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Boston Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts won't be in Boston next season.

Alvin Garcia

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Mar 21, 2022; Fort Myers, Florida, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) returns to the plate after connecting for a foul ball.(Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports)

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts is expected to opt-out of his contract after 2022, casting doubt on whether he will return to Fenway Park next season, overshadowing the Boston Red Sox's season. Xander has frequently expressed a desire to stay with the franchise for the duration of his career.

He had a great offensive and defensive season last year. In 529 at-bats, Bogaerts hit.295/.370/.493 with a.863 OPS. He also had 23 home runs, 79 RBI, and 62 walks. The thing about Xander Bogaerts is that he has remained consistent even after ten major league season appearances. He has a consistent batting average, finishing in the top 20 previous seasons and is in the top five this season.

When asked if he anticipated reaching an agreement with the Red Sox on a contract extension soon, Bogaerts was candid. Boston offered Bogaerts a contract extension during the offseason, which he declined. Instead, the long-time shortstop demanded a contract that would pay him under the highest-paid position in the league. Francisco Lindor, Carlos Correa, and Corey Seager are a few examples.

Bogaerts is about to face yet another issue. Trevor Story signed a six-year contract with the Red Sox. Despite bringing in Story as a career shortstop, the Red Sox had to fit the infield because All-Star Xander Bogaerts was already there. Fortunately for Boston, Story agreed to the stance adjustment. As a result, the former top player in Colorado is now playing second base.

However, things may change after the 2022 campaign. Story, who has slashed.208/.301/.278 with a.579 OPS in 72 at-bats this season, has already committed to Boston. He also has 23 strikeouts, eight walks, 15 hits, and no home runs. So having Story for five seasons beyond this one makes sense for Boston to pass on Xander Bogaerts, mainly because the Red Sox have one of the league's hottest third basemen in Rafael Devers.

Bogaerts will be 30 before the end of the 2022 season. Devers, on the other hand, will be 26. The organization can retain Kike Hernandez to a club-friendly contract for him to be in second place. Boston may require some new arms throughout the offseason. Avoiding the amount Bogaerts anticipates can provide the company some leeway.

The Red Sox play in a tough division and are winners, having won four World Series since the turn of the millennium. This season, Xander is as good as gone. In addition, Boston will not commit to their current shortstop, as they did not do for Mookie Betts, one of its greatest players. They've also had some disastrous long-term contracts, like David Price and Chris Sale. So it's no surprise that Boston is hesitant to pull the trigger.

Xander Bogaerts will wear a different outfit next season. Who will sign him is the question. Who knows, the Yankees could want his services as well.

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U.S. Army Disabled Veteran that has an exaggerated passion for baseball. Independent Baseball Writer. Husband and Father of two. Vegetarian.

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