SS Xander Bogaerts
This is more of a pipe dream. Bogaerts is currently in year three of a six-year, $120 million deal. He can opt out of that contract after this season, and rumor has it he is strongly considering it. With a move to second base potentially in Javier Baez’s very near future, the Tigers could atone for last offseason’s sins and sign a bona fide star at shortstop.
Bogaerts has always raked. The four-time All-Star is currently slashing .305/.373/.448 with 11 homers. His best season came in 2019 when he hit 33 home runs with a .939 OPS and finished fifth in AL MVP voting.
The knock on him has always been his defense, and to be fair, it was pretty bad for a while. The 30-year-old had 17 errors in 2017, and had a negative outs above average every year from 2019-21. This year, he seems to have cleaned things up significantly, as he’s currently in the 88th percentile with an OAA of 4.
As I stated way back at the beginning of this article, the likelihood of Ilitch splurging for a shortstop again seems highly unlikely. One would imagine that Bogaerts will likely command an AAV of $30 million or more, and that’s way out of Chris’ price range.
But man, it would sure be nice have Bogaerts and Baez in the middle infield. With nobody immediately ready to take over shortstop internally, the Detroit Tigers would have to spend again if they really want to move Baez to 2B.