All that seemingly misplaced talk about the Boston Red Sox moving Xander Bogaerts to second base for the 2022 season initially sounded crazy — and it still kind of is — but it makes sense when you realize the star shortstop can opt out of his contract after next year.
Somehow … that could actually screw the New York Yankees in the coming months. One of the best shortstops in the game leaving your most hated rival? How in the world could that be a bad thing?
Well, in the short-term, it could result in the Yankees losing one of the top shortstop options on the free agent market after the lockout. Both rumors suggesting the Red Sox might be in on Carlos Correa and Trevor Story are a direct result of the “Bogaerts shifting to second base” chatter.
And it’s also a way for the Sox to replace Bogaerts beyond 2022 should he opt out and leave four years and $80 million on the table. It’s led some to believe Boston could be aggressive in supplementing the roster in a way where they could build one of the most feared infields in the league.
The obvious problem is that there’s a chance both the Yankees and Red Sox land one of Correa or Story. There’s nothing that can prevent that from happening.
However, there’s a chance the Yankees make a low-impact move at shortstop (we’d prefer not to go over the uninspiring examples) while the Sox come through with a game-changing signing. That’s what Brian Cashman and the front office need to avoid.
The Yankees can’t let Red Sox SS Xander Bogaerts’ 2023 option affect them.
If you look at the 2022 outlook for both the Yankees and the Red Sox, they’re in similar boats. Both campaigns could be the final attempt to “go for it all” given how many players are hitting free agency come 2023. The Red Sox putting themselves in a premier position to derail the Yankees’ chance once again is a narrative the organization cannot continue to watch unfold.
Here’s who will be or could be free agents after the 2022 season for both teams:
Red Sox 2023 Free Agents
- Xander Bogaerts (player option)
- JD Martinez
- Nathan Eovaldi
- Christian Vazquez
- Kiké Hernandez
Yankees 2023 Free Agents
- Aaron Judge
- Gary Sánchez
- Aroldis Chapman
- Zack Britton
- Chad Green
- Joey Gallo
- Jameson Taillon
- Luis Severino (team option)
Good luck to both of these teams effectively replacing all of that production in a single offseason.
The Yankees have it worse, yet they were among the least proactive teams before the lockout. We can assume a contract extension for Judge is coming, but when? What about patching up the bullpen after losing three key pieces? Fixing the starting rotation … again?
If 2022 is really going to be the “all in” year for the Yankees when you look at the troubling circumstances that lie ahead, they really need to do everything in their power to prevent the Red Sox from upstaging the potential festivities with a blockbuster move at the Bombers’ expense.
At the moment, it feels like the Yankees have more holes than the Red Sox, too, so it’s time to prepare to control the post-lockout frenzy and shove Boston in the rearview.