MLB free agency is almost a week old, though you wouldn’t know it based on the lack of activity from clubs across the sport.
Unsurprisingly, baseball’s hot stove season is moving along at a glacial pace. There’s no reason to believe any of MLB’s biggest free agent stars are any closer to signing now than they were when free agency opened Nov. 10, as a lack of fundamental industry changes coming out of the lockout more or less telegraphed the inactivity.
However, there has been plenty of speculation and predictions about the millionaire musical chairs. Pair that speculation with real-world wagers, and you’ve got yourself a player futures betting market.
For Red Sox fans, it’s especially interesting. Boston has said all along its top priority is to re-sign shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The five-time Silver Slugger is part of a star-studded shortstop class that also includes the likes of Carlos Correa, Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson.
DraftKings Sportsbook recently released “next team” betting odds for a handful of free agents, including Correa and Turner. The favorites to sign Turner, at the moment, are the reigning National League champion Philadelphia Phillies. Meanwhile, the Cubs are currently seen as the favorite to land Correa.
If the Red Sox aren’t able to re-sign Bogaerts, they could conceivably pivot to either Turner or Correa. Based solely on the DraftKings odds, Correa has slightly shorter odds between the two, but the Sox aren’t anywhere close to favorites for either.
Red Sox +800
Red Sox +850
Unfortunately, DK doesn’t currently offer a Bogaerts market, so it’s hard to compare speculation, so to speak.
One team to watch for just about every big-name shortstop is the Chicago Cubs. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported Tuesday the Cubs are “broadly active” in the shortstop market and have expressed interest in all four of the big free agents. Their top two preferences, per Morosi, are Correa and Turner, and as Morosi points out, the Cubs were interested in Correa last winter before he ultimately signed with Minnesota.
Correa worked out for the Cubs prior to being drafted by Houston and felt he left a strong impression.
“That was my best workout,” Correa said in 2021, per NBCSports.com. “I did the top seven teams in the draft that year, and that was the most impressive one. I performed the best on that one. And I was really excited about that one.”
Now, as Morosi notes, the “Cubs and Correa will be the pairing we talk about the most until it happens or he goes somewhere else.” Morosi believed the Cubs are the favorites to sign him, and the odds do support that claim.
Morosi also believes “there’s a lot there with the Phillies and Trea Turner,” so there’s that. The Athletic’s Jayson Stark linked Turner to Philly last week.
If it all plays out that way, and the Red Sox miss out on re-signing Bogaerts, they’ll need a Plan B. That could be Swanson, but there already are reports about the possibility Boston moves second base Trevor Story back to shortstop and explores the trade market for a second baseman.
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