What once looked like an extremely enticing free agent class now looks like it’ll be an especially thin year.
Another big name is off the board:
— MLB (@MLB) April 1, 2019
The deal for shortstop Xander Bogaerts reportedly kicks in after this season (in which Bogaerts makes $12 million), so it’s more like a six-year, $120 million extension for 2020-2025.
Bogaerts, 26, has a career arc that looks a lot like Javy Baez – a young, hyped shortstop prospect who takes a little while to establish himself as an above-average regular in the big leagues, and then breaks out with a huge offensive season in 2018. Bogaerts was closer to free agency and was a little better a little sooner than Baez, but I mention it because this deal probably sets up the conversation on an extension (i.e., $20 million AAV on the free agent years) if the Cubs wanted to talk to Baez.
As for the extension season, Bogaerts joins this absurd list: Kyle Hendricks, Alex Bregman, Eloy Jimenez, Aaron Nola, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Luis Severino, Nolan Arenado, Mike Trout, Paul Goldschmidt, Miles Mikolas, Blake Snell, Justin Verlander, Chris Sale, and Jacob deGrom.