It was time. I’m over here obsessing about the four top free agent shortstops and how the Cubs ABSOLUTELY SHOULD land one of them this offseason, and I figure most of you are, too. So it’s an Obsessive Watch now. Every little thing I see out there, I want to make sure I get into.
- Jon Morosi, who has been connecting the Cubs and Carlos Correa for some time now, hopped on Marquee to discuss the offseason, and he was still ringing that bell:
- Morosi seems to believe Correa really likes the idea of signing with the Cubs, specifically. Earlier, Morosi said on MLB Network that the Cubs are looking at all four shortstops, but their main interest is in Correa and Turner. Again, though, he said that the Cubs and Correa are a clear pairing, and he said the Cubs would be the favorite for Correa if you had to pick a team right now.
- Morosi, by the way, seems to be the only person – after Dave Kaplan back in September – attaching the Cubs to Trea Turner. If they’re hot on him, specifically, they’re doing a good job keeping it mostly under wraps.
- Meanwhile, Jesse Rogers is being very careful to lay out his perspective on the Cubs’ offseason as it relates to the top shortstops: interested and trying to make it happen? Yes. Gonna got to 7+ years right now? No.
- Note, though, that by the end of the clip, Rogers is more or less laying out exactly why the Cubs *DO* need to land one of these free agent shortstops right now. He just doesn’t think they’re going to go way over the top right now on any free agents (which, I don’t think he’s wrong). In other words, I wouldn’t take this as some pronouncement from Rogers that the Cubs aren’t going to spend. Just that they are – for the moment – going to be talking to these shortstops on their terms. I might add “until and unless they have to pivot.”
- Dansby Swanson is roundly considered the 4th place shortstop among the Big Four, mostly because he doesn’t have the same track record of top-tier offensive success, and his defensive explosion in 2022 is hard to buy (compared to his many years before that of merely being “pretty good”). FanGraphs looked at just how much we should buy into his 2022 breakout:
- The short version is that, offensively, Swanson’s contact quality really took off, and if you buy that, then you could buy that he’ll continue to produce at an above-average offensive level for a while. Defensively, the huge metrics in 2022 looks a bit more like a blip than some real change, but he nevertheless looks like a very good defensive shortstop overall going forward. Still, there’s a reason he’s projected by FanGraphs to land a deal in the six-year, $144 million range, rather than the other three, all of whom project well over $200 million.
- More super-smart breakdown information from Carlos Correa (he’s just good at this):