Red Sox

Pedro Martinez ’emphatically’ states why Xander Bogaerts shouldn’t opt out in 2022

Bogaerts has a player option for the final three years of his contract after the 2022 season.

Xander Bogaerts isn't a free agent yet, but he could be soon.

Xander Bogaerts’s big contract option is still a year away, but he already has a Red Sox legend telling him not to exercise it.

Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez believes Bogaerts should opt in to the final three years of his six-year, $120 million contract.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be Xander who decides if he goes or stays,” Martinez told the Globe’s Julian McWilliams Friday at the Pedro Martinez Foundation Gala. “But to me, Xander is a player that probably needs to continue to have a Hall of Fame career in Boston.”

Advertisement:

“The years that Xander Bogaerts has played for Boston are Hall of Fame years,” Martinez added. “So we have to [make sure] Xander continues to feel comfortable, and continues to do what he has to do. Hopefully, Xander will have the same love for Boston that Boston has for Xander Bogaerts.”

McWilliams noted Martinez, who is a special assistant for the Red Sox, was emphatic in his statements regarding Bogaerts.

However, it appears Bogaerts has other thoughts on his option following the 2022 season. Bogaerts is planning to opt out of his contract, ESPN’s Joon Lee reported in October. Despite his intention to opt out though, Bogaerts does want to re-sign with the Red Sox and finish his career in Boston, Lee added.

Bogaerts, who’s been in the Red Sox organization since the team signed him as an international free agent in 2009, signed his current deal prior to the 2019 season, extending his deal a year before he was set to hit free agency.

Bogaerts’s deal is considered a relative bargain by several MLB experts due to his continued All-Star production and the contracts other star shortstops have received in recent years. In 2021, Bogaerts hit .295/.370/.493 with 23 homers and 79 RBIs, earning him his third All-Star nod.

Advertisement:

While Bogaerts’s contact made him the second-highest-paid shortstop in 2021 with his $20 million per year value, he likely won’t be that high among his counterparts for long. Franciso Lindor signed a 10-year, $340 million extension with the Mets and Fernando Tatis signed a 14-year, $340 million extension with the Padres prior to the 2021 season.

Star shortstops Carlos Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, and Javy Baez are all free agents this offseason, with Correa and Seager being speculated to get possibly as much as $300 million in the open market.

The Red Sox could be a “sleeper” in the loaded shortstop free-agent market this offseason, according to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden. If the Red Sox do sign a shortstop in free agency, it could be used as insurance for Bogaerts’ potential departure or they could move Bogaerts to second base — something he’s reportedly willing to do in the future.

Conversation

This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on Boston.com