We can’t and won’t have any big league transactions until the lockout is resolved, but that doesn’t mean the rumor mill won’t be churning.
Last night, we learned that the Cubs were among at least six clubs that had been in contact with top free agent shortstop Carlos Correa this offseason, together with the Yankees, Red Sox, Dodgers, Braves, and Astros. Marcus Stroman even started the recruiting assignment right away.
Now catch this rumor today:
Carlos Correa #cubs y #yankees son los 2 equipos con más probabilidades de firmar al Campo-Corto ya que son las negociaciones más fluyentes por el momento, fuente me confirma que Correa llamo a Báez para preguntarle cómo es el trato de la organización de Chicago #carloscorrea pic.twitter.com/mxu42g60KR
— Mike Rodriguez | Univision (@mikedeportes) December 2, 2021
The report indicates that the most likely teams to eventually land Carlos Correa would be the Cubs and the Yankees, based on the extent of their negotiations thus far. Moreover, Correa reportedly called Javy Báez to find out more about his time with the Cubs. Maybe a little awkward, all things considered, but the two have known each other for a long time.
You’re probably wondering why I’m sharing a seemingly stray tweet that implies insider knowledge. These things are all over Twitter and you usually are best to ignore them. This one, however, caught mine and Michael’s eye for a very specific reason: the mention of Javy Báez.
Get this, from earlier in the week. Rodriguez had the Javy Báez contract hours before anyone else, and was credited with the scoop:
Credit to @mikedeportes for his strong work on being first with the Javier Baez contract terms.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 1, 2021
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 1, 2021
— Mike Rodriguez | Univision 🍥 (@mikedeportes) November 30, 2021
In other words, with a little deductive reasoning, we can conclude that Rodriguez may have an in with either Báez or someone(s) close to Báez. And, thus, he might be in a unique position to know whether Correa did in fact call Báez to ask him about his time with the Cubs. And, in turn, if Correa did make that call to ask Báez about his time with the Cubs, it’s a little supporting evidence that the rest of Rodriguez’s report is accurate.
I would still caution you in a couple ways here: this could be a hyper-specific, narrow-connection between Rodriguez and a very tangential hook to Correa’s thinking. So you have to be a little cautious. How much would Báez really know, for example? And then there’s the other thing: even if this report is 100% accurate, that doesn’t mean Correa is going to be in final negotiations with only the Cubs and Yankees in a couple months, much less actually sign with the Cubs. It means only that, yes, there is interest from the Cubs, and maybe right up there among the top teams. That, by the way, is in line with the reported interest from last night.
So take it as another small data point that, yes, the Cubs are probably interested in Carlos Correa. Probably more interested than merely waiting to see if his market doesn’t blow up. Maybe hoping for a relative bargain still? Sure. But if you’re seriously interested at this point, even a relative bargain is still probably going to cost you over $300 million.
UPDATE: While the connection is still interesting between the initial report and the Báez contract report, we got some poo-poo’ing here:
Mentioned this on radio yesterday, re the story out there that Carlos Correa called Javy Baez for info on playing for the Cubs, according to a source close to Baez, this call never happened.
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) December 3, 2021