Ranking the 4 star shortstops available in MLB free agency
For the second consecutive offseason, a tremendous crop of shortstops has reached free agency. From Audacy Sports, here's a ranking of the four star shortstops on the market.
1. Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers
2022 Stats: .298/.343/.466 with 21 home runs, 100 RBIs, 45 walks, .809 OPS and a 6.3 WAR
Age in 2023: 30
Over the last three years, Turner has gone from a very nice piece to one of the most complete players in the sport. Since the start of the 2020 season, Turner is slashing .316/.364/.514 with 61 home runs, 218 RBIs and an .879 OPS. One of the sport's quickest players may also become even more of a basestealing threat under the new rules coming in 2023. Even though he'll turn 30 during the first season of a new contract, expect Turner to land at least an eight-year deal this winter.
2. Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins
2022 Stats: .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs, 64 RBIs, 61 walks, .834 OPS and a 4.4 WAR
Age in 2023: 28
Correa overplayed his hand last offseason following a career year, failing to jump at a 10-year/$275 million offer from the Detroit Tigers early in the offseason. Instead, he signed to a three-year/$105.3 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. Correa didn't match his 2021 production with the Houston Astros, but still had a good enough season to opt out of his contract and return to the open market. The youngest of the four shortstops on this list, Correa will likely open the offseason looking for a decade-long deal. Whether any team is willing to offer the former No. 1 overall pick a 10-year contract remains to be seen.
3. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox
2022 Stats: .307/.377/.456 with 15 home runs, 73 RBIs, 57 walks, .833 OPS and a 6.1 WAR
Age in 2023: 30
Bogaerts is hitting the free-agent market at an excellent time. Not only is he one of the game's most complete hitters, but he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2022 after posting four defensive runs saved and five outs above average. Mind you, this is someone who has -51 defensive runs saved and -34 outs above average in his career. It will be interesting to see if Bogaerts holds out for eight or nine seasons. If he's willing to sign for six or seven, it's possible that a team jumps at him relatively early in free agency, unwilling to approach a decade for Turner or Correa.
4. Dansby Swanson, Atlanta Braves
2022 Stats: .277/.329/.447 with 25 home runs, 96 RBIs, 49 walks, .776 OPS and a 6.4 WAR
Age in 2023: 29
A year ago, you would have viewed Swanson as a distant fourth in this group. However, the former top overall pick actually had the highest WAR of this quartet of shortstops in 2022, per FanGraphs. In addition to putting together the best offensive season of his career, Swanson posted nine defensive runs saved and 20 outs above average in 2022, en route to winning a Gold Glove Award. If Swanson isn't willing to take a hometown discount to remain in Atlanta, there will be other teams willing to give him a lucrative deal.