3 moves Red Sox should've made instead of signing Trevor Story in 2022

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In late March 2022, just days before MLB's regular season was slated to start, the Boston Red Sox added a second shortstop to their roster.

Boston signed former Colorado Rockies star Trevor Story to a six-year, $140 million contract. The signing came just months before the Red Sox's then-shortstop, the homegrown talent and two-time World Series champion Xander Bogaerts would be hunting for a contract extension.

Story was regarded as a defensive savant from his time with the Rockies and he was expected to provide some of the right-handed power the Red Sox needed at the time of his signing. He began his career in Boston at second base, and many fans hoped he'd stay there after the Red Sox extended Bogaerts. Those wishes did not come true.

Story's three-year career with Boston has been marred by injuries and it looked like the power behind his bat was mostly a consequence of playing six seasons in Colorado. Story is not to blame for his injuries — the shortstop has been incredibly unlucky and the victim of a few freak accidents in a Red Sox uniform. But Red Sox fans can't help but wonder how different the team would look if Boston signed someone else three years ago.

3 moves Red Sox should've made instead of signing Trevor Story in 2022

Extend Xander Bogaerts

An extension for Bogaerts would have been the most obvious answer to Boston's shortstop woes. Bogaerts began his professional baseball career with the Red Sox in 2009 and many fans feel he should still be in Boston today.

Bogaerts has 12 years of MLB service time and he's a career .290/.355/.455 hitter. His level of consistency on both sides of the ball is hard to come by and it seemed he only got better with age. The shortstop posted a .307/.377/.456 slash line and five outs above average in 2022, his final year with the Red Sox.

Bogaerts earned four All-Star appearances during his tenure, the most recent of them coming in 2021-22, his two final years with the club. The shortstop also earned MVP votes from 2018-22 and won Silver Slugger awards in three of those years.

Bogaerts was a fan-favorite in Boston for his skill on both sides of the ball (and because his name sounds great with a Boston accent). The Red Sox made him a lowball extension offer — which a source close to the shortstop said he took as "a slap" — and Bogaerts rightly declined. Had Boston not waited until the last second to beg Bogaerts to stay, maybe he could still be in a Red Sox uniform today. He even admitted he would've accepted a deal close to Story's. But the front office's poor business decisions continue to haunt Red Sox Nation instead.

Sign Corey Seager

Former Dodger Corey Seager became a free agent after the end of the 2021 season, and it didn't take long for him to find a home. On December 1, Seager signed with the Texas Rangers for 10 years and $325 million, the most expensive contract in the franchise's history. It's paying off for them so far.

Seager is a good defensive shortstop with a prolific bat. He's hit over 20 home runs four times in his 10-year MLB career and he mashed 66 long-balls in his first two seasons with the Rangers. He also led the American League in doubles last season with a whopping 42 two-baggers. He's posted positive outs above average in his two seasons with Texas, too, so he'd be a better defensive choice than any backup for Story the Red Sox have ever had.

The shortstop has an incredible postseason pedigree, which includes two World Series MVPs. He would have been an expensive signing for the newly-cheap Red Sox front office, which may be why they didn't take the leap. But Fenway Park would be Seager's playground — from the Monster to Pesky's Pole, balls would leave the yard left and right with Seager in the lineup.

Sign Marcus Semien

The Rangers went full-throttle with their budget in 2022. The Texas ball club also signed Marcus Semien on the same day they signed Seager and the two sluggers carried the team to a World Series victory the following year.

Semien has played the majority of his games with the Rangers at second base because Seager has been the primary shortstop, but Semien's defensive versatility is one of the many bonuses to signing him. The infielder is accomplished at second base, third base and shortstop, and manager Alex Cora would be able to shuffle him in the lineup freely, as he tends to do. He logged a whopping 15 outs above average last season, which ranks his defense in the 99th percentile in MLB.

Semien is also durable and reliable — he's played in all 162 games of a season three times in his career, and in 2022 he played in all but one game. The Red Sox would likely not be battling the same injury issues if Semien was on the roster.

The infielder's bat would play well in Fenway Park. In the past three seasons, Semien has hit 71 home runs and he led the league in hits in 2023 with 185. He's also fast and is a proficient base stealer. According to Baseball Savant, Semien's sprint speed ranks in the 85th percentile in MLB and his athleticism works well with the aggressive base running plan the Red Sox are trying to instill this season.

One of the only downfalls of Semien's game is that he strikes out quite a bit, but since he's routinely made well over 700 plate appearances per year in recent seasons, that can be overlooked. Semien's quality bat and athletic style of play would have made him a perfect fit with the current Red Sox roster.

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