The San Diego Padres are reeling a bit on Wednesday after missing out on Aaron Judge. Despite being one of the three finalists to land him, the 2022 AL MVP ultimately chose to stay with the New York Yankees.
Not to be deterred, the Padres could end up pursuing a different star instead.
San Diego Padres Free Agency Rumors
According to MLB insider Ken Rosenthal, San Diego may pivot and make a more aggressive push toward signing shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Padres general manager A.J. Preller remains interested in Bogaerts and clearly has money to spend, plus Bogaerts won't cost nearly as much as Judge.
Bogaerts would be an interesting acquisition for San Diego, as the team already has shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. locked up for a long time. Tatis will miss the start of the 2023 season with a suspension, however, so the Padres seem to be looking for a short-term replacement there that could potentially change positions after Tatis returns.
Bogaerts isn't Judge (especially in the power department), but he's still a tremendous all-around player. The four-time All-Star has been one of the best shortstops in baseball over the past decade, winning five Silver Slugger awards and helping the Boston Red Sox win two World Series titles during that span. He's also athletic and improved his defense at shortstop last year, making him even more valuable.
If San Diego does end up landing Bogaerts, that will be a pretty good consolation prize for a team that was just a few wins away from reaching the World Series last year. As it stands, the Padres are currently tied for the seventh-best championship odds (+1500) on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds.
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