Will recruiting a free agent like Xander Bogaerts matter?
While Carlos Correa and Trea Turner have been the most discussed free-agent shortstops so far this offseason, Xander Bogaerts appears to have quite the market himself.
According to Spanish analyst Marino Pepén, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins are interested in Bogaerts. Additionally, the Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and the incumbent Boston Red Sox are also courting Bogaerts, which others have previously reported.
The Dodgers could use Gavin Lux as their starting shortstop in 2023, but they may view Bogaerts as a cheaper alternative to their own free agent shortstop, the aforementioned Turner.
The Twins could be in a similar situation, though they do appear to be mounting a serious effort to retain Correa.
Make no mistake, it won't be cheap to sign Bogaerts. MLB Trade Rumors has projected that the five-time Silver Slugger Award winner will receive a seven-time/$189 million deal. But in comparison to Turner -- eight years/$168 million -- and Correa -- nine years/$288 million -- some teams may see Bogaerts as a better investment.
Though many view the Phillies as the favorites to land Turner, Audacy MLB Insider Jon Heyman has already reported that they have "real interest" in Bogaerts. Current Phillies president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski was, of course, in charge of the front office in Boston when the Red Sox won the World Series in 2018, with Bogaerts at the forefront of their success.
In a column for The New York Post earlier this month, Heyman suggested that while the Red Sox hope to retain Bogaerts, they didn't enter the offseason particularly close on a long-term deal.
On top of the six teams that Pepén says are actively interested in Bogaerts, he passes along that the St. Louis Cardinals have "only inquired" on the four-time All-Star.
Bogaerts is coming off of a season where he slashed .307/.377/.456 with 15 home runs, 73 RBIs and an .833 OPS. Bogaerts' defensive prowess has often been questioned in his career, but he was a Gold Glove finalist in 2022, posting career highs in defensive runs saved (four) and outs above average (five).
Given that there seems to be more buzz about Bogaerts' market than the three other star shortstops currently available -- Correa, Turner and Dansby Swanson -- it's fair to wonder if he could sign during next week's MLB Winter Meetings.