The Phillies have meetings scheduled with all four of the top free agent shortstops, reports Jayson Stark of the Athletic. They’ll sit down with the representatives for each of Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts before the Winter Meetings kick off in earnest next Monday.
Philadelphia is widely seen as likely to land one member of that group, with reports suggesting they’re particularly dialed in on Turner. They’ve also been previously linked to Bogaerts, and it’s easy enough to see why they’d cover all bases in meeting with Correa and Swanson as well. The Phils have a need for middle infield help to pair with youngster Bryson Stott, and adding one of the top shortstops available is the most straightforward way to achieving that.
The expectation is that Correa and Turner will command the two largest contracts, with Boagerts and Swanson coming in behind them. Correa is the youngest of the group at age 28, while Turner has the most consistent offensive track record over the past couple seasons and is arguably the game’s top baserunner. Bogaerts is a similar caliber of hitter to Correa and Turner but has faced some questions about his ability to stick at shortstop into his mid-30’s. Swanson’s coming off a Gold Glove-winning season that he paired with arguably the best offensive showing of his career, but his general track record at the plate is behind the other three.
All four players are commanding ample interest and could top $150MM on the open market. The Dodgers, Padres, Giants, Twins, Braves, Red Sox and Orioles are among the teams that have been tied to at least one of the shortstops available. Turner, who’s reportedly the Phillies’ primary target, has been linked to a pair of the NL’s other top teams.
Ken Rosenthal wrote last night that the Padres were among the clubs with interest in Turner, and Rosenthal and Dennis Lin at the Athletic report tonight that San Diego has already met with Turner and his representatives twice this offseason. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune also characterizes the club’s interest in Turner as legitimate. Acee suggests that San Diego actually signing one of the top shortstops remains a long shot, considering the Friars already have Fernando Tatis Jr., Ha-Seong Kim and Jake Cronenworth as middle infield options. However, the Union-Tribune writes that San Diego could put Cronenworth on the trade market to alleviate the logjam if they surprisingly landed one of the top shortstops. The Friars have also been tied to Bogaerts at multiple points this offseason.
The Dodgers have been connected to both Turner and Bogaerts on various occasions. Juan Toribio of MLB.com wrote yesterday that L.A. and Turner have spoken in recent weeks. Toribio suggests the Dodgers could be reluctant to meet Turner’s asking price, but it seems likely the sides will remain in contact as the Winter Meetings approach.
Continuing with the theme, the Twins have a sit-down scheduled with Correa in the next few days, tweets Darren Wolfson of SKOR North. Minnesota has maintained their interest in retaining Correa throughout the offseason, and they’ve reportedly floated him a number of long-term deals.
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