That was the Red Sox president of baseball operations’ message Monday after locking up Xander Bogaerts for the next six years, a move that followed a five-year extension for ace Chris Sale.
Per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, this is the breakdown of Bogaerts’ contract extension, which includes an opt-out after the 2022 season but could keep the shortstop in Boston until 2026:
$120,000,000/6+A. 2020-2025 opt 2026.
$20,000,000/yr – 2020-2025
Vesting option 2026 for $20,000,000.
Option vests if 535pa in 2025 and Player is deemed healthy at end of 2025 season.
Opt Out after 2022
Full No Trade after 7 years service time with Boston.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 2, 2019
Retaining Bogaerts at $20 million per year is good value for the Red Sox, who haven’t employed a shortstop of his caliber since Nomar Garciaparra.
But after committing $30 million per year to Sale, the money is starting to add up in Boston. As of now, the Red Sox have nearly $100 million committed to just four players in 2020:
The next big domino to fall is designated hitter J.D. Martinez, who has an opt-out after this season and may explore free agency with a contract extension reportedly off the table.
If the Red Sox can pick up Martinez’s option, that’s another $23.75 million on the books for 2020, which would add up to $122.75 million for Martinez and the four players above. That’s more than half Boston’s 2019 payroll ($237 million) committed to just five players.
The Red Sox will have some extra cash to work with next year: Pablo Sandoval‘s albatross of a contract ($18.05 million against Boston’s cap in 2019) can come off the books in 2020 thanks to a $5 million buyout.
But they’ll have to spend it wisely, for one primary reason: Mookie Betts. The reigning American League MVP hits free agency in 2021 and could command nearly $40 million per year.
The Sox have said they want to keep Betts around, but if Martinez re-signs, that same group of five will still be under contract in 2021. Can Boston afford to spend upwards of $160 million on six players while filling out a serviceable MLB roster?
They’ll probably try, and they can cut corners elsewhere: Rick Porcello hits free agency after this season and may not come back if he seeks the $21.2 million per year he’s earning now, while young stars Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers still are on low-cost rookie contracts.
None of this is to say the Red Sox shouldn’t have extended Bogaerts, who provides consistency at a position where Boston has historically lacked it. But their big spending on Sale and Bogaerts could make things a bit trickier over the next two offseasons.
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