5 questions facing the Padres as spring training approaches

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Will the gradual decline of Xander Bogaerts continue for Padres?

Let’s not mince our words: Xander Bogaerts’ offensive production is slowing down. He has not hit over 20 HRs since 2021. Last season’s RBI total (58) was the lowest for Bogaerts in a full season since 2017 (62). For a 31-year-old shortstop, this is a troubling trend.

Defensively, Bogaerts’ glove is average and very much not spectacular. Granted, he will field every ground ball hit directly at him. But his range to the hole and up the middle is less than desirable.

So, what is Bogaerts' value to the 2024 Friars? He needs to get reacquainted with his bat and provide production that attracts interest at the trade deadline. Postseason contenders are always looking for reinforcements for their existing lineup. If Bogaerts can have a renaissance at the plate, he could gain some attraction on the market. The Padres may have to eat some of his guaranteed money to secure a top prospect.

That's one option. Trading him with nine-plus years left on his contract isn't the most realistic endeavor, so the best outcome would be Bogaerts returning to his All-Star form and provide top-tier offense from the shortstop position. That would be a big help in the Padres' quest to contend for a playoff spot.

However, if Bogaerts continues to decline, it will only get uglier before his contract expires in 2033. Let’s hope he regains his skills for the sake of the 2024 Friars.