The early part of the 2022 season has been a complete nightmare for the Boston Red Sox. Boston is dead last in the AL East, Chris Sale’s rehab is taking longer than expected, big free agent signee Trevor Story has only hit one home run and they still have issues with their closer. While it’s only May, the AL East isn’t an easy division to make up ground in. This year the Yankees and Blue Jays are much improved from last season and once the Rays get healthy watch out. Making matters worse only the Reds, Tigers, Royals and Cubs have worse records then Boston. If things don’t improve in Boston, I believe it makes the most logical sense to trade Xander Bogaerts.

He Will Be A Free Agent

Xander Bogaerts signed a six-year extension back in 2019. He has an opt-out clause in his contract that he can use after this season and become a free agent again. With how the Red Sox season is going right now, I can see him deciding to use it. He’s also having an all-star caliber season so far and can easily sign a more lucrative contract if he decides to leave. He is also represented by Scott Boras who we all know tries to get as much money as possible. Knowing Boras, I have a feeling he’ll recommend for Xander Bogaerts to trigger the clause. Rather then lose him for nothing, the Red Sox should try to get something hefty in return.

He’s Off To A Great Start

In ten seasons with the Boston Red Sox, Bogaerts has had a solid run so far. He’s helped the Red Sox with the World Series twice. Individually he has been an all-star three times and earned four silver slugger awards. This season, he has been a lone bright spot for the struggling Red Sox. So far, he’s batting .347 and only the Angels Taylor Ward (.361) has a higher average. He’s also tied with the Mariners Ty France for the lead in hits with 42.

Landing Spot One: St. Louis Cardinals

There are plenty of teams that are in “win now” mode that could use a shortstop. The Cardinals are in second place behind the Brewers in the NL Central race. They recently demoted Paul DeJong and now have a hole at the position. The Cardinals are a “middle of the pack” offensive team. Having a bat like Bogaerts will help create more RBI opportunities of Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt.

Landing Spot Two: Anaheim Angels

With the Angels looking like a postseason contender, they need to go all in for Bogaerts. This season, Angels shortstops have combined for a .482 OPS, good enough for 27th in the league. With a lineup that features Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon and Shohei Ohtani, that’s not good enough. While the Angels have had no problems scoring runs; their line up would be that much more dangerous if they were to acquire Bogaerts.

The Angels also haven’t been to the postseason since 2014. Given the length of their postseason drought, the pressure is on to not wasted the careers of Ohtani and Trout. Acquiring Xander Bogaerts would give them a chance to get both Trout and Ohtani to the postseason.

Landing Spot Three: Philadelphia Phillies

With Dave Dombrowski and Joe Girardi’s jobs are on the line, don’t rule out the Phillies making a desperation move. Dombrowski has been known for sacrificing the farm system to win right away. The Phillies are currently getting no production at shortstop. While Xander Bogaerts isn’t an elite defender, Philadelphia has shown not to value defense anyway.

The Red Sox can easily take advantage of the Phillies come late July and early August. The Phillies were built to try and win right away. So far, they have yet to go to the playoffs since signing Bryce Harper. Since the Phillies will be desperate, Boston could potentially swing a blockbuster deal to greatly help their farm system.

The State Of The Farm System

The Red Sox farm system is currently ranked 14th. This is an improvement from a team whose system was ranked 25th as early as two years ago. Currently the system has four prospects ranked inside the top 100 in Marcelo Mayer (14), Triston Casas (16), Nick Yorke (55) and Jarren Duran (85).

Currently in the Red Sox system overall, two of their top ten prospects (Marcelo Mayer and Jeter Downs) are shortstops. Downs has already seen time in spring training with the big club. Mayer is currently the number one prospect in the organization making him the future of the position. Mayer is off to a fantastic start at Single-A Salem and could be promoted as early as next year. This makes Bogaerts even more expendable given the depth of the position in the farm system.

Given the Cardinals minor league system is ranked way ahead of the Phillies and Angels; it naturally makes them more attractive for like the Red Sox who could be thinking about rebuilding. However, Boston has always been great at developing players in their farm system. Whomever they trade with will give them a big return.

Since the Red Sox are in last place and that Xander Bogaerts has no incentive to not opt out; it makes too much sense for the Red Sox to trade him. He’d be a great rental player for a team trying to make a postseason push and Boston can replenish the farm. Bogaerts is going to be a free agent making it even more important to get something in return.

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Eric Katz

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