Xander Bogaerts just signed on to play 11 years with the San Diego Padres. If he plays out that contract in full, and appears in a minimum of 71% of the games over the course of those 11 years, he will end his baseball career having played more games for the Padres than the Red Sox.

That's a sad stat to think about for the guy who signed with Boston as a kid out of Aruba and ended up playing more games at shortstop than anyone else in the history of the franchise. This situation could have and should have been avoided, but sadly it's now our reality.

His time in Boston will only become more greatly appreciated with each year he spends out in sunny San Diego. Over the course of 10 years, Bogaerts appeared in 1264 games. He made four All-Star teams, won five Silver Sluggers and helped the Red Sox capture two world championships.

Listen, I'm normally one to poo-poo this number retirement talk when it's unwarranted or has even the slightest bit of doubt. In my mind, for a number to be retired, it should be a no-brainer. That was my initial thought on Bogaerts, but the more time I gave it, the harder the argument against it became.

Numbers have been retired for much less. In 10 years, Bogey hit .292, slugged 156 HR and drove in 683 RBI. He had over 1400 hits, 308 doubles and scored 752 runs. He ended the argument of greatest shortstop in Red Sox history, and as a Nomar guy at heart, that pains me to say. But it's the truth and a title Bogaerts deserves to be recognized as.

His stats only tell part of the story during his time in Boston, though just the stats alone are enough. Bogaerts' Red Sox contributions extended well beyond the batter's box and the space he occupied between 2nd and 3rd base.

It won't happen in the near-future. Afterall, the guy is still in the prime of his career and now playing elsewhere. But would you be on board with a red No. 2 joining the others on the facade out in right?

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