's not the Bogaerts replacement.
 

johnnywayback

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Scott Boras will be richly deserving of a plaque in Cooperstown someday. Also, just plain rich.

This is pretty devastating, but from a pure baseball analysis standpoint, I'm not sure what the Sox could have done differently. Boras was going to take Bogaerts to free agency and there was always a chance that, in a hot free agent market, someone was going to make Bogaerts an offer he couldn't refuse.

They really have to be aggressive in going after Correa now, not just because there aren't any other true superstar shortstops left (I'm not a Swanson fan), but because there is very little superstar talent left.
 

chawson

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This would be perfectly fine for Correa, and worth it IMO. Especially if they want to hedge against Devers leaving next year. Correa would be a good candidate to move to third when Mayer is ready, where he’d still be a plus defender.

Is there any evidence that the Phillies want to trade Hoskins?
There wouldn’t be evidence that DD wants to trade him, but here’s a FanGraphs article that aggregates a bunch of the local reports and other clamor about it. They have other first basemen ready to go.

As far as the other moves, sounds great- but isn’t Correa going to be a $300m investment? Seems like it would require a sudden pivot in strategy. If the Sox valued X at 6/160, I’m guessing something like 8/225? Which is too low.

I also wouldn’t assume the Dodgers are out.
It would seem to be a bigger pivot in strategy for the Sox to roll with a <$200M payroll, or middle-third in the league. I’d expect them to spend, it just depends who. And I would not at all be surprised if they value Correa much higher given his age and defense.
 
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Salem's Lot

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Seems clear that in an era of 10+ year deals a team either has to do that, or amp up the AAV considerably for a shorter term. Sox may not be willing to do either going forward.
It’s the total guaranteed money that’s the issue. $280 is a huge risk for one player.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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It would seem to be a bigger pivot in strategy for the Sox to roll with a <$200M payroll, or middle-third in the league. I’d expect them to spend, it just depends who. And I would not at all be surprised if they value Correa much higher given his age and defense.
What is the current payroll projection? I’d imagine that adding something like Elvis Andrus, Seth Lugo, and Wil Myers would likely cost $35-$40M aav…I think they will spent but it will most likely be on short term deals when possible.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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Good for Xander, but this contract is dumb.

He benefited tremendously from playing home games in Fenway and is going to one of the least hitter friendly ballparks. It will mute the pain when people look back on this in a few years and see his raw batting numbers tanked.
 

JOBU

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Not the news I wanted to wake up to at all. Just completely empty feeling. What can I say that hasn’t already been said. Good for X and the $280M. I’m glad the Red Sox didn’t offer that. But to only offer $160 million (if that is a true report) is pretty terrible. That’s not even competitive and that is the most disappointing thing I’m taking away from all this.
 

SouthernBoSox

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The problem is not this contract. This contract is stupid and one you simply cannot agree too.

The problem is that Mookie Betts made it to arbitration 3 times ages 24-26. The problem is that Rafael Devers is 26 years old and still never had a contract extension.

The problem is not the inability to hand out contracts to 30 year olds. The problem is that their inability to buy out those crucial 8-12 service years early in a players career.
 

DJnVa

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Carlos Correa is most definitely in play here. I would offer him whatever they offered X.
Why would the better player sign for an amount that was apparently not even close to getting X?
 

BringBackMo

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certainly feels like they botched the negotiations and were way off on his market value from the get go,
6/160 a year after Semien got 7/175 is just not even realistic, IMO. They had to know that wasn’t getting a deal done;
So were they way off on his market value from the get go, or did they know their offer wasn’t getting a deal done? Were they clueless about his value on the market or did they establish an internal price they were willing to pay and not move beyond it?

