NEWS What is the trickle-down effect if the Red Sox replace Xander Bogaerts internally?

What is the trickle-down effect if the Red Sox replace Xander Bogaerts internally?

The Red Sox have a vacancy the size of a franchise cornerstone, with shortstop Xander Bogaerts reportedly leaving Boston for the San Diego Padres on an 11-year deal.

Red Sox chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom reportedly said Bogartz is the organization’s No. 1 priority this offseason and that he will earn $280 million over those 11 seasons. That’s quite a financial commitment for the 30-year-old infielder. So with Boston’s Plan A headed to the National League West, the Red Sox will have to sift through Plans B, C and D as they try to compete in the incredibly deep American League East.

The Red Sox still have options on the open market. Carlos Correa and Dansby Swanson, two of the top four shortstops entering free agency, are still available. There are other lesser-known veterans in the position. But if the Red Sox choose to stay away from outside additions, they do have inside options to fill Bogaerts’ role.

Red Sox say two-time MLB All-Star shortstop Trevor Story and versatile Kiké Hernández were able play position. As far as the story goes, he could move from second base back to shortstop, a likely outcome since the Red Sox signed him to a six-year, $140 million deal last offseason. . Story played shortstop for the Colorado Rockies in his first six seasons and recorded a .979 fielding percentage, though his arm strength in the hole was one of the reasons a move to second base made sense. Hernandez, on the other hand, has 64 career starts at shortstop and is shooting . 978 from the field.

Of course, moving Story or Hernández will fill one void and create another. If that proves to be the way the Red Sox handle it, Boston will need to find a new everyday second baseman or center fielder, depending on who gets transferred. Those positions don’t offer much depth on the open market, with center field led by Brandon Nimoy and Kevin Kiermaier and second base highlighted by Jean Segura and Adam Frazier. A trade for an outfielder (maybe Brian Reynolds?) isn’t out of the question either.

If the story is about someone being moved to shortstop, which feels more like an inside scenario, then Christian Arroyo is a conceivable option to take over the package at second base. Still, Arroyo, 27, has impressed in the starting lineup but hasn’t proven overly reliable due to injuries. Infielder Jeter Downs, who made his MLB debut for the Red Sox last season and played 14 games, also hit 56 innings (8 games) at second base. Towns has a chance to complement Arroyo at the spot, though either of them will struggle to bring that same pop to the lineup. Such aggressive production may only exist externally.

Thumbnail image via Quinn Harris/USA TODAY Images

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