Cubs: 3 perfect fit free agent shortstops in next year’s class
If Xander Bogaerts opts out in Boston, will the Cubs come calling?
Since the start of the 2018 season, all Xander Bogaerts has done as a member of the Red Sox is hit .299/.371/.523 (133 OPS+) and earn a pair of All-Star nods to go with two Silver Sluggers. Now, he’s a truly unique presence on this list because unlike Turner and Swanson, he may not hit free agency at all.
Bogaerts is in the midst of a six-year, $120 million extension he signed with the Sox – but reportedly plans on exercising his player opt-out at the end of the 2020 season. It’s also worth nothing that based on that ESPN report, he’d opt out with plans of signing a new deal with Boston – but money talks, and free agency usually allows players to maximize their earning potential.
Also unlike the other two names on this list, there are serious concerns about Bogaerts glove – he may profile better at second moving forward – as Statcast pegged him in the bottom two percent of the league in OAA last year.
But he doesn’t strike out a lot and he walks a ton – not to mention his ability to hit for extra bases. If I were doing a totally subjective ranking of the three, it goes Turner, Bogaerts, Swanson – but with their varying skillsets comes varying price tags, something that could very well decide the direction the Cubs go.
All that said, it’s worth remembering that when the lockout ends and the Correa rumors and flying past us left and right, there are alternatives just one year away. Hoyer doesn’t need to swing for the fences as soon as he’s got a clean slate – patience will be a key as Chicago re-tools.