It is fair for anyone to be disappointed right now. This stings and the Sox are playing things very close to the vest so it requires faith to believe that they have a plan. I can understand why some may not have that faith right now. That’s fine and I get the frustration. But you have made some posts recently that seem to call into question Bloom’s competence when it comes to the most basic of baseball concepts. You suggested, for instance, that he somehow believed he could sneak through the rule 5 draft the player who was ultimately taken with the very first pick. And then you stated that Bloom had no idea what Xander’s actual value in the market was.

Again, that you are disinclined to give the Sox the benefit of the doubt when it comes to their big-picture strategy is understandable. I support most of what they’re doing, but I completely get how you might feel this way. But to keep suggesting that the front office is so incompetent that it doesn’t understand baseball basics is, well, absurd.
 

TapeAndPosts

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This is a reasoned and reasonable take, but this really stings.

I hate that the Red Sox lately seem to always be the team that can't retain their homegrown stars, and with the new information about what they offered X, it's very clear that current management is being very careful about the length of contracts given out - maybe as a response to several high profile failures over the last few years (Sale, Pedroia for example). That is OK, but it is very sad that our chief rivals can get their stars to stay for life - and sometimes it even kind of works out (Jeter), but we don't seem to value that.
I think there is this perception that we are unique in losing star players to free agency, but we're really not. Astros lost Springer and Correa, Dodgers just lost Turner (I know not home-grown). While the Yankees did just resign Judge, this is reminding me a bit of the Yankees losing Robinson Cano, who went on to have a few good years for Seattle but not for the whole contract.

All the good organizations lose players to free agency. What makes them good organizations is having more outstanding players in the pipeline, not desperately overpaying for the players they already had for their best years.
 

BaseballJones

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If we project Story's 2022 numbers to the same number of games X played (150), which I know is a bit of a fool's errand but still, here's how they compare:

Bogaerts: .307/.377/.456/.833, 15 hr, 73 rbi, 38 2b, 254 total bases, 8 sb
Story: .238/.303/.434/.737, 26 hr, 105 rbi, 35 2b, 247 total bases, 21 sb

Obviously Story did get hurt, but I don't think that's something we can assume will be an ongoing problem. Maybe it will. Who knows. The point is, in terms of who is a better baseball player, I think they're pretty comparable overall. And Story's contract is HALF of what Xander's is.
 

RedOctober3829

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Very sad to see Xander go, like everyone else. I do feel that people are reading way, way too much into McAdam’s rather vague tweet. This front office has leaked nothing, to anyone. I’m not buying that anyone important in the organization suddenly told someone without hesitation that they were confident they were going to resign X. The two-hour Xander is Coming Home! social media blitz yesterday afternoon looks in hindsight very much like a campaign to get SD to bid against itself and up what was already the best offer for Bogaerts. Regardless, if anyone here wants to criticize the Sox for their approach to the X negotiations going back a year or two, have at it. But to imply that this organization is so incompetent that it is clueless about the market rates for free agents in 2022–especially in light of the contracts handed out over the past 48 hours—simply strains credulity. If that’s your take, you are the one who is likely out of touch. The Sox had a number they valued X at. They offered that number. That‘s all there is to it. I’m sad he won’t be with the Red Sox. I wanted him to retire here. I’m also very confident the Sox have planned for this outcome.
The reports about Bloom being happy as he answered X questions yesterday afternoon are interesting. Did he actually think he was close to signing him because they upped their offer to the reported final offer?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If we project Story's 2022 numbers to the same number of games X played (150), which I know is a bit of a fool's errand but still, here's how they compare:

Bogaerts: .307/.377/.456/.833, 15 hr, 73 rbi, 38 2b, 254 total bases, 8 sb
Story: .238/.303/.434/.737, 26 hr, 105 rbi, 35 2b, 247 total bases, 21 sb

Obviously Story did get hurt, but I don't think that's something we can assume will be an ongoing problem. Maybe it will. Who knows. The point is, in terms of who is a better baseball player, I think they're pretty comparable overall. And Story's contract is HALF of what Xander's is.
Story can't play SS any more due to his arm. Position scarcity is a real thing and in this case it's a big advantage for X.

