First Pitch: 3 realistic Xander Bogaerts trade packages for Red Sox to consider

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Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox

May 18, 2022; Boston, Massachusetts, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (2) runs the bases after hitting a solo home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

The Boston Red Sox may still turn their season around, but if they don’t, Xander Bogaerts is a realistic candidate to be traded at the deadline.

The Red Sox made Bogaerts an offer this offseason, but it wasn’t near the $31 million – $34 million AAV demands the star shortstop has in mind for his next deal. With a player opt out after this season, you can expect Bogaerts to test the free agent market.

Bogaerts is slashing .331/.389/.472 this season with an .860 OPS and 145 OPS+. Those numbers add up to a lot of money — far more than the $20 million the 29-year-old is scheduled to make this coming season.

While Boston was unwilling to match Bogaerts’ AAV, the number of years on his deal also figures to be a hot topic of conversation in the months to come. Bogaerts will be on other side of 30 years old before next season. Would the Red Sox feel comfortable committing that much money to a player well into his mid-to-late 30’s?

Add in that the Sox still have to pay the younger Rafael Devers after Bogaerts — and that they have a sound shortstop currently playing second base in Trevor Story — and re-signing Bogaerts may not be in their best interest.

With that in mind; let’s play the doomsday scenario. Let’s say the Red Sox do feel they have to trade Xander Bogaerts. Which teams would step up to the plate, and what could Boston feasibly get in return?

Red Sox rumors: Braves potential trade package for Xander Bogaerts

Braves Get
Xander Bogaerts
Red Sox Get
Dansby Swanson
Bryce Elder
Jesse Franklin V
Tyler Collins

I detailed this trade on Thursday as a potential “best-case scenario” trade for Boston. They’d be receiving the likes of Swanson to directly replace Bogaerts, and some prospect capital in return. Here’s the argument:

“Elder, meanwhile, is an MLB-ready starting arm, and ranks as the No. 5 prospect in the Braves system. He is not top-100 over in MLB, however, per MLB Pipeline.

Franklin is only 11th in the Braves system, but he’s coming off a near 20-20 season in the minors and could provide a fourth outfielder for a team that could use the depth, honestly. Collins is a high-upside 19-year-old who figures to be a climber in Atlanta’s system. He’s the wild card of this entire trade, as he already has electric speed the likes of a Jackie Bradley Jr. type in the outfield.

You read that correctly. It’s Dansby and two top-15 prospects, and another potential big leaguer down the road in Collins. Still, there’s no use for Swanson if the Braves trade for Bogaerts, so that’s a smart swap.

Atlanta would avoid trading their top-4 prospects.”

Any deal for Bogaerts would have to land the Red Sox some big league-ready talent, as well as add to their farm system. Swanson would be a cheaper replacement for Bogaerts, but is still coming off a breakout year. Elder and Franklin are both near-MLB ready, and could contribute in Boston in the not-so-distant future.

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