Xander Bogaerts isn't the only member of the Boston Red Sox' clubhouse keeping an eye on the free-agent shortstop market.
Carlos Correa reportedly cashed in early Saturday morning by agreeing to a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Minnesota Twins that includes opt-outs after the next two seasons and pays him $35.1 million per year, the highest annual salary among major-league shortstops.
Bogaerts plans to decline his player option to become a free agent after the 2022 season, and Correa's lucrative deal should be a benchmark for the veteran shortstop as he seeks his own payday.
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None of this is lost on Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez, who had a great reaction to Correa's new deal in Boston's clubhouse Saturday.
"Xander's going to be rich!" Martinez yelled as reporters approached Bogaerts.
Bogaerts and his $20 million average salary (six years, $120 million) currently rank sixth on the shortstop pay scale behind Correa, Francisco Lindor ($34.1 million per year), Corey Seager ($32.5 million), Fernando Tatis Jr. ($24.3 million) and Javier Baez ($23.3 million). He'll likely slip to seventh once shortstop Trevor Story picks his free-agent landing spot.
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If Bogaerts posts another strong season -- he earned his third career All-Star nod in 2021 while batting .295 with 23 home runs and 79 RBIs -- he'll have a strong case to demand north of $30 million on his next deal.
Correa's bar-raising deal should help Bogaerts' case.
"I mean, I guess it’s what he wanted," Bogaerts, who shares Correa's agent in Scott Boras, told reporters Saturday in Fort Myers. "In the end he signed it. That’s what he signed. He deserves it.
"He’s been an excellent player throughout his career since he came up. He’s been injured a couple times but when he’s been on the field he’s definitely one of the best players in the game."
Bogaerts undoubtedly would put himself in that same conversation -- and he has at least one advocate on his team in Martinez.