Earlier this year, a national report indicated that the Chicago Cubs’ pursuit of shortstop Carlos Correa was quite serious over the offseason. The report indicated that the Cubs had made a “huge” offer to Correa, but a deal wasn’t ultimately worked out because of “representation issues.”
We had to do some extrapolating from there to try to suss out what that meant, but we do know that Correa switched agents during the lockout (to Scott Boras), and there were rumors that the Cubs tried to seriously engage Correa before the lockout began. So you could connect the dots and jump to an assumption that the Cubs were heavy on Correa pre-lockout, made a big offer, it didn’t get done, and then after after the lockout ended, something didn’t quite click anymore because of the new agent.
Some very-attenuated version of that timeline might be the reality, but Cubs President Jed Hoyer wanted to squash a specific take on those rumors: it wasn’t as if the Cubs were about to sign Correa before the lockout, then Correa changed agents to Boras, and everything fell apart.
The Cubs made Correa a “huge offer” this past offseason, Nelson said on 670 The Score in early April, but their progress was stalled because of “some representation issues.” Correa ended up joining the Twins on a three-year, $105-million deal that includes opt-outs after each of the first two seasons.
“It’s a slippery slope and I don’t like commenting on stuff like this, but I can tell you that that’s not accurate,” Hoyer said on the Parkins & Spiegel Show. “There was nothing that changed based on the agent changing.”
It’s not hard to imagine why Hoyer would want to squash that part of the rumor: (1) he doesn’t want it seeming like the Cubs can’t work with Boras, and (2) he doesn’t want Cubs fans thinking they were so close to landing Correa and it *only* fell through because of the change in agents.
What’s far more likely is that the Cubs had a very specific idea for a deal on Correa (reports had it that they were looking to do a seven-year, high-AAV deal), and Correa and his camp were not into it. Ultimately, it seemed like Correa and Boras were looking only for either a 10+ year deal that beat Corey Seager’s $325 million deal, or a very short-term, highly-flexible deal like the one he got from the Twins.
That deal, nominally a three-year deal, comes with opt outs after this year and after next year, so he can pretty much decide when he wants to hit free agency again. It was not a deal – especially with draft-pick compensation attached – that would’ve made any sense for this year’s Cubs, so nothing happened.
In other words, while it’s possible that the change in agency – together with the lockout, itself – may have altered Correa’s thinking and approach to free agency (and perhaps openness to that short-term deal, rather than taking the best “long”-term deal he could get), that’s not quite the same thing as saying it was “representation issues” that made a deal with the Cubs fall apart.
Will the sides re-approach after this season, if Correa is healthy and effective from here? I could certainly see it, and nothing about Correa’s current representation would be the reason not to.