Could Xander Bogaerts actually end up in Seattle?
Xander Bogaerts is arguably the free agent that makes the most sense for the Mariners, but will he end up in Seattle?
Xander Bogaerts is an intriguing free agent option for the Seattle Mariners but it is very easy to doubt whether or not it is realistic for him to end up in Seattle. Bogaerts is a tremendous player with an enormous track record of success, and the Mariners have a huge need in their infield.
Many people see Trea Turner as the best fit, but to me it is somewhat of a waste of time to discuss Turner. It is extremely unlikely he would consider Seattle, especially with rumors of him wanting to play on the East Coast. For all the beliefs about Dansby Swanson I think it is extremely unlikely he leaves Atlanta. Carlos Correa is an option for Seattle but he will be extremely pricey.
This leaves Bogaerts as the clearest option here. He is the oldest of the bunch, but his bat is elite. His power dipped this season (15 home runs), but the bat is still elite. He slashed .307/.377/.456 for the season, which is very close to his career line.
He has already played parts of 10 seasons in the major leagues and has played more than 130 games in every season besides his debut season and the shortened 2020. His durability is a huge boost to his stock for me, especially because he is over 30 years old already.
Bogaerts enjoyed the best defensive season of his career in 2022, ranking in the 88th percentile of outs above average. This is especially impressive because defense was the only real knock on him. Largely because of his defensive improvements the Aruba native posted his best season of his career fWAR wise with a 6.1 in 2022.
His bat is my favorite of the shortstop class, and it seems like the best bet to age well of the group. He has a career WRC+ of 118 and put up a 134 in 2022. This would have been good enough for second on the Mariners 2022 roster, and Fangraphs projects him at 122 in 2023.
While his defense will likely regress next year Bogaerts is still someone worth investing in. MLB Trade Rumors writer Darragh McDonald had Bogaerts signing with the Mariners at 7 years 189 million dollars.