The 2022 Major League Baseball season is officially over as the Houston Astros defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 on Saturday night to win the World Series 4-to-2 games. Now it is onto the offseason for all teams as they look ahead to free agency. After examining the top 2022-23 free agents at catcher, first base, and second base the past three weeks, I am looking at the shortstop position this week.
The most critical MLB position on the infield has several big-time MLB free agents, and most are under 30 years old. There are 14 potential free agents, with two owning MLB player options (Xander Bogaerts and Carlos Correa).
The Braves, Red Sox, Angels, and Yankees could be in search of a shortstop, depending on what happens with Trea Turner (Braves) and Xander Bogarts (Red Sox). Meanwhile, the Astros, Dodgers, and Twins could also be in the MLB market.
1. Trea Turner, 30
Turner will be the most sought-after shortstop of the “Big 4.” The unrestricted free agent has said his preference is to return to the East Coast. He spent the first six and a half seasons with the Nationals before being traded to the Dodgers during the 2021 season.
Turner is the best-hitting shortstop in the majors and one of the best hitters regardless of position, finishing in the top five in the NL in batting average in each of the last three years – including fifth this season. He finished second in 2022 in the NL in hits after leading the league the past two seasons. The two-time all-star, who has twice led the NL in steals, swiped 27 bases in 2022.
There isn’t much Turner does not do well. He possesses a unique blend of contact, power, and athleticism though he is average defensively.
2. Carlos Correa, 28
Correa opted out of his deal that has two years and $70.2 million left on Monday. However, he could still re-sign with the Twins. Minnesota owner Jim Pohlad, for his part, said that he was “totally on board” with bringing Correa back into the mix.
Correa had a strong year at the plate this year, slashing .291/.366/.467 to go along with 22 home runs, marking the sixth time in his eight-year that he reached the 20-homer plateau. Known for his splendid glove work, he dipped to just above average on the defensive end. Correa produced a career year in 2021.
3. Xander Bogaerts, 30
Bogaerts also opted out of his contract with the Red Sox despite having three years and $60 million left. Bogaerts may still re-sign with the Sox, but it is thought he could nab a seven-year deal.
Bogaerts is coming off as one of the best players in the game on both sides of the ball. While the four-time all-star – who has won four silver-slugger awards – saw his power numbers dip to the lowest since 2017, he did have an excellent defensive season.
Bogaerts finished third with a .307 MLB batting average this season and has a career slash line of .292/ .356/.456. He doesn’t strike out a lot and has an above-average walk rate. Bogaerts also hits the ball hard and is an above-average MLB base runner.
4. Dansby Swanson, 29
Swanson is an unrestricted free agent and is coming off a MLB career season. The Kennesaw (Ga.) native has indicated his preference was to stay with the Braves, who reportedly offered him a deal of around $100 million to stick around.
Swanson was elite this past season, particularly defensively, as he won his first Glove Glove after posting an incredible 21.4 defensive runs above average. He also recorded a 6.4 WAR as he slashed .277/.329/.447 with 25 homers and 96 RBIs.
5T. Elvis Andrus, 34
Andrus still possesses a solid glove and rebounded nicely at the plate with the White Sox after getting released by the Athletics this year. Andrus hit .273 and eight home runs in 43 appearances with Chicago to lift his total numbers for the year to .249/.303/.404 to go along with 17 home runs and 18 stolen bases.
5T. Jose Iglesias, 33
Like Andrus, Iglesias was once considered an elite defensive shortstop, and while that notion is gone, he did a decent job with his glove this past season. Iglesias has been solid at the plate for most of his MLB career as he puts the ball in play a lot though he doesn’t draw a lot of walks. He hit .292 in 118 contests with the Rockies this past MLB season.
Join our Discord to leave a question or comment regarding this article. We have sports fans talking betting all day — every day! JOIN THE DISCORD NOW AND QUALIFY FOR PRIZES & BETTING SWAG!