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Batting Around: Which top-tier shortstop would you sign in MLB free agency?

Batting Around: Which top-tier shortstop would you sign in MLB free agency?

Throughout the offseason the CBS Sports MLB experts will bring you a weekly Batting Around roundtable breaking down pretty much anything. The latest news, a historical question, thoughts about the future of baseball, all sorts of stuff. Last time we discussed out favorite moments of the 2022 season. This week we’re going to take the free agent shortstop market.

Which star shortstop would you most want to sign this offseason?

R.J. Anderson: Carlos Correa. Put simply: I think he’s more likely to remain at shortstop long-term than either Trea Turner or Xander Bogaerts, and more likely to remain a good hitter than Dansby Swanson. I also think people are sleeping on how good he was last season with the Twins. It was not a down or disappointing year for him in any individual respect.

Dayn Perry: I have to agree on Correa. Odd as it sounds, he feels a bit underrated (he certainly was by the market last winter). He’s an elite producer at the plate by shortstop standards, and I’m still comfortable thinking of him as a plus fielder at the position even though 2022 raised some concerns on that front. He’s also almost a year-and-a-half younger than Turner. 

Matt Snyder: I’m gonna have to agree that it’s Correa. He’s still only heading to his age-28 season and it’s been since 2019 that we could truly question his durability. He’s an elite defender capable of hitting like an MVP and it seems like he’ll be open to eventually moving to third base if and when that becomes the correct play. Yes, his team folded down the stretch to miss the playoffs, but Correa hit .361/.423/.585 in his last 37 games. There’s only so much one player can do. 

I’d slot Turner a close second and I think he ages really well. I like Bogaerts as well, so third place in this group is far from an insult. My concerns lie with Swanson. He had a 5.7 WAR last season, but his previous career high in a full season was 2.2. Maybe he was going to ride that 2.8 in the 60-game 2020 season to a similarly awesome season like he had in 2022, but we can’t know for sure. He had a career 90 OPS+…

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