The Red Sox could be rearranging the left side of their infield as soon as next season. While Xander Bogaerts can’t opt out of his contract until 2022, the Red Sox are seemingly scouting out some contingency plans.
Boston “could be a sleeper in the shortstop market,” reports The Athletic’s Jim Bowden. That makes sense for the both the present and the future.
Bogaerts is reportedly open to playing third or second base, so the Red Sox could sign a shortstop and shift him to the right side of the infield. From a financial standpoint, Bogaerts probably wouldn’t protest. His bat is arguably even more valuable at second than short.
There promises to be a bevy of shortstops available this offseason, including stars Carlos Correa, Marcus Semien and Trevor Story. The Red Sox have already been linked to Semien. Peter Gammons reported the slugging infielder is the “mega-signing” Boston would consider. Though Semien set the all-time record this season for home runs by a second baseman (45), he says he still considers himself a shortstop.
Correa would be a seismic acquisition, given his stardom and punishing postseason history against the Red Sox. Boston should have plenty of financial flexibility this winter, especially if J.D. Martinez declines his $19.37 player option.
It’s fun to fantasy about an infield that contains Rafael Devers, Bogaerts and Semien or Correa. While Bogaerts is expected to opt out next year, according to ESPN’s Joon Lee, he could still sign a new deal with the Red Sox. Lee writes that Bogaerts “hopes to remain in Boston and finish his career with the Red Sox.”
But in case he doesn’t, it wouldn’t be bad to an All-Star waiting to take his place.