Could Xander Bogaerts not be the starting shortstop for San Diego Padres in 2024? According to some reports, some shuffling of positions could once again be in store for the offseason.
San Diego Padres rumors: Xander Bogaerts moving to another position?
In an article for The Athletic, Dennis Lin discusses the potential for the Padres to call up prospect Jackson Merrill in September for what could be some very important games as San Diego tries to grab a Wild Card spot. This short stint with the club, if it happens, could be a preview of how Merrill could fit in with the franchise in 2024 or future seasons.
However, where Merrill plays upon his call-up could be a question mark. Brought up through the system as a shortstop, it's possible that he could become a utility player, playing in both the infield and outfield.
In the article, Lin writes, "One potential scenario would see Merrill start off in a utility role, which might explain his recent introductions to first base, second base and corner outfield. Some team officials would like to see Bogaerts move to first base or second base next season, with (Ha-Seong) Kim back at shortstop and Merrill eventually claiming a super-utility job if he does not settle in at one spot."
It's an interesting thought that Bogaerts could already be shuffled just one year into his contract, especially since he has played neither first nor second base during his 11-year MLB career. In the 1,354 games in which Bogaerts has played between his time with the Boston Red Sox and Padres, 1,301 of those have been at shortstop. The other 53 have come at third base.
There were questions about how Bogaerts would fit in with a team that already had Kim and Fernando Tatis Jr. on the roster when he was signed before the 2023 season began. Now it seems there may be even more questions about his fit heading into next season.
With Merrill on the rise and Kim showing he is more than capable of playing shortstop after Tatis has flourished in the outfield, what happens to the 30-year-old Bogaerts next season will be very interesting to watch.