Free-agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts is being pursued by multiple teams hoping to pry him away from the Boston Red Sox, and a National League franchise is reportedly pulling ahead of the other suitors.
According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, the Arizona Diamondbacks are considered to be "among the most serious" potential landing spots for the four-time All-Star. Morosi noted that Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen was a top executive with the Red Sox when Bogaerts made his MLB debut in 2013.
On Sunday, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reported that there are "eight to 11 teams with interest" in the 30-year-old shortstop, naming the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres. Abraham also stated that the Red Sox have not made a competitive offer to retain Bogaerts.
The Diamondbacks are looking for an upgrade after relying on Geraldo Perdomo, who did not make an offensive impact last season. Nick Ahmed played only 17 games because of a shoulder injury that required surgery. Arizona finished 74-88 and missed the playoffs for the fifth straight year.
The Phillies on Monday reportedly reached an agreement with Dodgers free-agent shortstop Trea Turner on an 11-year, $300 million deal, which all but rules them out on Bogaerts. The shortstop market has boomed recently, as Corey Seager's 10-year, $325 million deal with the Texas Rangers set the benchmark last offseason.
In addition to Bogaerts, there are multiple top-notch shortstops remaining on the open market, including Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson and Jose Iglesias.
A two-time World Series champion, Bogaerts has been one of the faces of the Red Sox franchise for the last 10 years. He earned his fifth Silver Slugger Award last season after hitting .307/.377/.456 with 15 home runs and 73 RBI. He was also a finalist for a Gold Glove Award for the second time in his career.
Wherever Bogaerts lands, he will undoubtedly be a difference-maker.