Cubs fans will hate this proposed Xander Bogaerts trade destination
By Jake Misener
Paul Goldschmidt going to St. Louis was one thing. The Rockies literally paying the Cardinals to take Nolan Arenado off their hands just twisted the knife a little more. Now, there’s speculation three-time All-Star Xander Bogaerts could wind up with the Redbirds if the Red Sox continue to struggle.
What a time to be a Cubs fan, am I right?
With Chicago just limping along with an already-subpar roster ravaged by injuries, the idea St. Louis could not only trade for a player like Bogaerts, but then turn around and sign him to a long-term extension is downright appalling.
The Cubs were incessantly linked to the top of the free agent shortstop class last winter, only to settle for a combination of Jonathan Villar and Andrelton Simmons behind Nico Hoerner. That’s not to say they won’t turn around and be a player next offseason, but Bogaerts coming off the board before then certainly isn’t an ideal scenario.
Despite Boston’s struggles in the season’s first month, Bogaerts has been his typical powerhouse self, putting up a 152 OPS+ entering action Thursday. At this rate, he’s going to have a real shot at bringing home a batting title (he’s hitting .345 on the year) – and looks like an early front runner for his fifth Silver Slugger.
I know the Cubs’ farm system is drastically improved and on the rise. There’s hope on the horizon, to be sure. But an organization’s plan cannot, under any circumstance, be completely predicated upon just hitting on prospects. There need to be somebody to build around – and Bogaerts could be a perfect centerpiece.
Barring a catastrophic drop-off or injury, Bogaerts is going to opt out of the final two years of his deal with the Red Sox. After watching Cubs fans drool all over themselves thinking about Carlos Correa, I imagine we’d see a very similar reaction at this winter’s prospective class of free agent shortstops.
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But an equally strong reaction will also come if somehow, the Cardinals swoop in and lock up Bogaerts in the months to come – especially as we watch the large-market Cubs, one of the most valuable franchises in all baseball, play small ball with finances instead of flexing their way to the top of the game.