USA

7 midfield options for Red Sox to replace Xander Bogaerts

[ad_1]

Red Sox

There are some intriguing possibilities.

Carlos Correa is the best shortstop in the free agent market. Michael Reaves/Getty

The Red Sox lost their longest-serving player earlier this week and have no clear option to replace him.

Xander Bogaerts, who spent 10 seasons in Boston after being called up in 2010, signed an 11-year contract with the San Diego Padres worth $280 million.

While losing the player considered the “heart” of the team, what hurts the Red Sox almost as much is that they have no clear replacement for him entering the 2023 season. Of course, Trevor Story could eventually move from second base to his natural position at shortstop, but that would create another hole for the Red Sox.

So, with that in mind, here are seven middle options for the Red Sox to replace Bogaerts.

Carlos Correa

The free agent shortstop is probably the sexiest name in the bunch. It will also likely be the most expensive of the bunch.

Correa is a second straight offseason free agent after opting out of the final two seasons of his three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Twins.

The 28-year-old has been one of the best shortstops in the game in recent seasons. Last season he hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in 136 games with the Twins. In the previous season, Correa hit .279/.366/.485 with 26 home runs and 92 RBIs with the Astros en route to finishing fifth in AL MVP voting that year.

Not only was Correa able to do that at the plate for much of his career, but he was also one of the best defensive shortstops in the game. He had the third-best over-average outs in 2018-21 (+49 OAA) but struggled in 2022, posting -3 OAA.

Most pundits predicted that Correa would get a contract worth around $30 million a year lasting six to ten years before the start of the offseason. That was before Bogaerts and Trea Turner signed the surprisingly massive deals they got, with Bogaerts getting $280 million over 11 years from the Padres and Turner getting $300 million over 11 years from the Phillies. Correa is a few years younger than these two players and is widely regarded as the better player, so it wouldn’t really be a surprise if he gets a richer and longer contract than the two.

The Red Sox ‘shouldn’t be left out’ of Correa’s draw after Bogaerts leaves, according to New York Post’s Jon Heyman, who cites Correa’s relationship with Alex Cora as a potential factor that could bring him to Boston .

Dansby Swanson

The potential former Brave rounds out the “big four” shortstops that have hit free agency this offseason.

Swanson had a career year in 2022, hitting .277 / .329 / .447 with 25 homers and 96 RBI and played in all 162 regular season games to help him earn his first All-Star nod.

However, the 2022 season is a bit of an outlier for the future 29-year-old. He hit .255/.321/.417 with 20 homers and 81 RBIs in an average of 162 games during his seven-year career. Swanson has a playoff pedigree to his name, though, hitting two home runs in the 2021 World Series to help the Braves defeat the Astros.

Going into the offseason, most pundits predicted that Swanson’s next contract would be worth around $25 million a year for five to seven years. Of course, the contracts that Bogaerts and Turner have received could very well change that.

The Red Sox are among the four teams that have shown the most interest in Swanson so far, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reported.

Jose Iglesias

Could the former Red Sox shortstop find his way back to Boston for the third time?

Well, if the Red Sox don’t want to invest long-term in Correa or Swanson while waiting for Marcelo Mayer to reach the majors, Iglesias might be the better short-term option.

Iglesias, who turns 33 in January, posted a good batting average with the Rockies in 2022 (.292) even though his bat had no pop. He had a .708 OPS with just three home runs and 47 RBIs in 118 games.

Iglesias’ strong 2022 season came after he returned to Boston for the final month of the 2021 regular season, where he provided enough of a second base role for the Red Sox to help them reach the playoffs. He hit .356/.406/.508 with a home run and seven RBIs in 23 games with the Red Sox.

Signing Iglesias probably wouldn’t cost much, as he’s only signed one-year contracts that were worth no more than $5 million in each of the previous four offseasons. However, the Red Sox might feel more inclined to try to find a bat with more power than Iglesias’ to help fill the Bogaerts void.

Jean Segura

If the Red Sox decide to move Story to shortstop, they’ll have a few free agent options to replace their 2022 second baseman, though none seem quite as compelling as the best stopper free agents- short remaining.

Segura could be a decent option at second base. He was a solid hitter for most of his 11-year career, hitting .277/.336/.387 with 10 home runs and 33 RBIs in 98 games for the Phillies last season.

Like Iglesias, Segura would likely be a short-term option as he turns 33 in March. He also missed a few months last season due to a broken finger he suffered while attempting a bunt.

MLB Trade Rumors predicts Segura will eventually sign a contract worth $18 million over two years.

Adam Frazier

Frazier is really the only other notable second baseman who is a free agent this offseason.

The future 31-year-old really struggled at the plate with the Mariners last season after having a career year in 2021. He hit .238 / .301 / .311 with just three home runs and 42 RBIs in 156 games in 2022 A year prior though, Frazier had hit .305 / .368 / .411 with five home runs and 43 RBIs — which is more in line with his career averages than was his 2022 season.

Frazier could be an attractive purchase option not only for this reason. He’s also a versatile player who has played in left and right field in his seven-year career.

Amed Rosario

With the amount of talent available at the position this offseason, the trade market for a shortstop doesn’t seem as robust.

Goalkeepers shortstop Amed Rosario has been the best shortstop that could potentially be traded this offseason.

The 27-year-old, who was considered one of the game’s hottest prospects five years ago, didn’t live to the end, but Rosario has certainly been a solid player in his six-year career . Since being traded to the Guardians ahead of the 2021 season, Rosario has hit .282/.316/.406 with 11 homers in each of the past two seasons. He also led the American League in triples last season with nine.

Rosario is set to enter his final season under club control, which means he will be a free agent in a year’s time.

Christian Arroyo

If the Red Sox potentially want to use their resources elsewhere to help fill the pitching rotation or fill other needs at the catcher or find another powerful right-handed hitter, Arroyo would likely be the best internal candidate to “replace” Bogaerts.

Arroyo probably wouldn’t replace Bogaerts directly, as he would likely play second base, his natural position, while Story would come up short.

Arroyo was a solid hitter at home plate in his three seasons in Boston, hitting .273/.320/.427 with 15 home runs and 69 RBIs in 158 games.



[ad_2]

Boston

Not all news on the site expresses the point of view of the site, but we transmit this news automatically and translate it through programmatic technology on the site and not from a human editor.
Back to top button