X is a much better player and it's not particularly close.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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After sleeping on it… I still don’t feel any better. I can rationalize things, but the reality is that NY shelled out $40M and 9 years to keep their older, homegrown star, and we lost ours, on the same day. And it appears we were outbid by over $100M. That just…. sucks.

If it’s accurate that the Sox organizationally want to avoid these mega deals because they’re too risky, then they need to take other risks. Like signing a Japanese player to a substantial 5 year deal. Or extending 7+ year offers to their good but not quite proven prospects (Casas and Bello sometime this year?).

Others have pointed to Houston as a model. They got Bregman, McCullers, and Alvarado to sign long term extensions. They’re working on Tucker. They’ll probably approach Peña soon.
 

JM3

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The reports about Bloom being happy as he answered X questions yesterday afternoon are interesting. Did he actually think he was close to signing him because they upped their offer to the reported final offer?
I'm guessing he was probably just happy about the other business he had just done.
 

Big Papi's Mango Salsa

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Well this stinks. No, I would not have gone 11 and $280m, but (as I posted in the best offers thread) I would have gone something like 9/$225m to get it done. Would he have taken that deal to stay in Boston, I have no idea, but I get not paying a player into their 40s and won't fault the team for that.

Where I DO fault them as others have brought up is the fact that one, the offer they made yesterday via Speier probably gets it done last year at this time. They didn't do it. Some will say "they never wanted him at that cost" and others will say "Boras players always go to free agency" which I think are both valid arguments (even though I think the former is insanity for the Sox not to have wanted him, but it's a valid argument). However, at that point where I absolutely eviscerate the front office is in NOT trading him. If you know you're not going to meet the market because you value a player differently - fine. But, trade the player at the deadline - letting him walk for nothing is inexcusable.

Yes, the Red Sox were "only" 2 games out of the wild card, but I believe they were behind 3 (if not 4) teams in their own division at that point, and had showed no ability to beat those teams to that point in the season. It was clear this wasn't a playoff team so they should have moved Bogaerts then without question.

I understand the idea of not wanting to commit huge money to over 30 players; I understand needing to build through the farm system the way the finances of the game are set up - so deal Bogaerts for prospects, not lose him for zilch.

I hope we don't make this same mistake with Devers. You extend him this off-season or you trade him. Don't make this same colossal mistake again.
 

redsoxcentury

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This sucks of course but that does seem like a lot (thanks everyone who calming me down). Wonder if the team could move Story back to shortstop

Edit: good points on the arm. Sigh, looks like they have to go outside to get a shortstop
 

A Bad Man

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Let us not forget about the infield talent we have in our system. Assuming we are interested in retaining Casas and Devers, that is 1B and 3B until at least 2028. Story is signed through at least 2025, likely 2028.

Nick Yorke is due probably in 2024. Mayer in 2025. We have Romero, we have Paulino, we have Bonaci, we have Valdez.

If we sign X long term and retain Devers and Casas, we are committing to putting ourselves in a weak bargaining position with our best prospects.

Yes, you could theoretically put Devers at DH and move Xander to 3B, but then you are paying Devers 300 million to DH.
 

8slim

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I admit, I don't enjoy the amateur GM aspect of following baseball. I have enough things to deal with in life than to spend time trying to puzzle out the complexities of contracts and AAV. I don't begrudge anyone if they're into that, it's just not for me anymore.

What I want is to follow a competitive Sox team during the season. Last year we didn't get to do that for the last 3-ish months of the year, and it stunk. As of today, it's hard for me to squint and see the 2023 Sox being markedly better. Maybe they will be, and there's still lots of time to get there. But losing X makes this team worse today, and I don't like that at all.

All I can do is hope they have the wherewithal to get better this offseason and be better next summer.
 

