REPORT: Cubs Could Make Formal Offer to Xander Bogaerts Very Soon (UPDATE)

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REPORT: Cubs Could Make Formal Offer to Xander Bogaerts Very Soon (UPDATE)

Chicago Cubs

Earlier today, Bob Nightengale reported that Xander Bogaerts – not the other three shortstop – is the Cubs’ priority move, and now we’ve got another report that strongly suggests the same.

Marino Pepén covers the Red Sox, and he’s been on a whole lot of their business this offseason. Today, he dropped a big one about Bogaerts:

I don’t even have to use Google Translate on that one. Per Pepén, the Cubs are “very interested” in Bogaerts, and they are expected to make a formal offer within the next few hours.

If true, that’s major.

Bogaerts, 30, is the oldest of the shortstop class and arguably the toughest to remain at shortstop, but he has also generally been the most consistent with the bat for the longest time. He’s posted a 129 wRC+ or better for five straight seasons. Expectations are that he won’t get as much as Carlos Correa or Trea Turner, but he could still push six years and $200 million if things get really hot.

As for the report itself, there’s one aspect I want to be a little cautious about: because Pepén covers the Red Sox, you have to wonder where this news is coming from. It wouldn’t be the Cubs’ side, I’m gonna speculate, which means it either comes from the Red Sox … or more likely from Bogaerts’ camp. And why might Bogaerts’ camp want it out there that the Cubs are about to make him an offer? Well, could it be because they have a preferred team in mind that they want to step up, quickly, with an acceptable offer? “Hey, if you don’t lock me down in the next couple hours, Red Sox, I could actually be gone …. “

More evidence that this could be a pressure campaign? Consider this, which came out a little earlier this afternoon:

Let’s see if this really happens, folks. I hope the Cubs actually do have a chance to make a serious offer.

UPDATE: No word yet on an offer from the Cubs, but a new report out of Boston has me thinking that my theory – that this was a push from Bogaerts’ camp to get the Red Sox to finally step up – was correct:

The article reads a whollllle lot like the kinds of things we were seeing early in, and just after, the 2014 season, another time the Red Sox let a major free agent slip away. That time, it was Jon Lester. And man, some of the parallels are wild, right down to the report indicating the Red Sox made a lowball offer to Bogaerts late in Spring Training (that happened with Lester!). There was thinking then about Lester, and now about Bogaerts, that maybe the Red Sox never actually intended to keep him.

… and maybe the Cubs can once again be the beneficiary at the Winter Meetings?

The report indicates there are 8 to 11 interested teams (weirdly vague and also specific?), though the Cubs come in for special mention: “The Cubs see the widely respected Bogaerts as a key to what they feel is a coming resurgence.” (Another Lester parallel!) And there’s mention of Bogaerts’ previous time spent in Boston with David Ross. (ANOTHER ONE!)

The Phillies get attention, too, thanks to the Dave Dombrowski connection. So I don’t want to make it out like this is suddenly all about the Cubs. Lots of teams want Bogaerts. But I do think – in very Winter Meetings fashion – today has clarified that the Cubs are actually quite serious about Bogaerts as a free agent target.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.