Big 4 SS’s for the Miami Marlins: Xander Bogaerts
By Neil Raymond
This is part one in a new series about the top four free agent shortstops available in free agency this off-season. Will the Miami Marlins sign any? Most likely not, though Bruce Sherman promised to spend and should. We need to upgrade our historically bad offense and SS is a major area for us to upgrade. Miguel Rojas is a great defender, but is not that good offensively. He’s also not the middle of the order bat that we need. Let’s start the series with Xander Bogaerts…
Xander Bogaerts should be an option for the Miami Marlins.
Xander has to opt-out of his contract to become a free agent, but he’s expected to do so by most people. He can make a significantly higher amount of money in free agency, then the $20 million AAV he has for the next four years. Bogaerts batted .307/.377/.456 this season with 15 home runs and 73 RBI. He was worth 5.7 WAR. He’s also a career .292/.356/.458 hitter.
Xander Bogaerts has name value and the batting line looks impressive, but I‘m sure that you noticed the low home run total. The only time that Bogaerts hit more than 23 home runs was in 2019, when he hit 33. Of course it was also the season with a juiced ball. Bogaerts‘s Exit Velocity was an unimpressive 88.1 this season.
What about his defense? He wasn’t known as a good defender the last few years, and was seen as someone who is better off switching to a different position when older. He’s 30 years old now, so tust time may be coming sooner rather than later. Interestingly, he had his best defensive year this season, which was pretty unexpected. Is he now a better defender or was it a fluke? Only time will tell, and whichever team signs him will have plenty of it.
How much can Xander Bogaerts get? My guess is 6-7 years at $30 Million a year. If his defense goes back to how it was before, and his power doesn’t return, it’s hard not to call it a massive overpay. What if his defense is as it was this season and his power returns? Personally, I‘m not a fan of signing him due to his age and question marks, but I wouldn’t complain if we did either.