Cubs 'were really in' on Xander Bogaerts, says Scott Boras

San Diego Padres Introduce Xander Bogaerts
San Diego Padres Introduce Xander Bogaerts / Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/GettyImages

This weekend, fans got their first glimpse of the Cubs' biggest prize of the offseason in All-Star shortstop Dansby Swanson who, with many of his teammates, took center stage at the 2023 Cubs Convention, which returned after a multi-year hiatus.

As is often the case, the weekend's festivities - paired with the reported signing of Trey Mancini - left the Wrigley faithful feeling optimistic, and rightfully so. The front office has undoubtedly raised the floor of the team and, at least on paper, the Cubs look like a legitimate postseason contender with just about month until pitchers and catchers report.

Cubs: Time will tell if Dansby Swanson or Xander Bogaerts prove more impactful

This team belongs to Swanson now. That's what happens when you land the second-largest free agent contract in franchise history. But although the Cubs wound up with the 2022 Gold Glove winner, according to Scott Boras, the team was 'really in' on another of this winter's free agent shortstops, Xander Bogaerts.

"... we knew at the forefront that Bogey would be somewhere besides Boston. Minnesota, the Cubs, the Blue Jays, they were really after him. But we kind of knew the Padres’ guy was Bogaerts (after Trea Turner rejected their offer). They wanted that personality, that leadership in that locker room. "

Scott Boras via USA Today

Bogaerts, a two-time World Series champion and five-time Silver Slugger, wound up blowing expectations out of the water, signing an 11-year, $280 million deal with San Diego, a team that's pushing all its chips in, hoping to not only dethrone the Dodgers in the NL West, but return to the World Series for the first time since 1998.

Obviously, the near-$100 million and four-year gap between the Swanson and Bogaerts contracts represent a glaring difference on paper - and only time will tell which of these deals ages better. Knowing the Cubs won't be paying Bogaerts in his age-40 season feels nice right now, but in the short-term, he sure feels like the more impactful player of the two, especially offensively.

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Hindsight is 20/20 and with time, we'll have more definitive answers on whether Swanson or Bogaerts winds up being the 'right' deal. For now, though, Swanson is ready to bring winning back to the North Side while X-Man is ready to make the Red Sox regret their inability to get an extension done that would have kept him in Boston the rest of his career.