Oil Can Dan

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Happy for X. Happy for the Sox that they didn't do that.

Would never do 11 years for a 31 year old. And if you want to say "the years don't matter" then I'd ask how many years do you think X will be productive? Seven? Okay, but I'd not do $40m per year for seven years either.
 

Merkle's Boner

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I admit, I don't enjoy the amateur GM aspect of following baseball. I have enough things to deal with in life than to spend time trying to puzzle out the complexities of contracts and AAV. I don't begrudge anyone if they're into that, it's just not for me anymore.

What I want is to follow a competitive Sox team during the season. Last year we didn't get to do that for the last 3-ish months of the year, and it stunk. As of today, it's hard for me to squint and see the 2023 Sox being markedly better. Maybe they will be, and there's still lots of time to get there. But losing X makes this team worse today, and I don't like that at all.

All I can do is hope they have the wherewithal to get better this offseason and be better next summer.
This is my take exactly. I have been a season ticket holder for 10 years and I just want to see a good team play baseball through the summer. I don’t even really care about the postseason, as I think it’s generally a crapshoot. Give me a good team to root for. This morning that seems less likely for 2023. And I will not be a season ticket holder anymore (not entirely due to this decision ).
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Happy for X. Happy for the Sox that they didn't do that.

Would never do 11 years for a 31 year old. And if you want to say "the years don't matter" then I'd ask how many years do you think X will be productive? Seven? Okay, but I'd not do $40m per year for seven years either.
In these types of deals you'll always be overpaying on the back end for elite talent. That's just the way the market works. If you're uncomfortable doing so that's fine, so long as you realize you'll never, ever sign elite talent in that case.
 

ehaz

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Correa slugged 11 points higher than Bogaerts last year. Regardless, do we really think the Sox will be comfortable meeting Correa’s price, which presumably will be similar to and likely higher than Bogaerts was? I suspect he ends up in one of the other teams that was in on X and offered more than the Sox (SF?).

Elvis Andrus looks like a more realistic option.
Their batted ball data shows Correa should have slugged 101 points higher.

Xander: .383 xSLG
Correa: .484 xSLG
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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FWIW, the idea that the Sox routinely chose other players at SS over Story and that’s evidence he can no longer play the position is a bit exaggerated. Bogaerts only missed 12 games last year- and in 8 of those games, Story was not available. In the first three missed games (6, 58, 80), Arroyo started at SS each time- and in the final one (138), Hernandez started.
 

Comfortably Lomb

Koko the Monkey
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Happy for X. Happy for the Sox that they didn't do that.

Would never do 11 years for a 31 year old. And if you want to say "the years don't matter" then I'd ask how many years do you think X will be productive? Seven? Okay, but I'd not do $40m per year for seven years either.
Seven? That's wildly optimistic. A chunk of his value is from being able to play shortstop at an average ability, and that's going to evaporate soon.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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Their batted ball data shows Correa should have slugged 101 points higher.

Xander: .383 xSLG
Correa: .484 xSLG
Interesting. So what do we think is going on with Correa- it’s kind of odd that the lesser player in Boagerts signed first, isn’t it? Of course, this happened with Correa last year, too. What is he looking for? I’d guess he signs pretty quickly now:
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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FWIW, the idea that the Sox routinely chose other players at SS over Story and that’s evidence he can no longer play the position is a bit exaggerated. Bogaerts only missed 12 games last year- and in 8 of those games, Story was not available. In the first three missed games (6, 58, 80), Arroyo started at SS each time- and in the final one (138), Hernandez started.
That's not the evidence people were citing re: Story's inability to play SS. It's his 8th percentile arm strength that will keep him from playing the position.

