Jon Heyman: Phillies have real interest in Xander Bogaerts, linked back to Dave Dombrowski Boston Days
The Philadelphia Phillies reportedly have “real interest” in free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
Jon Heyman on Xander Bogaerts and the Phillies
The 2022 free agent shortstop class is possibly the strongest in the history of baseball. All four of the premiere free agent shortstops in the class of 2022 have won a World Series Championship with the original teams and posted above 5 WAR last season.
If you are team looking for a shortstop like the Phillies, it’s a great year to be shopping around. Yet, the market wont be cheap for the Phils, as the top deals could require a commitment similar to the one Bryce Harper received in 2019. A decision like this could impact the ceiling of this team for the next half decade or more.
For the Phillies to land Bogaerts, they would not only have to pay him a huge contract, but would also be forced to surrender $1 million of their international draft pool money along with the team’s second- and fifth-highest draft picks in 2023. Those penalties are in place because Bogaerts has been extended a qualifying offer by the Red Sox.
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Xander Bogaerts, SS, Red Sox, age 30
Recently opted-out of three-year, $60 million guarantee
Boegarts originally signed a six-year, $120MM extension with the Red Sox back in April 2019 but is now almost certain to receive a long-term deal with a higher AAV. Previous reports back in June linked the Phillies to Boegarts which makes sense considering president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski held a similar position with the Red Sox and knows him well.
Boegarts is hands down the best pure offensive shortstop in the American League and has been arguably for multiple seasons. He has posted an OPS+ of at least 128 in each of his last five seasons all the while playing in a Boston market that is very similar to Philadelphia.
But unlike Correa, Turner, and Swanson he often grades out as below-average defensively, a red flag for a Phillies team already filled with below average fielders. If the Phillies were to sign Boegarts, they could theoretically slide him to third base in the next few seasons and move Alec Bohm to first.
Boegarts Stats 2022:
- 15 HR, 73 RBI, 84 R
- OPS+ 131
- WAR: 5.8
Boegarts Career Stats:
- .292/.356/.458 (117 OPS+)
- 156 HR
- 34.9 WAR in 1264 G