Red Sox

Report: Red Sox could eye replacements for Xander Bogaerts at shortstop

The Athletic's Jim Bowden posits the Red Sox could be a "sleeper in the shortstop market" while looking to add pitching help and re-sign Kyle Schwarber.

Xander Bogaerts Red Sox
Xander Bogaerts. Elsa/Getty Images
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The clock on Xander Bogaerts’s future with the Red Sox might already be ticking with reports surfacing that the longtime Boston shortstop is likely to opt out of his contract in 2022.

The team’s search for contingency plans, or Bogaerts’s replacement, could soon begin, according to a new report from The Athletic.

MLB insider Jim Bowden suggested the Red Sox could treat shortstop as a priority position in his breakdown of each team’s offseason needs heading into the 2022 season.

According to sources, Bowden said, the Sox could be “could be a sleeper in the shortstop market” as they navigate their uncertain future with its veteran star.

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“The thinking is they could sign a shortstop and move him to second base, or perhaps even consider moving Bogaerts there,” he writes, noting the Sox still “love” Bogaerts. “The Red Sox want to continue to build for the long term but intend to contend again next year. Their eyes are on both the present and the future.”

The 29-year-old Bogaerts was once again a solid player for the Red Sox offensively, hitting .295 with 23 home runs, 73 RBIs and a .863 OPS, and he reportedly hopes to stay in Boston.

But the team also has to consider the big upcoming contract talks they’ll have with star third baseman Rafael Devers as well as the possible emergence of star prospects like Jeter Downs or Marcelo Mayer at shortstop in the future.

Bogaerts has said he would be open to a position switch down the line, according to ESPN’s Joon Lee.

The Red Sox must also look to a starting pitching staff and bullpen that need sorting out with Eduardo Rodriguez set to hit free agency, with Bowden writing Boston will attempt to re-sign the veteran lefty.

The insider also suggests the Sox will make an attempt to keep trade deadline acquisition and fan-favorite Kyle Schwarber as a left-handed power bat to offset a righty-heavy lineup, as well as trying to settle on a longer-term second baseman — a position that saw a revolving door of players in 2021 due to injury.

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