San Diego Padres were given a tough pill to swallow after their reported top offseason target, 2020 AL MVP Jose Abreu, inked a deal with the Astros.
That certainly throws a wrench into the Padres’ plans to revamp their lineup, but there’s no reason to panic. After all, the front office could just as easily sign prized shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who’s (seemingly) unlikely to return to Boston.
With Machado eligible to leave after next season and Juan Soto a free agent after 2024, signing Bogaerts would give the Padres needed offensive insurance. Over the last three seasons, Bogaerts is hitting .304/.376/.503 with 82 home runs, 297 RBI, 132 doubles, and 135 WRC+.
Like Abreu, though, Bogaerts will have a robust market. Just because AJ Preller is keen on the star shortstop doesn’t mean he’ll end up in San Diego.
With that in mind, let’s highlight three teams who could swoop in and steal Bogaerts from the Padres in free agency.
3 teams who could steal Xander Bogaerts from the Padres
3. Minnesota Twins
The Red Sox would get the nod if we added a fourth team, but Boston has an alarming track record of cutting bait with franchise cornerstones. Because of that, Minnesota gets the edge here, and it largely has to do with the fact one-year rental Carlos Correa is a free agent and likely seeking greener pastures.
Signing Bogaerts would be a head-scratching move from the Twins, who seemingly never make it beyond the Wild Card Round when they make the playoffs, but they shocked the baseball world by landing Correa’s signature last winter.
Who’s to say they won’t do it again by signing Bogaerts? And based on the latest buzz, Minnesota is willing to jump through hoops to make it happen. Per LaVelle Neal of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Twins are prioritizing Correa and offering him deals with differing lengths and base salaries to see piques his interest.
Assuming they do the same with Bogaerts, whom they view as their Correa backup plan, the 30-year-old stud could absolutely end up calling the North Star State home for the remainder of his prime.