The Red Sox could have it all
Why pick between the two star shortstops when you can have both?
There’s a scenario where Boston could keep Bogaerts, protecting them in the event that Lindor bolts after one season. The superior glove of Lindor should earn him the shortstop role, which means Bogaerts would need to be open to moving to second base, filling another position of need.
The Red Sox could also consider moving the defensively challenged Rafael Devers across the diamond to first base, allowing Bogaerts to shift over to the hot corner where he briefly played early in his career. With his limited range already being questioned, a position change might be inevitable at some point for Bogaerts.
Having both star shortstops on the payroll means the Red Sox would be shopping for bargains to fill their other holes but they won’t need to chase one of the high-priced outfield bats if the add Lindor. That could lead to a reunion with the cheaper Jackie Bradley Jr. Retaining an elite defensive center fielder while adding another golden glove at shortstop will benefit the pitching staff. Bobby Dalbec or Michael Chavis would be more expendable so either could be flipped for a pitcher.
Lindor doesn’t fit a position of need but acquiring the superstar shortstop still improves the roster while creating the flexibility to address their other needs through additional trades.
The Red Sox need to be relatively confident that the trade market will present the pitching talent they require in order for this plan to work. They also need to be comfortable with offering Lindor an adequate extension or with being competitive in a bidding war to retain him if he chooses to wait for free agency.
A Lindor deal presents plenty of risk, but if it’s accompanied by the right series of moves in free agency or via other trades, it could be Boston’s best path to climbing back into contention next year.