“Several executives” think that Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts will sign with the Chicago Cubs after he opts out of his contract this offseason.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (subscription required), “several executives” believe that the Chicago Cubs are the favorites to sign Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts this offseason.
Bogaerts, 29, can opt-out of the rest of his contract, which would be for three years and $60 million-plus a $20 million vesting option for 2026.
Rumors: The Chicago Cubs could sign Xander Bogaerts after this season
Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been one of the best and most underrated shortstops in all of baseball. He’s only making $20 million and some other comparable shortstops are making $35 million. That’s why he is likely to opt-out of his contract and, according to “several executives,” he is likely to sign with the Chicago Cubs.
This season, the Cubs have had Nico Hoerner as their primary shortstop but Boagerts is better to him overall and Hoerner can play multiple positions. In 2021, for example, he played second (primarily), shortstop, third base, left field, and center field.
In 65 games in 2022, Hoerner has hit .310/.349/.425 with an OPS+ of 116. Bogaerts has hit .318/.391/.456 with an OPS+ of 135 in 76 games.
Bogaerts has received American League MVP votes in each of the last four seasons, been a three-time All-Star, and four-time Silver Slugger Award winner.
For the Cubs to sign him, they will likely have to give him a deal that is at least five years in length and probably around $30 million per season.
As Bob Nightengale noted, Cubs President Jed Hoyer was one of the top executives in the Red Sox front office when the Red Sox signed Bogaerts as an international free agent in 2009 so he is very familiar with him on a personal level, which could also help their chances of signing him.
The Cubs could also afford to sign Bogaerts as their payroll is about $58 million, or 28 percent, lower than it was in 2019 (last year with a normal regular season).