While Manny Machado’s recovery from elbow surgery will cloud the Padres’ infield picture for the start of the 2024 season, it is possible the Friars might explore moving Xander Bogaerts off of shortstop as soon as next year, The Athletic’s Dennis Lin writes. The public defensive metrics were pretty mixed on Bogaerts’ glovework last season, as he received +3 Outs Above Average, -4 Defensive Runs Saved, and an exactly even 0.0 UZR/150 over 1285 2/3 innings at shortstop. “Team officials have talked among themselves about the possibility of asking Bogaerts to move to the right side of the infield,” Lin writes, with perhaps even first base being an ideal destination from a defensive standpoint, setting up an infield of Bogaerts at first base, Jake Cronenworth at second base, Ha-Seong Kim at shortstop, and Machado at third base.
For his part, Bogaerts would prefer second base over first base if a position change did happen. When talking to Lin and other reporters last month, Bogaerts said “we’ll cross that bridge when we get there” in terms of changing his defensive role, and he had “no idea” if the Padres were going to broach the subject in the coming months. Depending on Machado’s injury rehab, Kim is expected to handle third base until Machado is ready to return to fielding duty, though naturally any of the Padres’ plans could be altered by upcoming offseason moves.
Some other items from around the NL West….
- Angels third base coach Bill Haselman “has been talked about” in regards to the Giants’ managerial job, a source tells John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. Haselman played in parts of 13 MLB seasons from 1990-2003, and has five years of coaching experience on Major League staffs — as a bullpen coach and first base coach for the Red Sox in 2004-06, and as a catching instructor and third base coach in Anaheim over the last two seasons. Haselman also has a lot of experience as a minor league coach and manager in the Angels’ and Dodgers’ minor league systems, and his time with the Dodgers overlapped with Farhan Zaidi’s tenure as Los Angeles’ general manager from 2014-18. It remains to be seen if Haselman is more than a speculative candidate to be the Giants’ next skipper, though Zaidi (San Francisco’s president of baseball operations) appears to be expanding his search beyond internal candidates.
- The Rockies and Mariners discussed a trade last offseason that would’ve brought some pitching to Colorado, according to Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. The specifics of the trade talks weren’t revealed, though it makes sense that the pitching-needy Rockies would’ve at least checked in with Seattle, given how rumors swirled last winter that the M’s were open to moving one of Marco Gonzales or Chris Flexen. Given how the Rox ended up signing Flexen as a free agent back in July, it is fair to wonder if he was perhaps the particular name under discussion. Purely speculatively, the Rockies also might’ve aimed higher in their pitching goals, perhaps dangling Brendan Rodgers to the Mariners (who needed second base help) as part of a trade package involving George Kirby or Logan Gilbert. Colorado had some degree of talks with the Marlins last offseason about a Rodgers-for-Edward Cabrera swap, and Saunders suggest that Rodgers “might be a trade candidate again” in the coming months. It would be something of a sell-low move for the Rockies at this point with Rodgers, as while he has two remaining years of arbitration control, he only played 46 games last season due to a dislocated shoulder.