Xander Bogaerts Comments On Impending Free Agency

Xander Bogaerts was pulled from the Wednesday's final game of the season in the 7th inning so that the Fenway Park fans could give him a standing ovation. In turn, Bogey tipped his cap, as he might very well have played his last game in Boston. But it still felt odd:

It just felt a little weird because I’m still here. But I know. I get it — this situation I’m in. But I’m still here and I get everything that’s around my contract and stuff like that. 

Xander Bogaerts on whether he could imagine today being the end of the Red Sox chapter of his career: pic.twitter.com/DpY84HLH7a

Bogaerts can opt out of his contract, making him a free agent. Before the season began, he and the Red Sox were far apart on extension talks. As much as $100M apart, according to reports. 

The All-Star shortstop has 3 years and $60M left on his deal, but he'll be able to do a lot better than that on the free agent market. He says he'd love to stay in Boston, the team he's spent his entire 10-year career with. But he also realizes the reality of the situation.

“It’s a tough situation for me because this is all I know,” Bogaerts said. “Obviously this place has given me so much. But obviously, I’m in a different place now than I was when I was younger. I’ve grown so much. I’ve learned so much.”

For now, the Red Sox insist that Bogaerts is their No. 1 priority this offseason:

“We want to build around him," says GM Chaim Bloom. 

Bogaerts has four All-Star appearances, a .292 lifetime average and .814 OPS. This season he batted .307 with 15 HR and 73 RBIs. 

He will be one of several star shortstops on the free agent market. 

Photo: Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports