The 2022-2023 MLB offseason is built on three central topics Aaron Judge, deGrom vs. Verlander, and the four big shortstops. This article will discuss one of the latter. Xander Bogaerts is one of the four big shortstops on the free-agent market. In this article, we will examine the best landing spots for Xander Bogaerts. Be sure to check out our YouTube channel, the Baseball Banter Broadcast, for a corresponding video.
RETURN TO SENDER: BOSTON RED SOX
Boston will need a shortstop in 2023. The reason being is that Xander opted out of his current deal. Boston’s also under tremendous pressure to resign Bogaerts as a signal to Rafael Devers that Boston is a place that is desirable to be to win. At the time of this writing, Boston and Bogaerts are not close on a new contract. In fact, many reports say that Boston has NOT given Xander a “competitive” offer. This isn’t a good sign for the Red Sox. Xander must be essential to the long-term plans.
If Boston is going to get back into contention in the American League East, Bogaerts is imperative. Bogaerts has been arguably the most consistent of the four superstar shortstops available. And arguably has the most consistent hit tool. Boston would be foolish to let Xander walk away. If Chaim Bloom and the front office continue to play small-market roulette with Bogaerts, Xander won’t be back in Boston.
“PHIL’N THE LOVE: PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES
The Philadelphia Phillies have found themselves on every shortstop, and Xander is no different. Philadelphia is coming off a World Series appearance, looking to better itself. One place of weakness over the last few seasons has been at shortstop. Thus with four superstars currently free agents at that position, it makes sense that they are involved. Bogaerts has been a consistent offensive contributor since his debut back in 2013. Adding his consistency and hit-first approach to a power-laden Phillies lineup would give Philadelphia a more balanced lineup.
Hitting evaded the Phillies in the World Series, costing them a chance at another championship. A player like Xander Bogaerts, who has the “hit tool” in spades, could have changed the outcome of the 2022 World Series in Philadelphia’s favor. And while Bogaerts isn’t going to be the slickest or smoothest fielding shortstop available, he’s also defensively consistent. And at this point, Xander provides the much-needed contact to go with Philly’s power.
ANGEL IN THE INFIELD: LOS ANGELES ANGELS OF ANAHEIM
The Los Angeles Angels are in a strange predicament, finding themselves in seller’s limbo. Anaheim also finds itself in this odd place because Shohei Ohtani is only under contract for one final season. Thus 2023 must be a year that the Angels do everything under the sun, not just to make the postseason but win at all costs. Signing Xander Bogaerts would go a long way into signaling that the Angels aren’t going to be the same problematic team they’ve been over the last decade.
Adding Bogaerts to a lineup that could feature Ohtani, Mike Trout, and Anthony Rendon could easily see it become one of the best offensive forces of the 2023 season. Anaheim must do all in its power this offseason to better its chances at retaining Shohei beyond next season. Signing Xander Bogaerts, paired with the other moves they’ve already made, can turn around the fortunes of “Los Angeles” second team.
ROUSING THE RIVALRY: NEW YORK YANKEES
The idea of Xander Bogaerts joining the New York Yankees might seem odd initially. But when you examine beyond the surface level of the rivalry, you can see that Xander would provide the Yankees with a fulfilled need. Hitting alluded the Yankees, as it did the Phillies, during their postseason encounter with the Astros. So it would make sense that the Bronx Bombers could be looking at the services of a “hit-tool” first talent like Xander. New York finds itself in a 13-year World Series-less drought. Something that feels like an eternity for Yankee fans. Bringing in someone who has the hitting ability of Bogaerts could help filter through the Bomber’s lineup and allow them to get back to an all-around approach instead of home run or bust. The Yankees need to infuse more players adept at putting the ball into play, and Xander Bogaerts is precisely that type of player. Not to mention it would be just another way to stick it to the rival Red Sox to take another one of their superstars.
FOUNDATIONAL FRIAR: SAN DIEGO PADRES
For the San Diego Padres signing Xander Bogaerts might seem odd. As the Padres already have two shortstops, Ha-Seong Kim and the now controversial Fernando Tatis Jr. However the beauty for the Padres is that both of their current shortstops could be moved to other positions to make way for Xander. San Diego is chasing down the Dodgers for the NL West division, but it’s not an easy feat. Adding another All-Star caliber player to their mix can help close the gap. The Padres were able to vanquish their divisional foe in the 2022 postseason, but the Dodgers are poised to make some moves this offseason. And what better way to keep up with the Jones (Dodgers) than by signing another superstar to your ranks.