“San Diego is considering moving Xander Bogaerts in 2024.”
San Diego Padres starting shortstop Xander Bogaerts, 31, is constantly rumored to be moving positions. The Red Sox are expected to give up shortstop to Ha Sung Kim in the 2024 season and move him to first or second base. That’s what San Diego officials want, NBCSports Boston reported on Wednesday.
Bogaerts is in the first season of an 11-year, $280 million contract, but he’s struggling. In 121 games, he’s batting .263 with 13 doubles, 42 homers, 56 RBIs and a .727 OPS in 460 at-bats. Not exactly the numbers you’d expect from a five-time Silver Slugger.스포츠토토
In fact, it’s hard to argue that Bogaerts’ defense is as good as Kim’s. He’s actually slightly worse than last year, when he was with the Boston Red Sox, according to Baseball-Reference-calibrated range factors. In the top of the third inning against the Miami Marlins, down 1-0, he made a good backhanded catch of Jake Berger’s triple with runners on first and second, but then made a ridiculous bad throw to first base.
San Diego could use Ha-Sung Kim, who has one of the best defenses in the majors, at shortstop like he did in 2022, and move Bogaerts to first or second. This would allow Bogaerts to focus on his offense while taking some of the pressure off his defense. He’s a very good defender at either position, and his offense is consistent, so it’s not like a position change would be a big deal.
In addition, American media outlets are predicting that 20-year-old top prospect Jackson Merrill will be called up as Kim’s backup. Merrill, San Diego’s No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is expected to make his major league debut next year. He could see time at shortstop and in the outfield.
“San Diego considers moving Bogaerts in 2024,” according to NBC Sports Boston. The Athletic’s Dennis Lynn wrote, “A call-up of Jackson Merrill could move Bogart to first or second base. Some team officials would like to see Bogaerts move to first or second.”
“If Ha Sung Kim returns to shortstop and Merrill doesn’t settle in, he could end up as a super utility backup. Merrill is an above-average defender at shortstop and has experience at first base, second base, and left field.”
There is a deciding variable. After starting 44 games at third base in 2014, Bogart has played exclusively at shortstop for nine years until this season. He also played more games at shortstop (99) than third base in 2014. This whole scenario could come to naught if Bogaerts is overwhelmed by the position change.