While the San Diego Padres have picked up a reputation as crazy spenders in the last few years, conventional wisdom would suggest that adding a shortstop in the offseason is out of the question following the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. However, Boston Red Sox stud Xander Bogaerts might throw a wrench in that whole plan.
In a class headlined by Bogaerts and Trea Turner, contenders from across the league are going to spend tons of money trying to lockdown that spot for the next half-decade. Tatis and Ha-Seong Kim are one heck of a 1-2 punch in that lineup, but Bogaerts is on an entirely different level.
In a situation not entirely dissimilar to the Mookie Betts hullabaloo that ended up with him getting traded to the Dodgers, the Red Sox have been unwilling to give Bogaerts a big long-term contract that compensates him fairly. The Padres might swoop in at the eleventh hour to set the offseason ablaze.
The Padres, per Jon Heyman, are in the market for a shortstop, with Bogaerts at the top of their list. A.J. Preller seems to think that adding this many talented bats should come first and letting the question of which position they will play sort itself out. If they add Bogaerts, San Diego will have enough bats to overrule defensive concerns.
Can the San Diego Padres sign Xander Bogaerts?
Over the last five seasons, Bogaerts has hit .301 while averaging 45 doubles, 27 home runs, and 101 RBI per 162 games played. He’s made the All-Star team three times, taken home three Silver Slugger awards, and been in the top 17 in MVP voting every year. There aren’t many middle infielders better than him.
The Padres have already discussed potentially moving Tatis away from shortstop, so Bogaerts wouldn’t have to worry about moving around if he ends up signing with San Diego. Kim is one of the best defensive infielders in baseball, but he’s not good enough for San Diego to rule out a Bogaerts signing.
Bogaerts has a perfect swing for Petco Park, as he would own the gap in left-center while slamming enough homers off the Western Metal Supply Company building to get San Diego’s offense jump-started at the top of the lineup. Fresh off the best defensive season of his career, Bogaerts is in the middle of his prime.
The Padres have no choice but to be aggressive this offseason, as being passive would essentially concede the division to the Dodgers once again. Bogaerts is going to cost an arm and a leg, but few infielders in this game are as consistently excellent at the dish.