Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts is the ‘most irreplaceable’ MLB free-agent departure, according to The Athletic

"They lost something else that's nearly impossible to replace."

Xander Bogaerts
Xander Bogaerts in Oct. during a Red Sox-Rays game. Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Replacing Xander Bogaerts in the Red Sox’ lineup likely won’t be easy for Boston.

His 11-year, $280-million-dollar deal with San Diego was one of the biggest splashes of the offseason.

According to a new poll from The Athletic, Bogaerts is considered to be the “most irreplaceable” free agent who switched teams this offseason. The poll consisted of 29 people in MLB ranging from executives to scouts and coaches.

Bogaerts got 16 votes, the same amount as the second [Trea Turner] and third place [Carlos Rodon] finishers put together.

“This was about everything else he took with him,” wrote Jayson Stark of the Athletic. “When the Red Sox let this guy get so close to free agency and ultimately let themselves get outbid, they lost something else that’s nearly impossible to replace: They lost a level of trust from their fan base that no replacement from the outside could duplicate.”


Another voter compared losing Bogaerts to when Jon Lester was traded to Oakland in 2014. Lester went on to win a World Series with the Chicago Cubs and made a pair of All-Star appearances after signing a long-term deal there.

“He was their guy. So that’s a tough pill to swallow,” the voter said. “It’s like losing Jon Lester. You don’t replace what guys like that mean to a team. That’s a tough one.”

Bogaerts hit .307 last season with 15 home runs and 73 RBIs in 150 games. The four-time All-Star was considered one of the faces of the franchise. He won his fifth Silver Slugger Award in 2022.

The only Red Sox signing to get a vote was Justin Turner, the former Dodgers infielder who joined in the offseason.

Notable Red Sox offseason signings include Turner, outfielder Masatada Yoshida, closer Kenley Jansen, and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber.


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