In all the rumor’ing about the Chicago Cubs and their quest to sign at least one of the top shortstops, there’s one national reporter we’ve heard almost nothing from: Ken Rosenthal.
Every time the topic came up over the past few weeks, it has seemed like Rosenthal had other things he wanted to discuss. It wasn’t like he was intentionally or explicitly excluding the Cubs from the subject, it’s just that they didn’t come up. Or he didn’t have any kind of scoop on them.
So when he wrote about it today, as things are getting REALLY hot on the shortstop front, I was very eager to see what he had to say:
So, where might Correa land? The Twins still want him. The Giants are perhaps the most obvious fit now that they have lost Aaron Judge to the Yankees. But with Xander Bogaerts reportedly close to returning to the Red Sox, the Padres cannot be dismissed ….
The idea of the Cubs adding both Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson was always far-fetched. The addition of two prominent infielders worked for the Rangers last offseason in part because both Corey Seager and Marcus Semien were Scott Boras clients. But with Bogaerts represented by Boras and Swanson by Excel — two different agencies — it was much more difficult to coordinate two such signings.
The Cubs view Swanson as perhaps their most realistic target at shortstop, assuming they don’t go big for Correa.
Hrm. Not exactly encouraging. Not necessarily discouraging either?
On the one hand, we know the Cubs *are* serious about Carlos Correa. But we don’t know if they feel like they have a realistic shot at him, given whatever price point they’re looking at. You could read Rosenthal’s wording to suggest the Cubs don’t believe they have a realistic shot.
On the other hand, Rosenthal wrote all of that in a way that DOES NOT include the Cubs among Correa’s possible landing spots. He more or less assumes, in his wording, that the Cubs are NOT going after Correa at the moment. Obviously that runs extremely counter to local reporting from Gordon Wittenmyer, who has said the Cubs are “down the road” in talks with Correa. That sure sounds serious to me.
On the other other hand, I’m here to say I still would be happy about the Cubs signing Swanson, and it’s nice to see Rosenthal at least suggesting that could happen. My issue with Swanson – other than the fact that, flatly, he is not Correa – is that he won’t bring the kind of transformative bat with him that the Cubs need. So he’s a great addition to the Cubs in the abstract – I love the idea of him and Nico Hoerner up the middle defensively – they would still have to figure out how the heck to add more offense.
So, where does that leave things? Well, it kinda sounds like Rosenthal hasn’t heard much about the Cubs and Correa, and has heard something of a “maybe” on the Cubs and Swanson. Rosenthal is not alone, by the way, in suggesting that Swanson is the more likely target for the Cubs than Correa. We have heard that before over the past week or so, and I don’t want to ignore it just because I prefer Correa.