While they play different positions and bring different skills to the table, Xander Bogaerts and his people have to feel pretty good about waking up to the Aaron Judge news.
Judge reportedly is returning to the New York Yankees on a nine-year, $360 million megadeal. In addition to the rising tides lifting all boats, especially as it pertains to superstar players, Judge’s decision to return to the Bronx could have a ripple effect that benefits a player like Bogaerts.
Teams who missed out on Judge now are likely to turn their attention elsewhere. In fact, as USA Today’s Bob Nightengale pointed out Wednesday morning shortly after the news broke, the Giants now are likely to turn their attention to the shortstop market where Bogaerts, Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson are still unsigned. It wouldn’t be shocking to see that market kick into warp speed now that the Judge domino has fallen.
The Giants, by all accounts, were a legitimate suitor for Judge. They have money, and they clearly want to spend it, especially if they’re resigned to the notion starting pitcher Carlos Rodon won’t return.
But they’re not alone in that desire to throw money around. The San Diego Padres have been surprisingly active, at least if we’re to believe the rumors. They reportedly made a bigger offer to star shortstop Trea Turner, who instead opted for a return to the East Coast where he reportedly agreed to a deal with the Phillies. We already know San Diego could be “pivoting” to Bogaerts.
What we didn’t know until Wednesday morning, however, was the Padres were one of three finalists for Judge. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Judge wasn’t just deciding between a return to New York and going home to San Francisco, but that the Padres were also part of his decision-making process. So, as if we needed any more proof San Diego was willing to spend through its eyes, we got it with that development.
And, by the way: The Dodgers still need a shortstop, too, after Turner left for Philly. So, at the very least, you’ve got the potential of three National League West superpowers all in the market for the elite shortstops. That’s just going to send the price skyrocketing.
We already know, too, that Bogaerts’ market extends beyond the West Coast. A report late last month indicated the Cubs, Twins and perhaps even the Cardinals were interested in Bogaerts. None of those teams have landed a shortstop yet.
So it doesn’t come as much surprise that insiders believe Bogaerts is about to cash in, and it’s becoming more likely it’s on the higher end of the projections, meaning the $200 million mark has to be in sight.
There’s also one other giant factor here, one that brings things back to Judge, at least in a way, and that’s the Boston Red Sox. The club has said over and over and over again that re-signing Bogaerts is their top priority. Their biggest rival just achieved its top offseason objective by retaining Judge. And while the Red Sox aren’t likely making their own decisions based on what’s happening in The Big Apple, they need to do something to keep pace on the field.
Bogaerts would help in that regard, which is gravy for someone who has seen the market play out just the way he probably hoped.