The Red Sox apparently have a fixed shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, who is coming off another season in which he was called up to the All-Star Game. However, Jim Bowden of The Athletic portal informs that the Patirrojos “could be a surprise team in the shortstop market” during this offseason.
According to Bowden, the idea is that Boston could sign a sought-after free agent shortstop and send Bogaerts to second base. Boston must also consider the fact that Bogaerts may exercise the option to exit his contract after 2022, something he plans to do, according to reports.
The current litter of free-agent shortstop includes Puerto Ricans Carlos Correa and Javier Báez, along with Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Marcus Semien, who in 2021 played second baseman for the Blue Jays but previously was at short stops.
The Red Sox have struggled to establish a second baseman since the end of the Dustin Pedroia era. Since 2018, 10 players have defended this position in at least 20 games: Brock Holt (112), Dominican Eduardo Núñez (99), Michael Chavis (68), Christian Arroyo (60), Puerto Rican Kike Hernández (45), the Mexican Marco Hernández (38), Ian Kinsler (36), the Venezuelan Marwin González (34), the Panamanian Jonathan Araúz (26) and the Venezuelan José Peraza (23).
While the Patirrojos’ focus is definitely on beefing up the offense at second base – that spot in Boston has ranked 22nd in the majors with a .686 OPS from 2018-2021 – improving defense would be the biggest goal for him. club, whose infield finished last in the majors with -35 outs above average this year. The two starters on the left side of the table, Bogaerts and Dominican third baseman Rafael Devers, had a total of -23 outs above average.
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Will Boston look for an SS on the free market?