Examining where interested teams stand with free-agent shortstops


The top end of the shortstop market now appears to be expanding as the Yankees and Padres show interest, bringing the number of teams potentially in the market for one of the four free agent shortstops to 11.

It’s not known how serious the Yankees are, specifically whether they have the budget to add both superstar Aaron Judge and a big shortstop (they certainly have the revenue) or if the talks are just a cover in case it unbearable happens and Judge leaves (the Yankees seem a bit more confident to that end lately).

Either way, the growing interest means the majority of teams will be left out. This winter’s most interesting positional market features four big players in their primes – Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson – but demand far outstrips supply.

Turner is loved for his combination of speed and power, but some insiders believe that Correa, who is better defensively, has a bigger postseason record, is younger, and has no draft choice compensation, will actually get the bigger deal. It’s said he’s at least firing early for a record-breaking contract — though last year, after an even better season, his highest bid was reportedly a $275 million 10-year Tigers bid.

Here’s a full rundown of the 11 interested teams…

Carlos Correa

Carlos Correa

Trea Turner

Trea Turner

Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson

Xander Bogaerts

Xander Bogaerts

1. Dodgers. They believe Turner prefers to head east (he’s from Florida) and while they love Correa, they seem somewhat reluctant since he played on the tainted 2017 Astros team that beat LA. Bogaerts and Swanson are also possible for a top MLB spender, with in-house Gavin Lux appearing to be the last option.

2. Brave. They offered about $100 million to Swanson, and as he countered, a Braves person expressed pessimism, perhaps recalling how they lost Freddie Freeman. They like Correa, but have not been big payers in the past. Homegrown Vaughn Grissom is well-liked, and while one scout says, “He won’t be Dansby Swanson any time soon,” infield guru Ron Washington’s recommendation that he can do it weighs heavily. Should Georgia product Swanson leave and they stay in the house, Grissom would compete with solid vet Orlando Arcia.

3. Red Sox. Their own Bogaerts is of course the most logical option. But will they finally step up and spend money? They can even afford Correa or Turner and have to do something to erase the 2022 blot.

4. Gemini. They will try to extend their one-year Correa miracle and appear motivated. But if they can’t, they’re more likely to move to the next level, which means they’re an Elvis Andrus type.

5. Phillies. Baseball President Dave Dombrowski has strong ties to Bogaerts, and he seems the most likely. The fan base loves Turner for his leadership abilities, and Philly fits his supposed geographic preference (his wife is from New Jersey).

6. Cubs. They act like they will splurge after sitting outside for a few winters. Nico Hoerner was able to move up to second place.

7. Cardinals. Their priorities seem to be catching and throwing, but they could take Tommy Edman to second base.

8. Giants. Brandon Crawford has one year left on his contract, so they may have to convince every shortstop to play second for a season. They have the loot.

9. Yankees. They have said they will probably go with one of two rookies – Oswald Peraza or Anthony Volpe. But they’ve been in talks with the best shortstops and could also play one of the kids second. They can certainly afford to do both Judge and shortstop.

10. Padres. No one believed they would sign Eric Hosmer let alone Manny Machado. But here we are. The Padres put winning first, and good for them. Fernando Tatis Jr. seems ticketed for the outfield. Ha-Seong Kim filled it in well, but we learned never to count out the Padres.

11. Sailors. They would have to shove JP Crawford into second, something they hated to do last season.

The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.


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