Xander Bogaerts is no longer on the Boston Red Sox after he joined the San Diego Padres this offseason, and the American League East team is reportedly interested in a high-profile replacement.
According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Boston is "seriously considering star free agent Dansby Swanson." The Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers are also listed as suitors, as are the Atlanta Braves, the team with which he's spent his entire seven-year major league career.
It has been quite the offseason for shortstops, as Bogaerts agreed to an 11-year, $280 million contract with the Padres, Trea Turner reached an 11-year, $300 million agreement with the Philadelphia Phillies and Carlos Correa topped them all with the richest contract for a shortstop in history at 13 years and $350 million with the San Francisco Giants.
Those deals, along with the fact that there are multiple suitors, puts Swanson in quite the negotiating position.
So did his 2022 campaign, as he was an All-Star and Gold Glove winner while slashing .277/.329/.447 with 25 home runs, 96 RBI and 18 stolen bases for the Atlanta Braves. He is also theoretically in the middle of his prime at 28 years old.
From Boston's perspective, signing Swanson would help mitigate the loss of Bogaerts and allow it to keep Trevor Story at second base. Its defense would benefit from having a glove like Swanson's up the middle.
The Vanderbilt product doesn't have the same track record that Turner, Correa and Bogaerts do and will likely land a smaller contract as a result, but he is still in a position to be paid generously.
The Red Sox could be desperate for some good news as well considering they missed the playoffs at 78-84 last season and have now lost two franchise cornerstones in recent years in Mookie Betts and Bogaerts.
Adding Swanson would at least help them move in the other direction as they look to compete in a difficult American League East that features a number of realistic playoff contenders.