He's a superior defensive second baseman so I'm happy to keep him there, but of course that means the Sox need a SS and they're hard to find.
 

thestardawg

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If we project Story's 2022 numbers to the same number of games X played (150), which I know is a bit of a fool's errand but still, here's how they compare:

Bogaerts: .307/.377/.456/.833, 15 hr, 73 rbi, 38 2b, 254 total bases, 8 sb
Story: .238/.303/.434/.737, 26 hr, 105 rbi, 35 2b, 247 total bases, 21 sb

Obviously Story did get hurt, but I don't think that's something we can assume will be an ongoing problem. Maybe it will. Who knows. The point is, in terms of who is a better baseball player, I think they're pretty comparable overall. And Story's contract is HALF of what Xander's is.
How in blue hell is a 100 point difference in OPS comparable?
 

ehaz

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Interesting. So what do we think is going on with Correa- it’s kind of odd that the lesser player in Boagerts signed first, isn’t it? Of course, this happened with Correa last year, too. What is he looking for? I’d guess he signs pretty quickly now:
I think Boras is more than happy to let teams that have lost or missed out on guys like LAD, CHC, and SFG get dragged into a bidding war that lasts until January.

I think Correa is looking at something like ~$350M guaranteed.
 

JimD

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The problem is not this contract. This contract is stupid and one you simply cannot agree too.

The problem is that Mookie Betts made it to arbitration 3 times ages 24-26. The problem is that Rafael Devers is 26 years old and still never had a contract extension.

The problem is not the inability to hand out contracts to 30 year olds. The problem is that their inability to buy out those crucial 8-12 service years early in a players career.
You need players willing to sign those deals. Mookie wasn't willing. The team reportedly tried over several years.
 

Kliq

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$25 million AAV isn't even that bad of a deal, especially with sports TV rights continuing to escalate, the revenue teams will be making in ten years will make it seem like even less when Bogaerts is winding down.

I know it was a bigger deal than most on here expected, but losing Mookie still stings and now X is gone, and it's hard to think Devers is signing a $300 million deal+ here.
 

DeadlySplitter

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In hindsight it sure looks that way. But I can hardly fault the Sox or any team for being wrong on market projections. Nothing that I’ve read anywhere suggested this much money for Xander.

It’s reasonable they simulated markets for him. They used available information and made their best guess.

Should they have seen Dombrowski throwing that much money at Turner? And/or Turner turning down that much money from the Padres? That’s all doubtful.
It’s the front office’s job to be ahead of the curve in this very department. This is nothing new with Harper‘s deal starting this trend.

What shocks you & I every winter should be expected for a top front office.
 

GB5

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Good luck to X. Represented the RS with class and dignity. Always played hard, and walks with two rings. Well deserved.
As for those wishing on Correa, let’s just say Speirs report of the Sox valuing X at 6/160 are true or even in the ballpark.
Is there any reasonable scenario in which we believe that the RS value Correa as being worth twice as much as X, as I think there is a really legitimate case that the market looks like around 300 mill for Correa?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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$25 million AAV isn't even that bad of a deal, especially with sports TV rights continuing to escalate, the revenue teams will be making in ten years will make it seem like even less when Bogaerts is winding down.

I know it was a bigger deal than most on here expected, but losing Mookie still stings and now X is gone, and it's hard to think Devers is signing a $300 million deal+ here.
There's no chance Devers gets a $300 million deal here. We can judge the Sox by their actions over the past few years and they have shown that they do not wish to hand out contracts larger than around $160 million. They will spend over the luxury tax but they seem to prefer getting a bunch of mid-tier players than one elite player with that money. Whether this is right or wrong, we'll have to look to the standings to determine.

Devers will not be getting a market deal in Boston. If he stays it's because he willingly takes less than market value. We can all have our individual opinions about the chances of that happening.
 

EpsteinsGorillaSuit

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Happy for X. Happy for the Sox that they didn't do that.

