BOSTON (AP) - Xander Bogaerts loves winning and having a yearly chance at championships. He also appreciates a supportive, family feel on a team around him.
The Red Sox give Bogaerts all of that, with stability for the next seven years to boot. He considers it a perfect fit.
“The fans, this organization in general, expect winning,” Bogaerts said. “I know my teammates know how much I love winning regardless if it’s cards, baseball, dominoes, I don’t care, I just enjoy winning. They know that about me.”
Boston’s shortstop signed a $120 million, six-year contract covering 2020-25, a deal that raises his guarantee to $132 million over seven seasons. The sides agreed to terms Sunday night and made it official on Monday, when Boston was set to open a four-game road series against the Oakland Athletics.
“I’ve won two rings with this organization. The group we had last year and the group we have this year, it goes beyond just regular guys. It’s a real family,” he said prior to the series opener at Oakland. “I’m really blessed, I’m really blessed to have a great group of guys like that behind me and pushing me to become better.”
Bogaerts agreed in January to a $12 million, one-year deal. His new deal pays $20 million annually and includes a $20 million option for 2026 that becomes guaranteed if he has 535 plate appearances in 2025 and is healthy at the end of the season. He gains a full no-trade provision after seven years of major league service and is on track to reach that after the 2020 season.
Conversations about a new contract went throughout the offseason.
“Alex Cora, you can stop leaving those dirty messages on my phone about getting this done,” quipped agent Scott Boras to the Red Sox manager.
Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said there were conversations he considered optimistic during spring training “and some conversations I didn’t think were optimistic at the time.”
Bogaerts’ desire to be in Boston for the long haul was “influential” in getting this done, said Dombrowksi, who still wasn’t sure on opening day what direction this would go.
“Absolutely thrilled to have Bogey sign with us for an extended period,” Dombrowksi said. “Young player that came through the organization, very talented, one of the top players in the game of baseball in my opinion in today’s game. But really what the foundation of an organization is all about, having somebody who we sign and then develop and has a chance to remain here.”
Bogaerts hit .288 last year and set career bests with 23 homers and 103 RBIs while helping the Red Sox win a franchise-record 108 games in the regular season and a World Series championship.
Reigning AL MVP Mookie Betts is eligible for salary arbitration after this season and for free agency after 2020, when he will be just 28. He will earn $20 million this year.
With his teammates crammed in back of the A’s interview room, Bogaerts looked at them all with appreciation as he acknowledged how grateful he is to everybody in his large support system.
“If I forgot someone, I’m really sorry,” he said with a grin. “… It’s very special to be here.”
AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report from New York, AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this report from Oakland, California.
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