The San Diego Padres shocked the world on Wednesday night.
On a day in which it was reported that the Boston Red Sox were building momentum towards a reunion with shortstop Xander Bogaerts, they swooped in and signed him on a mammoth contract.
Bogaerts will be the Padres’ shortstop for the next 11 years, in exchange for a whopping $280 million.
The move spells the end of the days with Fernando Tatis Jr. as the Pads’ shortstop, as he will likely go to left field now.
Bogaerts brings contact, occasional power, on-base prowess and good defense to San Diego, not to mention World Series pedigree.
In fact, there might be something special brewing in California.
1. Fernando Tatis Jr.
2. Juan Soto
3. Manny Machado
4. Xander Bogaerts
— Sammy Levitt (@SammyLev) December 8, 2022
An Elite (Top) Four
That top-four of the lineup might actually be the very best in baseball, competing with the Houston Astros and the Atlanta Braves.
Tatis will return from suspension in April and showcase his 40-homer power and 30-steal speed.
Soto and Machado were the stars of a lineup that made it all the way to the NL Championship Series, and adding Bogaerts provides San Diego with another legitimate weapon in the middle of the order.
Bogaerts hit .307/.377/.456 with 15 home runs and 38 doubles in 2022, earning a 134 wRC+.
More importantly, they still have lots of prospects to deal in a hypothetical trade or two, and ample time to find upgrades around the roster.
They overpaid for Bogaerts, but it will matter little when he is on the field hitting doubles and home runs.