Major League Baseball
MLB Winter Meetings: Up to 10 suitors emerge for Correa, Bogaerts, Swanson
Major League Baseball

MLB Winter Meetings: Up to 10 suitors emerge for Correa, Bogaerts, Swanson

Updated Dec. 6, 2022 8:02 p.m. ET

SAN DIEGO — For the few free-agent shortstops and several more suitors, this offseason is increasingly resembling a high-stakes game of musical chairs. Trea Turner signed Monday morning for $300 million, or about 25% more than the consensus called for him to earn. Now, there are three remaining elite shortstops — Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson — and seven to 10 teams considered to be seriously interested in them.

The favorites are, in no particular order: the Dodgers, Giants, Padres, Cubs, Red Sox, Braves and Twins. Further, the Cardinals, Diamondbacks and Yankees are understood to be kicking the tires on signing one.

At the 2022 Winter Meetings, held this week at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, executives agree on at least one thing: The free-agent market is moving at a faster pace than the trade market. That’s especially relevant at shortstop, where there are fewer free-agent backup options than primary options. If a team needs an impact player and does not procure Correa, Bogaerts or Swanson, settling for Elvis Andrus would represent quite a slide. And Andrus is by far the fourth-best option still available. 

So, whoever doesn’t land one of the three key figures could alternatively offer Milwaukee a haul for Willy Adames, who is reportedly available. That also means the last elite shortstop standing would find himself in a favorable position, and that might mean that the final two elite shortstops will find themselves in an elaborate game of chicken. Or maybe not. Aaron Judge’s status might have more bearing on when the other shortstops sign than anyone else, because the teams that could sign him won’t also sign a shortstop if they succeed.


Of the seven or so clubs thought to be favorites, at least a couple probably won't pivot to another top-end option if they don’t land their first choice. In particular, the Braves are not likely to sign anyone besides Swanson, because they have in-house options. The Twins, too, are heavily interested in re-signing Correa, and less interested in the others. Of the three, Bogaerts is probably the least likely to return to his previous employer, though Red Sox general manager Chaim Bloom told reporters here Monday that he has presented multiple offers to Bogaerts’ camp.

Team officials are generally reluctant to speak on the record in any sort of depth about the players they are pursuing. The Twins have been an exception to that rule. Manager Rocco Baldelli spoke for several minutes on Monday afternoon about the extent of his employer’s interest in Correa. He mentioned they had recently dined together. He glowed about the impact Correa had already made in the Minnesota clubhouse, in terms of espousing the defensive drills and hitting work he practiced throughout the 2022 season. He said he believed the Twins had positioned themselves as "one of the highest-priority options for him."

The Twins are also unique in that they are the only interested team to already secure insurance against the possibility they will not land their target. They last month acquired shortstop Kyle Farmer from the Reds. Farmer would be a credible, if unspectacular, option to replace Correa. He would also be a competent utilityman.

Will the Braves re-sign Dansby Swanson?

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry predict where some of the top MLB free agents will land, including Dansby Swanson, Willson Contreras, Kodai Senga, Xander Bogaerts and Carlos Rodón.

The Dodgers insist that they, too, have a ready-made replacement for Turner in Gavin Lux, their one-time top shortstop prospect who has established himself in the majors more as a second baseman. Rival evaluators question if the Dodgers would really turn the position over to Lux without, at least, another competent option on their active roster. Lux has openly battled the yips. He played a solid second base in 2022, but he still on occasion struggled with the throws required of the position. He proved capable of completing elite plays, but less so with more routine grounders. 

Every suitor is different. The Red Sox signed a high-end shortstop, Trevor Story, just nine months ago, in their own version of insurance. The Padres already employ two good shortstops. They are only interested in another because A.J. Preller is A.J. Preller. The Cubs probably won’t actually connect on any of these players, but they have enough money that it is impossible to rule them out.

We won’t know who for a while, but some of these teams, surely, will end up empty-handed. That’s the nature of this game.

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Pedro Moura is the national baseball writer for FOX Sports. He previously covered the Dodgers for The Athletic, the Angels and Dodgers for the Orange County Register and L.A. Times, and his alma mater, USC, for ESPN Los Angeles. He is the author of "How to Beat a Broken Game." Follow him on Twitter at @pedromoura.


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