Report: Cubs are prioritizing Xander Bogaerts in free agency as Winter Meetings open up

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(Audacy) When the Boston Red Sox didn’t get a deal done with star shortstop Xander Bogaerts prior to this past season, they were inviting the risk of a winter bidding war.

It now appears a bidding war will come to pass.

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Since hitting the market, Bogaerts has been linked to a slew of teams – from small markets to big, contenders to rebuilders. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have insisted that keeping Bogaerts is their top priority.

But with the Winter Meetings about to begin Monday, the Red Sox haven't given Bogaerts a competitive offer as he receives a lot of interest from others, Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports reported. The Cubs are among the teams prioritizing Bogaerts and making a serious push for him.

“No shortstop is drawing more widespread interest than Bogaerts, who will come cheaper than (Trea) Turner and (Carlos) Correa," Nightengale wrote. "The Boston Red Sox would love to keep him, but their offers haven't come close to enticing him to stay, and now Bogaerts has about nine teams who have expressed strong interest.

"The Chicago Cubs, who have boldly said they plan to build a contender, significantly raising their payroll, have Bogaerts as their top priority."

The Cubs have also been in the market for Correa, Nightengale reported. At 28, Correa is two years younger than Bogaerts but is expected to land a more lucrative contract.

Bogaerts, 30, hit .307 with 15 homers, 73 RBIs and an .833 OPS in 150 games in 2022. He's a four-time All-Star.

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