The MLB free agency period is underway, and the most valuable position in the game has some big names that could be changing homes this winter. Having a great shortstop playing the field and using the big stick is a great advantage that so few teams have.
Thankfully enough, if your MLB team is in the shortstop market this upcoming season, there are four out of the top ten shortstops in the game looking to sign huge contracts and help your team try to go all the way and win the entire thing.
Xander Bogaerts decided to opt out of his contract with the Boston Red Sox, leaving three years and 60 million dollars to test the open market. Bogaerts has been one of the best at his position for almost a decade and is a four-time All-Star and five-time Silver Slugger; his first full nine MLB seasons have been a real honor.
Bogaerts also was a huge reason the Boston Red Sox won the 2018 World Series and captured their fourth title since 2004. Bogaerts just turned 30 years old, so he still has a lot of years left in, and he should have a few more years playing at an elite level.
It does seem like at this moment that Bogaerts and the Boston Red Sox’s ownership have been trying to negotiate a new deal, but if he does not return to Boston, he will be highly regarded, and many teams are going to jump all over him for his services.
The two-time All-Star and one-time World Series Champ Carlos Correa have hit the open market again for a second straight season. But, of course, everyone knows Correa from playing with the Houston Astros and being part of one of the best second base and shortstop duos with his buddy Jose Altuve.
Last season Correa found himself heading up to Minnesota, where he signed a three-year 105.3-million-dollar deal with the Twins. However, Correa decided to opt out of his contract this offseason and again hit the open market.
Correa is still very young, just turning 28 in September, so he will be looking for a big payday and probably for a handful of years. Teams that have been rumored for Correa services have been the rebuilding Chicago Cubs which could use some star power in that lineup, and a team like the New York Yankees could use a veteran shortstop if they don’t turn over to one of their young prospects.
One knock on Correa is he has had a hard time staying healthy throughout his career. From 2017-2019 Correa didn’t play more than 111 games in all three of those seasons, and he also missed a handful of games with a finger injury in 2022.
Dansby Swanson, who will be 29 years old this offseason, was finally named to his first All-Star game in 2022. Swanson, a big-time prospect coming on from the University of Vanderbilt, was the number one overall pick in the 2015 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He was traded to the Atlanta Braves before he even put on a big-league uniform and has spent his first seven seasons playing in Atlanta.
Swanson helped the Braves in 2021 win their first World Series title since 1995 and then, in 2022, had a career year. His batting average was .277, with 177 hits, 25 home runs, and 96 runs batted in while playing in all 162 games.
Swanson looks to be coming into his own, and there will be significant years ahead of him. It sounds like the Atlanta Braves want to resign Swanson, but we will have to see if Swanson intends to return to Atlanta and if years and numbers will add up for both sides.
Lastly, Trea Turner, who will turn 30 years old in the middle of next season, will round out this list. Turner, who has been a two-time All-Star games and has finished twice in the top ten of the N.L MVP voting, will have a long list of possible destinations.
Turner helped lead the Washington Nationals to their first World Series title in franchise history in 2019, and then last year, at the trade deadline, he was sent packing to the Los Angeles Dodgers, where he would play through 2022.
Turner is now on the open market, and one team that has been in the baseball scene the last month has been rumored to sign him maybe. That would be the N.L champs, the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phillies could use a shortstop after they declined the option on infielders Jean Segura’s contract. It leaves a hole in the infield, and they could shuffle at positions to open the shortstop position up.
Turner would be an excellent fit for a team that could use some defense after seeing the Phillies have some issues with the glove all around the diamond in the postseason, and we know the team is not afraid to go out and spend money on the guys that they want.
This is an excellent free-agent shortstop class, and many teams have been positioning themselves and making moves to try and go after one of these four all-star shortstops. If your team gets one of these four guys, you will watch many highlight plays night in and night out for years to come.
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