The surest way to prevent Xander Bogaerts from hitting back-breaking homers off Gerrit Cole is for the Yankees to unite both Bogaerts and Cole on the same team. Thankfully, ESPN senior writer David Schoenfield totally seems to get it.
Now, while the Yankees signing Bogaerts is about as likely as the Bombers actually being the betting favorites for Trea Turner (as reported by some site that’s, like, BetMojo dot Calgary), it would undoubtedly be the “GO FOR IT” move (in addition to a Judge signing) that fans have long begged for.
Dansby Swanson comes with questionable long-term metrics and Carlos Correa comes with poor morals. While the Yankees seemingly have shortstop locked down long-term with Oswald Peraza and/or Anthony Volpe, DJ LeMahieu’s health remains a question mark, and Josh Donaldson isn’t the future — and shouldn’t be the present, either. Signing Bogaerts would deal an immediate blow to Boston, and the 30-year-old could easily move to either second or third in a few years, considering he’s trending in that direction anyway.
According to Schoenfield, in ESPN’s latest exercise, swiping Bogaerts would be the perfect “One Big Move” for the Yankees in a fantasy world the writers have concocted where no re-signings are allowed.
In our world? Bogaerts and Judge (and a left-fielder), please.
Yankees could lose Aaron Judge, sign Xander Bogaerts in ESPN fantasy
Bogaerts’ hard-hit metrics aren’t terribly encouraging, but he’s a battle-tested star who just posted 5.5 WAR, a 131 OPS+ and his best defensive season in years.
The Red Sox have remained positive this offseason that they’ll be able to find a middle ground with both Bogaerts and Rafael Devers, despite currently being far apart on both offers. Devers has made it quite clear he’d prefer both stay together in Boston, and whichever team eventually signs Bogaerts might want to make room for his beefy third base buddy, too.
Many experts, outside of the realm of bold predictions, still ultimately believe the Sox making Bogaerts their Nos. 1, 2 and 3 priorities bodes well for his eventual return. But you can’t deny … stealing him would be both spicy and fill a need, one which the Yankees might not want to acknowledge.
All in all, probably the fewer columns predicated on what the Yankees will do if Judge leaves, the better. The right fielder’s whirlwind free agency has taken him to San Francisco, and likely Los Angeles, over the course of the holiday week, but like Bogaerts and Boston, he and the Yanks are better together.
Maybe, if Judge is lucky, Bogaerts can be part of the “what’s next” that Hal Steinbrenner promised prior to the Winter Meetings.