Xander Bogaerts, Carlos Correa, Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson — the four high-profile shortstops available in free agency this Major League Baseball offseason — are intertwined, with each development involving one having a potential trickle-down effect on the other players’ markets.
Take the case of the Minnesota Twins, for instance.
According to LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune, the Twins are interested in bringing back Correa, who spent 2022 with Minnesota after signing with the organization last offseason. If they can’t re-sign Correa, they reportedly have a “backup plan” in mind: Bogaerts.
“If they’re going to play this game, they’ve got to play it under (agent) Scott Boras’ terms. And Boras plays this thing out until February or March,” Neal recently said on the “Talk North” podcast. “Can the Twins afford to wait that long with other things they want to achieve during the offseason, to see if they get one or the other? And yes, they were going after Correa and I was told that Bogaerts would be the backup plan if they can’t get Correa.”
Both Correa and Bogaerts are represented by Boras, which adds an interesting wrinkle to their respective trips to free agency. Turner and Swanson each have different representation.
“They’re offering (Correa) different deals to see what he would like,” Neal said of the Twins. “There’s 10 years at a certain (average annual value), I think eight years at another certain AAV and then a six-year deal, which of course would have the highest AAV, which would be over $30 million a year.”
The Boston Red Sox made clear re-signing Bogaerts is their top priority this winter. But they’ll almost certainly face competition on the open market, with Minnesota being a possible suitor should it lose Correa. Correa and Turner are projected to land the biggest contracts of the aforementioned shortstop quartet, with deals near or above $300 million seemingly within reach. Bogaerts likely will command a nine-figure payday, as well, although he’d be fortunate to max out somewhere in the $200 million range.
The Red Sox, in theory, could take an inversed approach, viewing Correa as their backup plan to Bogaerts. But it’s unclear whether Boston would strongly consider that path. Instead, the Sox might shift Trevor Story to shortstop and pursue a second baseman if Bogaerts signs elsewhere in free agency.
Basically, it’s worth monitoring the shortstop market as a whole in the coming weeks and months. Each team dipping its toe in those waters probably has a preference, followed by a Plan B that could throw a wrench into the entire MLB offseason.