Bogaerts a free agent after opting out of Sox deal

November 7th, 2022

BOSTON -- , a two-time World Series champion who emerged as a leader for the Red Sox over the last several seasons, became a free agent on Monday, when he opted out of the remaining three years of the six-year, $120 million extension he signed early in the 2019 season.

Given the lucrative contracts signed by other middle infielders like Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor and Marcus Semien in recent years, it was widely expected that Bogaerts would test the free-agent waters this offseason.

The MLBPA announced via Twitter that Bogaerts and nine other players had exercised their opt-outs.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom stated at the beginning of the offseason that finding a way to keep Bogaerts is the organization’s top priority heading into next season.

Starting on Thursday at 5 p.m., all 30 MLB teams will have the right to sign Bogaerts.

This year’s free-agent market has a quartet of high-impact shortstops. Trea Turner, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson are also free agents, in addition to Bogaerts.

The Red Sox signed Bogaerts as an international free agent out of Aruba on Aug. 23, 2009, when he was 16 years old.

In August 2013, he was promoted to Boston in the middle of a pennant race and had some key moments that October, as the club won the World Series.

Bogaerts has been Boston’s starting shortstop for the last seven years. In 1,264 regular-season games, the 30-year-old has a line of .292/.356/.458 with 1,410 hits, 308 doubles, 15 triples, 156 homers and 683 RBIs.

His defense at shortstop is more steady than spectacular, though he finished as a Gold Glove Award finalist this year.

In 150 games this past season, Bogaerts hit .307 with 15 homers and an .833 OPS en route to a Silver Slugger nomination.

Following the last game of the season, Bogaerts expressed hope that there would be a path for him to return to the Red Sox.

“This is all I know. I’m very thankful for everyone that has helped me be the player that I am today. The Red Sox have obviously given me the opportunity to make my big league debut, giving me my extension,” Bogaerts said. “They blessed me and my family in that aspect also. I’m very thankful to front office and ownership. They’ve also blessed me with really good teammates throughout my years. But, I mean, just the business part of it, I’ve never pretty much been in this situation before. So we'll see what happens.”