Would never do 11 years for a 31 year old. And if you want to say "the years don't matter" then I'd ask how many years do you think X will be productive? Seven? Okay, but I'd not do $40m per year for seven years either.
The 11 years is a concession to the team. If the player were willing to sign for $280M/15 years, the team would jump at that in a heartbeat, because it lowers the AAV for the luxury tax (and naturally defers payment unless the deal is front loaded, which is also rare). At some point, I wonder how much a team could push this before MLB or MLBPA felt was a mockery. If I were Cashman, I would have asked Judge to sign $360M / 15 years, even if I had to front-load most of the $360M into the first 9 years.

The Judge, Turner, and Bogaerts deals are all better thought of as 2-3 years shorter at higher AAV, with the team expecting little to no contribution from the player in the last few years of the deal. At some point in the later stages of the contract, the player will be so injured or ineffective that they will not play or be released. That is built into the expectation of the deal, and it is still better for the luxury tax than for the team to sign a contract of $280M / 8 years.

Now, if any of these players are cooked after 5 years, the teams get hosed. And that is a decent risk associated with all top-tier FA signings, but even in this case it is better to have the remaining financial liability spread out over a longer time.
 

CreightonGubanich

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This deal in a vacuum is insane. It's well beyond what anyone thought Bogaerts would get.

It's also the market price for free agent Xander Bogaerts.

I can't fault them for not wanting any part of any of these megadeals individually. And yet, if they're just never going to be competitive for the top tier of free agents, I think that's a bad strategy. Signing the middle class free agents of the world works in the NFL, where there's a hard salary cap and depth is paramount. But this is the Boston Red Sox. The whole point of making smart signings, drafting well, and developing young players is so that you can then sign marquee, star players to expensive deals, especially when they're your own players who are durable, in their prime, and have proven they can win in Boston.

I don't think this ownership group is cheap. I do think that if they think they can build a sustainable contender filling out the roster with the Nate Eovaldis and Trevor Storys of the world, they're mistaken.
 

Petagine in a Bottle

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There's no chance Devers gets a $300 million deal here. We can judge the Sox by their actions over the past few years and they have shown that they do not wish to hand out contracts larger than around $160 million. They will spend over the luxury tax but they seem to prefer getting a bunch of mid-tier players than one elite player with that money. Whether this is right or wrong, we'll have to look to the standings to determine.

Devers will not be getting a market deal in Boston. If he stays it's because he willingly takes less than market value. We can all have our individual opinions about the chances of that happening.
If this is true, don’t they kind of have to look at trading him right now- when there’s a larger market of teams that can afford him and they can get more in return? It would be a pretty massive PR hit but it sure seems Iike they need to extend or trade, asap.
 

BigSoxFan

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If this is true, don’t they kind of have to look at trading him right now- when there’s a larger market of teams that can afford him and they can get more in return? It would be a pretty massive PR hit but it sure seems Iike they need to extend or trade, asap.
It absolutely has to be a consideration. Either they change their approach with respect to top talent or they should maximize their return now before the inevitable departure occurs.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If this is true, don’t they kind of have to look at trading him right now- when there’s a larger market of teams that can afford him and they can get more in return? It would be a pretty massive PR hit but it sure seems Iike they need to extend or trade, asap.
Yes, they absolutely must.

Now, my personal opinion is that such trade rarely work out for the team trading away the superstar; the collection of misfit toys gotten in return seldom adds up to the value of the player lost. The Mookie trade was frustrating not only because we lost the player but because while no one expected Verdugo to be a Mookie-type MVP, he's not even close to being an all star.

But if they're determined not to pay Devers what he's worth, then they really have no choice but to trade him.
 

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Nov 28, 2003
92
If this is true, don’t they kind of have to look at trading him right now- when there’s a larger market of teams that can afford him and they can get more in return? It would be a pretty massive PR hit but it sure seems Iike they need to extend or trade, asap.
We just have to accept that he's gone. The Red Sox aren't going to suddenly change years of organizational philosophy for Devers. If they were concerned about the PR hit, Bogaerts wouldn't be in SD.