Padres Could Make Huge Splash at Shortstop in Free Agency

Tyler Maher
The San Diego Padres could be poised to make a major splash at shortstop in free agency.
The San Diego Padres could be poised to make a major splash at shortstop in free agency. / ASSOCIATED PRESS

The San Diego Padres love to make a big splash, even if they sometimes appear to be making one just for the sake of doing so.

For example, the Padres are already set on the left side of their infield for years to come with Fernando Tatis Jr. at shortstop and Manny Machado at third. Even so, San Diego is apparently still in the market for a shortstop.

Padres Offseason Rumors

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, the Padres "are a surprise team looking at shortstop, and they like Xander Bogaerts."

While Tatis is currently under contract through 2034 (!), he'll miss the first 20 games of 2023 due to his lingering suspension from last year. As such, San Diego needs a shortstop for most of April and potentially beyond that if the plan is to move Tatis to designated hitter or second base. The team could also move its new shortstop to second or DH after Tatis returns.

The free agent market is loaded with talent at shortstop between Bogaerts, Carlos Correa and Trea Turner, but the Padres seemingly prefer Bogaerts, according to Heyman. Bogaerts is the most accomplished of the trio with a pair of World Series rings and five Silver Sluggers under his belt, plus he's also been lauded for his leadership abilities and hard work on defense during his time in Boston.

A big-ticket shortstop seems like a luxury San Diego doesn't need, but it could give the team a big boost early on while they wait for Tatis to return. It could also enable the Padres to trade Tatis if they feel he is no longer a player worth building around.

Either way, San Diego's roster is already in pretty good shape after reaching the NLCS in 2022. The Padres are currently tied for the sixth-best World Series odds (+1400) on FanDuel Sportsbook's MLB odds.

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