The Padres move Xander Bogaerts to second base

Padres manager Mike Shildt told members of the media today Xander Bogaerts Will move from shortstop to second base, with Dennis Lin of The Athletic Among those who report the news. Ha Seung Kim He will cross the bag the other way to assume the short stop position.

It's been just over a year since the Padres signed Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million contract. At the time, it was a bit confusing about the club roster. Fernando Tatis Jr It was supposed to be a short franchise once upon a time. In February of 2021, he and the Brothers agreed to a historic 14-year, $340 million extension to keep him at the club for the bulk of his career. He ended up missing the 2022 season due to injuries and a PED suspension, but was expected to return early in 2023. During his absence, Kim performed excellently at the position.

Heading into 2023, there was a bit of uncertainty. Tatis was coming off a completely lost season and the club was considering moving him to the outfield. But even if this scenario comes true, Kim would still have to cut it short. They weren't really expected to head into the offseason looking for a huge deal but they got Bogaerts nonetheless.

Bogaerts' first year in San Diego resulted in fairly typical offensive production for him. He hit 19 home runs and slashed .285/.350/.440 for a wRC+ of 120. Defensively, his Outs Above Average gave him a positive grade of +3 but defensive runs held him at -4. He has long been considered a candidate to move away from shortstop, even as a possibility, and it appears the time is now. For his career, his numbers in brief are -31 OAA and -54 DRS.

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In the short term, this move is probably best for the 2024 version of the Padres, as Kim is excellent with the glove. He played 1,505 1/3 short innings in the majors, which is just over a full season's worth. In that time, he tallied 22 DRS and 7 OAA. Having him at shortstop and Bogaerts at second would give the club a great midfield, as even mediocre shortstops often provide solid defense on the other side of the bag.

But if we look at it broadly, the Padres' decision-making becomes questionable. Twice now in recent years they've given away about $300 million for a deal longer than a decade, and now neither of them will sell short. Tatis, who has now been moved to right field, is under contract through 2034 and Bogaerts through 2033. Kim is scheduled to become a free agent after 2024, as his deal has a mutual option for 2025 and those provisions are never activated by both. Concerts.

Assuming Kim hits free agency a year from now, the club will then look for a short-term solution for 2025 and beyond. They could always move Bogaerts again, but he will be 32 by then and his abilities at the position will trend downward with age. One of the club's most prominent candidates, Jackson Merrill, is a shortstop who reached Double-A last year. Perhaps he could be a fill-in at that spot in the future, but he is said to be coming into camp as an outfielder, as the club tries to get creative in covering the spots vacated by the trade. Juan Soto And Trent Gresham. He could return to shortstop in 2025 but that could be a bit difficult if he spends this year in the outfield with the big league club instead of getting reps in Triple-A.

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The Soto/Gresham deal was necessary because the club will be cutting back on its spending this winter. That's partly due to the collapse of their television deal with Diamond Sports Group but also related to their extreme aggressiveness in recent years, which includes giving a huge deal to a shortstop they didn't really need.

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