Bruce Levine earlier reported that the Cubs met with Carlos Correa at the Winter Meetings, but he also reported that they actually long ago met with fellow free agent shortstop Xander Bogaerts.
At 670 The Score, Levine writes:
The Cubs met with Bogaerts about 10 days ago, a source said. Ross, first-base coach Mike Napoli and former Cubs ace Jon Lester have all been selling Bogaerts on the idea of playing at Wrigley Field and in front of the fans there.
Get the old friends together and tell Bogaerts how great it is at Wrigley Field! I love that. Again, the money is going to be the main thing, but this soft stuff can’t hurt at the margins.
Also, it’s nice to see Jon Lester back in the mix and doing some recruiting, especially given the parallels in his situation and Bogaerts’ with the Red Sox. Consider that Lester could just as easily be telling Bogaerts to try to stay with the Red Sox for life, but he’s apparently selling Bogaerts on instead joining the Cubs. Jon Lester rocks.
Last night, we heard that the Cubs could be getting close to a formal offer for Xander Bogaerts, and I tend to think you don’t do the full-court-press recruiting if you aren’t thinking about doing the formal offer thing at some point. So the way I see it, the Cubs have maybe been courting Bogaerts for 10+ days at this point, and then maybe they were always planning to make an offer – after feeling him and Scott Boras out on roughly what it would take – at the Winter Meetings?