MLB Rumors

Padres, Diamondbacks Among Teams Interested In Xander Bogaerts

Padres, Diamondbacks Among Teams Interested In Xander Bogaerts

Next week’s Winter Meetings are generally expected to serve as a catalyst for what’s been a slow-moving free agent market. As the league’s biggest offseason convention approaches, the interest for some of the top players available is beginning to come into focus.

Xander Bogaerts is part of a loaded shortstop class, and a number of teams have checked in with his representatives at the Boras Corporation. Jeff Passan of ESPN reports the Diamondbacks and Cubs have expressed interest, while adding that previously-reported suitors like the Phillies and Dodgers are in the mix. Meanwhile, Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic reports Padres president of baseball operations A.J. Preller recently checked in with Scott Boras about Bogaerts’ willingness to play a position other than shortstop.

San Diego’s interest isn’t Bogaerts isn’t a new development. Marino Pepén listed the Padres as a suitor last week, while Jon Heyman of the New York Post has suggested they’re involved in the top of the shortstop market more generally. The Friars are apparently serious enough in their pursuit to gauge Bogaerts’ amenability to move off the position.

The infield mix at Petco Park is already crowded, although there are a number of multi-positional options who can move around. Manny Machado is locked in at third base, while the rest of the current infield figures to be made up by some combination of Fernando Tatis Jr.Ha-Seong Kim and Jake Cronenworth. Kim has proven himself an excellent defensive shortstop and earned an everyday role with a .251/.325/.383 showing this past season. Tatis was expected to be the franchise shortstop after a brilliant start to his career earned him a $340MM extension, but he’s now under consideration for a move to second base or the outfield after missing all of 2022 due to injury and a performance-enhancing drug ban. Cronenworth is a quality defender at the keystone, but the Friars have floated the possibility of kicking him over to first base with Josh Bell and Brandon Drury hitting free agency.

Adding a first base/designated hitter type might be the most straightforward path to building out the offense, but there’s no harm for Preller and his staff in considering other avenues. Adding another middle infielder while kicking Cronenworth to first base would give San Diego an elite defensive infield, while Bogaerts is among the top offensive players available regardless of position. He’s long been mentioned as a candidate to…

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