Xander Bogaerts is the belle of the offseason ball.
As expected, his dance card is filling up quickly. According to Marino Pepén, Bogaerts is the ‘most desirable’ shortstop on the free-agent market this offseason and the list of teams interested in his many talents continues to grow. The Phillies, Padres, Dodgers, Cubs, and Twins are “interested” and the Cardinals have “inquired.”
And of course, there’s the Red Sox, who keep saying he’s their top priority, but probably could’ve brought him back by now, if they really wanted to. They’d have to swallow their pride and actually pay a homegrown player, something they almost never do. Of course, he’s now a free agent, and historically, they love throwing money at those.
Unfortunately for Sox fans, it’s easy to see Bogaerts landing in Philly; Dave Dombrowski runs the show there now, and he’s already given Bogaerts a contract before. Juan Soto did a bit of recruiting for his team when he attended Pedro Martinez’s annual foundation gala earlier this month. The Dodgers let Trea Turner reach free agency, the Cubs have money to spend, and Carlos Correa opted out of his Twins contract.
MLB insider Jon Heyman reports that the Twins are still going “hard” to bring back Correa, to whom they’ve made multiple long-term offers ranging from 8-10 years. They signed him to a three-year deal worth $105.3M last March, but the contract included opt-outs each year. Bogaerts is reportedly their backup plan. Both shortstops are repped by Scott Boras.
It’s actually a surprise that more teams haven’t been linked to Bogaerts. Two-time World Series champion, five-time Silver Slugger shortstops known for their leadership and accountability don’t grow on trees.
The Red Sox didn’t appreciate Bogaerts enough until he was gone. Now, it might be too late.