The list of teams eager to pay Xander Bogaerts continues to grow.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today (subscription required), the San Francisco Giants would “love” to get a crack at the proven shortstop this winter. Their President of Baseball Ops, Farhan Zaidi recently said that “everything is on the table,” and that they plan to be “aggressive.”
Giants, Dodgers, Phillies rumored to be in on Xander Bogaerts if he opts out of Red Sox contract
In addition to the Giants, the Philadelphia Phillies are reportedly preemptively in on Bogaerts. Former Boston Red Sox GM Dave Dombrowski is their President of Baseball Ops, and everyone knows he pays his players.
But wait! There’s more! The Los Angeles Dodgers are also rumored to be eyeing Bogaerts, as they did not approach extension talks with their current shortstop, Trea Turner. Bogaerts to the Dodgers would be an unbearable situation for Sox fans, as it would reunite him with Mookie Betts, providing a constant reminder of Sox front office failure for years to come. Failure that was completely avoidable, at that.
The Giants, Dodgers, and Phillies are all teams happy to pay for top-tier talent. Remember when the Red Sox did that?
Bogaerts is currently at the top of the American League batting title race and won AL Player of the Week at the beginning of September. He’s collected more hits, doubles, and stolen bases than last year. On Tuesday night, he notched his 14th homer of the season, the first of his career that wrapped around Fenway’s iconic Pesky Pole. Had he not spent over a month playing through injury, those numbers would be even better. With every game, his stock rises, and keeping him in Boston becomes more urgent and less likely.
At this point, the best chance Boston has of retaining Bogaerts is reworking his extension before he can opt out. He’s made it abundantly clear that he doesn’t want to play anywhere else, but he also wants the contract he’s proven he deserves. If the Sox let him reach free agency, they won’t compete with the offers he’ll get from other teams, and then they’ll shrug and say, “We tried.”
While the season drags to a close, Boston is in a Schrödinger’s cat-esque holding pattern. We won’t know how serious or unserious the Sox are about keeping Bogaerts until we know. And it’s utterly terrifying waiting to find out.