Xander Bogaerts says Padres roster ‘stacked, high to backside’

SAN DIEGO — It did not take lengthy for Xander Bogaerts to be requested whether or not he anticipated to be the San Diego Padres’ full-time shortstop although the crew already has two stalwarts on the place.

“I play infield. I play shortstop,” a smiling Bogaerts stated after pulling on a No. 2 residence white pinstripe jersey and brown cap throughout a information convention Friday at Petco Park.

Bogaerts and the Padres finalized a $280 million, 11-year contract after the four-time All-Star handed his bodily.

The take care of the 30-year-old Bogaerts reveals proprietor Peter Seidler’s willingness to proceed to spend large in an try and win an elusive World Collection title.

The Padres have already got two shortstops on the roster, together with Fernando Tatis Jr., who might be eligible to return April 20 from an 80-game suspension for testing constructive for a performance-enhancing drug. The opposite is Ha-Seong Kim, who performed nicely whereas filling in for Tatis, an All-Star in 2021 who missed all of final season.

Bogaerts joins an already deep lineup that features third baseman Manny Machado and outfielder Juan Soto.

“The roster is so stacked, top to bottom, it’s unbelievable,” stated Bogaerts, a local of Aruba who signed with the Boston Pink Sox at age 16 and helped them win the World Collection in 2013 and 2018. “When they beat the Dodgers here, seeing how amped up the fans were during the playoffs, it was fun to watch on TV.”

The Padres eradicated the 101-win New York Mets within the wild-card spherical earlier than beating the 111-win Nationwide League West rival Los Angeles Dodgers within the Division Collection. They misplaced the NL Championship Collection to the Philadelphia Phillies in 5 video games.

With Bogaert’s arrival, it is anticipated that Tatis will transfer to the outfield when he returns, with Kim taking up at second base. All-Star second baseman Jake Cronenworth doubtless will shift to first. Tatis was on the cusp of coming back from a damaged left wrist when he was suspended by MLB on Aug. 12. He then had surgical procedure on his troublesome left shoulder in addition to a follow-up surgical procedure on his wrist.

Basic supervisor A.J. Preller stated that when he spoke with Machado about bringing in Bogaerts as one other shortstop/infielder, the All-Star’s response was: “The more the merrier.”

After final season, Bogaerts opted to terminate his $120 million, six-year contract with Boston, forfeiting salaries of $20 million for every of the subsequent three years after hitting .307 with 15 homers and 73 RBI in 150 video games.

“We were looking for that right fit, that right piece that will help us get over the top,” Preller stated. “When we met early this week, he told me that he’s ‘baseball-struck.’ He’s a 24/7 guy about the game.”

Bogaerts is a .292 profession hitter with 156 homers and 683 RBI in 10 large league seasons — all with Boston.

He had his finest season in 2019, batting .309 with a career-best 33 homers and 117 RBI. He had 23 homers and 103 RBI in 2018.

In 44 postseason video games, Bogaerts is a .231 hitter with 5 homers and 16 RBI.

The Padres gave Machado a $300 million, 10-year contract as a free agent in 2019 and signed Tatis to a $340 million, 14-year deal in 2021.

“This is a city that’s headed for its first world championship ever,” Seidler stated. “Hopefully, one day soon, the baseball gods will smile on our city.”

San Diego reached the World Collection in 1984 and 1998 and was routed each occasions.

Earlier this week, the Padres got here up quick in efforts to signal free brokers Trea Turner and Aaron Decide, regardless of what was reported to be extra profitable presents.

They’re fairly proud of the star they did signal.

“Having a guy like Xander, it’s not just the numbers he puts up, it’s also his character,” Padres supervisor Bob Melvin stated. “He makes us better, so we’ll see where this goes.”