I can’t say I didn’t light up just a little bit extra tonight, when I saw this rumor drop *after* the Cubs signed free agent starter Marcus Stroman to a three-year deal. That signing makes this rumor lean that much closer to the realm of possibility … at least more than it would’ve felt 12 hours ago.
According to MLB sources the agent for free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa has heard from the @Yankees, @RedSox, @Dodgers, @Cubs and @Braves and was offered five years/$160 million by the Astros last month.
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) December 2, 2021
The Cubs are reportedly one of just five teams (six if you include the Astros) who’ve been in contact with free agent shortstop Carlos Correa this offseason – an offseason in which Correa entered as arguably the top free agent available. And while he may no longer have Texas or Detroit as realistic landing spots, Correa is still expected to land a massive contract — Marcus Semien (seven years, $175M) and Corey Seager (10 years, $325M) made sure of that. Think ten years and $300M at the absolute bottom (and no doubt he’ll expect to beat Seager).
As for those teams, in particular, we know they all have the money and reason to get something done with a player like Correa. We also know that the Yankees, Braves, and Dodgers are bidding against each other for Freddie Freeman’s services, so there could be some overlap there.
Yankees are among teams in the bidding for Braves superstar Freddie Freeman. But hard to find anyone who thinks he’ll leave Atlanta, including Yanks. They view it as another situation akin to Jeter as player with Yankees. It seems Braves must bridge 5/6 year difference with FF.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 2, 2021
We also also know that the Yankees were reportedly looking for left-handed offensive help (Correa bats righty) and that the Dodgers have just re-signed Chris Taylor.
We also know that there will be a lockout in about two hours. So, sadly, this may be something of a cliffhanger for us … for weeks at a minimum (unless there is some extension or other unforeseen outcome that allows free agency to continue without a new CBA in place). Either way, it’s fairly exciting. The addition of Stroman on such a short-term deal (and the extreme long-term payroll flexibility in general) certainly makes this feel like more of a legitimate possibility. Now, that really, really doesn’t mean the Cubs are going hard after Correa, but the direct connection is at least a threshold crossed.
And it wasn’t completely out of nowhere, just yesterday, Ken Rosenthal set this up and we talked about it. It seemed crazy at the time … but now? Well, not so much, eh?
You can laugh all you want – I certainly don’t expect the Cubs to sign Correa! – but those sorts of mentions from guys like Rosenthal are not usually *entirely* out of thin air, at least at a conceptual level. I would not hold your breath on the Cubs becoming a surprisingly serious pursuer of Carlos Correa. Really, I would not. But Correa has mentioned very nice things about the Cubs, we don’t believe they can afford to sit out of the top end of free agency, and the Cubs have been loosely connected to the free agent shortstop class throughout the winter.
So who knows. What if Correa stays on the market long enough to learn that he can’t top Corey Seager’s new deal, and some surprising team decides that’s actually too great of a value to pass up? (Maybe the Cubs didn’t just sign Yan Gomes to replace Willson Contreras after a trade. Maybe they actually went out and got made their biggest free agent position player expenditure since JASON HEYWARD (seriously) because they wanted the best possible backup catcher for Willson Contreras – that was a glaring need.)
To devil’s advocate myself: Correa’s camp would have an incentive it to make it seem like as many big market teams as possible are interested in a big long-term deal, regardless of the actual level of interest. But, come on … we don’t need that energy tonight. Let’s leave it on a high note: the latest rumors have the Cubs among the teams in contact with free agent shortstop Carlos Correa.
UPDATE: And how do you like that? New Cub Marcus Stroman is already trying to bring Carlos Correa to Chicago. I like where this is going.
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) December 2, 2021