Red Sox

MLB insider believes Red Sox could make a ‘quiet play’ for Carlos Correa or Marcus Semien

Correa and Semien are both free agents this offseason.

Correa is viewed as one of the top free agents this offseason. The Associated Press

The Red Sox don’t have a pressing need at shortstop, but an MLB insider thinks they could go after the top shortstop on the free-agent market this offseason.

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden, a former MLB general manager, believes the Red Sox will make a “quiet play” for star shortstop Carlos Correa or second baseman Marcus Semien. By signing either player, the Red Sox could fix a hole at second base that would allow Kiké Hernández to play center field on a full-time basis.

“If they land Correa, I think they’ll ask Xander Bogaerts to move to second base. If they sign Semien, he would play second base,” Bowden wrote in a mailbag column Friday.

Correa, 27, is widely considered as one of the top shortstops in the game at the plate and as a fielder. This past season, Correa hit .279 with a .850 OPS to go along with 26 homers and 92 RBIs, which earned him an All-Star nod. On the field, not only did Correa win the Gold Glove at shortstop, he also won the American League’s Platinum Glove Award, which is given to the best defensive player in each league.

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By signing Correa, the Red Sox would have long-term insurance at shortstop if Bogaerts opts out of his deal and leaves following the 2022 season.

Something that could entice Correa to come to Boston is his relationship with Red Sox manager Alex Cora. The latter was the bench coach on the 2017 Astros team, which featured Correa, that won the World Series. Cora was also the general manager of the Puerto Rico team that had Correa on it at the 2017 World Baseball Classic.

Signing Correa likely wouldn’t come at a cheap price, though. Bowden predicts Correa will sign a 10-year, $300 million contract this offseason.

As for Semien, the Red Sox actually pursued him when he was a free agent last offseason. Semien ultimately chose to sign with the Blue Jays on a one-year, $18 million deal, which set him up to be a free agent at a great time.

Semien, 31, had an outstanding 2021 season. He hit .265 with a .873 OPS to go along with a career-best 45 homers and 102 RBIs, good enough to make him a finalist for the AL Most Valuable Player.

By signing Semien, the Red Sox wouldn’t have to play musical chairs with players currently on the roster. Though it would in all likelihood move Christian Arroyo to the bench after having the best year of his career.

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Like Correa, Semien won’t come cheap. However, whoever signs him likely won’t have to make as much of a long-term commitment considering Semien’s age. Bowden predicts Semien will get a five-year, $148 million deal.

Making a pursuit for either Correa or Semien isn’t the only thing Bowden predicts the Red Sox will do this offseason. He believes the team will make a big effort in trying to retain Eduardo Rodriguez and Kyle Schwarber, both of whom are expected to sign big multi-year deals this offseason.

If the Red Sox are unable to keep Rodriguez or Schwarber, Bowden thinks they’ll go after “a similar starter” as Rodriguez and names Steven Matz as a possibility. Matz, 30, had a strong season this past year in Toronto, going 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA.

If the Red Sox lose Schwarber, Bowden believes they’ll pursue another left-handed hitter such as Eddie Rosario. Rosario, 30, primarily played left field this season. After getting traded from the Indians to the Braves at the deadline, Rosario made key contributions to the Braves en route to their World Series win, including winning the NLCS MVP.

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