Boston Red Sox: It’s time to consider trading Xander Bogaerts

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) Mandatory Credit: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts can opt-out of his contract after the 2022 season, so the question must be asked; should the Red Sox trade him while they can?

Bogaerts has been an excellent player for the Red Sox yet, as he approaches an opt-out year after next season, there are some compelling arguments as to why the Sox should trade him now.

With J.D. Martinez opting-in to the final year of his deal, the Sox will not have the opportunity to use that money elsewhere. Trading Bogaerts will free up $20 million for other acquisitions this offseason.

The Boston Red Sox could sign Carlos Correa to play shortstop and trade Xander Bogaerts

Trading Bogaerts would not be an easy, nor possibly a popular decision by Boston’s Chief Baseball Officer, Chaim Bloom. Bogaerts has been a solid player for the red hose and a solid guy.

Yet, baseball is a business, and players and teams must conduct business. Bogaerts may feel he’s underpaid at $20M per year. In the MLB, he almost certainly is. Yet, the Sox have options if they do trade him.

The best option and the one suggested here if at all possible would be to invest that $20M and more in one Carlos Correa, the outstanding free-agent shortstop formerly of the Houston Astros.

Correa hit .279 last season with 26 home runs and 92 RBI’s. He won’t be 28 until next September, younger than Bogaerts by two years. Bogaerts hit .295 with 79 RBI’s and 23 home runs.

Chaim Bloom is no stranger to tough choices. He was the Red Sox chief who buckled down and traded popular superstar Mookie Betts right at the beginning of his tenure. Bogaerts is no Betts, but he’s still a top player.

But to get Correa it says here is an upgrade for a younger player in his absolute prime. Just pay the money for Correa and trade Xander Bogaerts.

Other Boston Red Sox options with or without Bogaerts

Martinez’ opting in it creates a bigger money squeeze for Boston. His opting out would have been a preferable alternative if the club had the choice.

Then the way would have been smoothed to sign Kyle Schwarber (who still should be their first free-agent signing anyway) to a deal. That may be less likely now.

As of now, the Red Sox payroll is $185.3M. That includes Schwarber’s $11.5M. Here’s how it looks as cited by,

"As of right now, the Red Sox’ payroll for the 2022 season is $185.3 million, according to Spotrac. That number includes the salaries for Schwarber ($11.5 million), Martinez ($19.4 million), Richards ($10 million), Vázquez ($7 million), and Perez ($7 million). If, for whatever reason, all of those options were declined, that would drop the Red Sox’ payroll by roughly $50 million."

The Sox have already picked up Vazquez’ option at $7M. Good thing, they don’t have another catcher anywhere. Yet Richards and Perez saw their options get declined, which saves $17M.

Rodriguez was offered a qualifying offer from the Sox worth $18.4 million, which is something that bears watching. Players typically don’t accept qualifying offers, but Rodriguez very well may end doing so. If he doesn’t the Sox would be wise to move on from E-Rod.

Correa is the choice here and the Red Sox save another $20M if Bogaerts is traded, minus whatever player salaries they have to assume in the trade. Prospects are an obvious less costly option.

Another option, however, is the Sox could sign Correa, move Bogaerts to second base for a season, and after 2022 see what happens with Bogaerts.

Yet a third “outside-the-box” thinking option noted by John Tomase of would be to sign the Toronto Blue Jays’ prolific hitter and free-agent shortstop, Marcus Semien. 

Semien though 31 is a masher. Semien hit 45 homers last season with 102 RBI’s with an average of .265.

As noted by Tomase, Semien could play second base in an infield with Bogaerts at least for a year. If Bogaerts then opts out and leaves, he could be the shortstop.

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Those are a few options for the Boston Red Sox. One thing is certain. Chaim Bloom is talented and he’s not afraid to take risks. He should be aggressive, take those risks, and spend the money.

The best play is to sign Correa preferably or Semien to play shortstop and move Bogaerts to second. If he won’t accept that, trade him and play Jose Iglesias at second base.

What do you think the Red Sox should do this offseason?