The Los Angeles Dodgers will have a vacancy at shortstop next winter, unless they shell out a massive midseason extension to Trea Turner or gulp really hard and hand the job over to Gavin Lux, no questions asked.
Odds are, though, that the Dodgers will play in the high-dollar end of the pool. It’s what they do. Two years ago, it was Trevor Bauer to supplement a pitching staff that didn’t really need it. Last deadline, it was Turner and Max Scherzer to blow the lid off the NL West race (which actually, uh, didn’t work).
This offseason? Freddie Freeman, the biggest non-shortstop name on the market. No matter. The Dodgers only avoided spending on Carlos Correa and Trevor Story because they were trying to savor their final year of Turner before all hell broke loose.
This offseason, Turner will hit the market once more in an attempt to fulfill his desire to find a free agent fit that still holds spring training in Florida (OK, if it’s that important to you). Beyond the Dodgers’ incumbent, the options include Correa (if he opts out), Dansby Swanson (if he follows Freeman out the door), and Xander Bogaerts of the Boston Red Sox.
Bogaerts’ situation also requires the triggering of an opt-out, but after recent comments hinting at his unhappiness with the current negotiations, it seems likely he’ll be on the move:
"Jon Heyman of The New York Post reported in April that Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox had offered to pay Bogaerts $30 million guaranteed in 2026, with the understanding that it would be on top of the three years and $60 million remaining on his current contract. Speaking to Heyman, someone close to Bogaerts referred to the offer from the Red Sox as “a slap in the face.”"
So, are the Dodgers at the front of the line if and when the still-in-his-prime Bogaerts tests the waters? Not exactly. According to the latest intel, the Cubs are seen as the relatively heavy favorites, according to several executives.
Xander Bogaerts likely to choose Cubs over Dodgers?
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, “several executives” believe Bogaerts will bolt Boston for Chicago, as the Cubs attempt to level up their rebuild, which started in earnest in 2021.
Chicago has repeatedly claimed they’ll be in the upper tier of the free agent market, and they proved their mettle somewhat by winning the Seiya Suzuki and Marcus Stroman bidding last offseason after cutting bait with all the established talent from their 2016 World Series champions piece-by-piece.
Well … all their talent but one catcher named Willson Contreras. While Boston is focused on keeping Bogaerts happy, the Cubbies still need to decide on whether they want to make Contreras a long-term centerpiece. The amount of cash that takes — and their readiness to contend — could all have an impact on whether Bogaerts follows his old Sox pal Jed Hoyer to Wrigley Field.
Plenty can change in six months, but at the moment, the baseball world does not view the Dodgers as the favorite to pull off this particular coup. Correa? That might be a different story.