Exactly 10 days after leaving the Red Sox for the Padres in free agency, Xander Bogaerts took to Instagram on Monday morning to reflect on his time in Boston and send thanks to the fans of the organization he began his career with.
“Dear Red Sox Nation – Thank you for an incredible ride (and what a ride it was)!” Bogaerts wrote. ” It was an honor to wear the Red Sox uniform and play in front of the best and most knowledgeable fans in baseball. There were some highs and lows but two World Series trophies during my time to celebrate with you all was absolutely incredible. Thank you to the Red Sox for taking a chance on a young kid from the island of Aruba.
“Thank you to all the coaches, athletic trainers, managers and front office folks who I have crossed paths with over the course of 14 years,” he continued. “Every single one of you impacted my life in more ways than one and helped me develop into the player I am today. And lastly, to every player that took the field with me in a Red Sox uniform, I say thank you. Thank you for being great teammates and friends. So many of you taught me what it means to be a professional on the field and off the field. Thank you Boston. Until we meet again!”
Bogaerts, 30, originally signed with the Red Sox for $410,000 as an international free agent coming out of Aruba in August 2009. The Oranjestad native made his major-league debut four years later and went on to become arguably the most prolific shortstop in franchise history.
In 1,264 career games with the Red Sox, Bogaerts batted .292/.356/.458 with 308 doubles, 15 triples, 156 home runs, 683 RBIs, 752 runs scored, and 74 stolen bases. His 1,192 appearances at shortstop during that stretch are the most in team history. He made four All-Star teams, won five Silver Slugger Awards, and won two World Series titles over the course of 10 seasons in Boston.
Despite accomplishing so much and establishing himself as a fan favorite, Bogaerts and the Red Sox were unable to come to terms on a new contract. That resulted in Bogaerts, who is represented by Scott Boras, agreeing to a massive 11-year, $280 million deal with the Padres on the final day of the Winter Meetings earlier this month.
In a conversation with MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo last week, Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom explained that while Bogaerts’ decision to leave for San Diego was not necessarily surprising, it was still tough to take in.
“He’s a really important person to everyone here and he’s important to the organization. From that standpoint, the fact he’s not going to be here anymore is hard,” Bloom said. “And that’s sad. I think anybody who sugarcoats that is being dishonest. Just because there are business decisions everyone has to make doesn’t mean that the emotional side or the personal side is any less.”
(Picture of Xander Bogaerts: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)