Boras: Blue Jays, Cubs, Twins “Were Really After” Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts‘ first go to to free company resulted in an 11-year, $280MM take care of the Padres that drastically exceeded projections, even for a participant who was anticipated to land one of many offseason’s largest contracts. Agent Scott Boras mentioned a number of the twists and turns of Bogaerts’ free agent journey with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, and Boras recognized that Bogaerts was San Diego’s second alternative, as soon as Trea Turner rejected a reported $342MM provide from the Padres.

Once Turner turned down the Padres’ provide to signal with the Phillies, “we type of knew the Padres’ man was BogaertsBoras stated. “They wished that character, that management in that locker room.” Left unstated by Boras was the truth that the Padres had been clearly itching to land a giant goal of some form, even to the purpose of contemplating a $400MM bid for Aaron Judge. With Judge and Turner off the board, the Padres could have been extra prepared to go above and past to signal Bogaerts, and be sure that their offseason endeavors would come with at the very least one celebrity title.

The Red Sox reportedly made a last-ditch effort to signal Bogaerts within the hours previous his take care of San Diego, though Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom later downplayed the possibilities {that a} reunion between Bogaerts and the Red Sox was changing into a risk. There had been blended alerts from Boston’s possession and entrance workplace all season lengthy in regards to the franchise’s willingness to retain Bogaerts, and from Boras’ perspective, the Red Sox weren’t ever a significant bidder.

It was simply actually clear to us there was a separation the place Boston was going to go for Bogaerts, in comparison with the place the market wasBoras stated. “They most likely decided they had been going to signal [Rafael] Devers, and had been going to pay solely one in every of them. So we knew on the forefront that Bogey can be someplace in addition to Boston.”

Sure sufficient, the Red Sox really ended up extending Devers, whereas Bogaerts landed in San Diego. As for different groups within the hunt, such groups because the Phillies, Diamondbacks, Orioles, Mariners, Dodgers, and Giants had been all linked to Bogaerts at numerous factors within the offseason, even when a few of these pursuits had been maybe extra cursory than others. Boras implied that three groups particularly (past the Padres) separated themselves from the pack, saying that “Minnesota, the Cubs, the Blue Jays, they had been actually after” Bogaerts’ companies.

The Cubs and Twins had been already recognized to be Bogaerts’ suitors, and as each golf equipment had been monitoring the high-end shortstop market and finally got here away with two of the winter’s high choices on the place — Chicago signed Dansby Swansonwhereas Minnesota (finally) reunited with Carlos Correa. The Twins’ curiosity in Bogaerts was framed as a backup plan if Correa signed elsewhere, though Bogaerts ended up signing with the Padres earlier than Correa agreed to his preliminary take care of the Giants. As for the Cubs,’s Mark Feinsand wrote that the group gave some consideration to the concept of ​​signing each Bogaerts and Swanson, with Bogaerts taking part in third base in that blockbuster state of affairs.

It makes for some fascinating “what-if” materials, since neither the Twins nor the Cubs had been beforehand thought of high candidates to signal Bogaerts. However, the Blue Jays’ involvement is probably probably the most attention-grabbing, as Toronto hadn’t beforehand been linked to Bogaerts or any of the highest shortstops in any way. While the aggressive Jays are recognized to be a group that routinely checks in on most free brokers as a matter of due diligence, Toronto’s focus was recognized to be on the membership’s higher wants within the outfield and within the rotation. Such names as Justin Verlander, Brandon Nimmoand so forth Kodai Seng had been among the many many gamers linked to the Blue Jays, and Toronto has to this point signed Chris Bassitt, Kevin Kiermaierand so forth Brandon Beltwhereas Daulton Varsho and Eric Swanson had been respectively acquired in main trades with the Diamondbacks and Mariners that noticed Gabriel Moreno, Lourdes Gurriel Jr.and so forth Teoscar Hernandez change uniforms.

These strikes have despatched the Jays’ payroll to franchise-record heights, and set the group as much as exceed the luxurious tax threshold for the primary time. So in that sense, making a splash to signal Bogaerts would not have been out of line with the Blue Jays’ spending habits, even when clearly touchdown Bogaerts would have solely modified the scope of Toronto’s offseason.

First and foremost, the Blue Jays have already got a star shortstop Bo Bichette, who is just coming into his age-25 season and already amassed two top-12 finishes in AL MVP voting, an All-Star nod, and 9.6 fWAR in 2021-22. (For comparability, Bogaerts had 10.4 fWAR in 2021-22.) Bichette’s success on the plate, nonetheless, was tempered by a moderately drastic defensive decline in 2022, as public metrics positioned Bichette among the many league’s worst defensive gamers. Ironically, Bogaerts’ glovework had lengthy been a supply of controversy, however he quelled some doubts about his viability as a shortstop by delivering the very best defensive season of his profession in 2022.

Had the Jays signed Bogaerts, they may’ve put in him at shortstop and moved Bichette to second base, after which used the present assortment of second-base choices (ie Santiago Espinal, Cavan Biggio, Whit Merrifield) both purely as depth choices or as commerce chips. since Matt Chapman is a free agent after the 2023 season, the Blue Jays may need thought of transferring Bogaerts to 3rd base at that time and returning Bichette to shortstop, if Chapman wasn’t retained. Or, if signing Bogaerts would’ve taken up a lot or all of Toronto’s payroll house, the Blue Jays may need thought of buying and selling Bichette with a view to deal with different wants. If the Jays hadn’t had the cash to signal a Bassitt-level starter, for example, Bichette might have been shopped to land a front-of-the-rotation arm.

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