Yesterday was all about reminding myself that, in addition to the possibility that the Cubs can still have a successful offseason without signing one of the shortstops (really hard to see, but possible, I suppose), that the Cubs aren’t out on the two remaining shortstops. It is still possible that they could land Carlos Correa or Dansby Swanson. So I will keep obsessing until that is decided. I can’t help it.
The latest from Jon Heyman reiterates a lot of what we’ve been hearing the last two days, which, on the one hand means it’s just the same stuff. On the other hand, it means he is also hearing the things increasingly suggested by every other source lately. You add it to the pile if you are obsessing about these things …
Specifically, focuses on the Twins and Giants for Carlos Correa, indicating that of course the Twins really do want to keep him and will stretch as much as they can to make it happen, but the market is so strong right now that it might not happen. And the Giants, by contrast, have tons of money available and a sense of urgency to DO SOMETHING. (I could make an argument that, with all that the Padres have done, and given where things are with the Dodgers, now might not be the best offseason for the Giants to just DO SOMETHING to supplement what is otherwise a mediocre roster, but I’m not about to be a Cubs fan throwing stones at a team that is trying to add a star …. )
Here is what Heyman said about the Cubs, which, again, tracks with everything else the last couple days:
However, at least five teams still seek a shortstop — and the top of the market is now down to only Correa and Dansby Swanson, who’s terrific but doesn’t match Correa for persona and pizzazz. The Cubs are looking at both Correa and Swanson, though Swanson seems like the more obvious fit for them since his fiancée, Mallory Pugh, is a star of the Chicago Red Stars soccer club, and he’ll be cheaper than Correa.
The Cubs are in on both, but Swanson is more likely than Correa. That’s been the mantra of everyone one of the last few reports. I think some of that is just reporters being logical – Correa is way more expensive, has two desperate other teams in the mix, and the Cubs haven’t shown any kind of appetite recently to do a 10+ year deal. I also wonder if some of it is there being a sense that the Cubs really do want Swanson, specifically. Maybe not MORE than Correa, but maybe more than we’d been thinking? More than just a “ah, well, I guess if we HAVE to accept that guy …”?
I’m not saying that’s right or wrong – the pros and cons of Swanson are well-documented at this point, and I stand by my main conclusion (would love to have him on the Cubs, but it would make the desire to add an impact bat all the more strong and urgent). But I guess I’m trying to pay more attention when there is seeming consensus like this about how into Swanson the Cubs might be.
Good luck projecting the contracts for either of these guys at this point, by the way. The guarantee Turner got from the Phillies was on the high end of what you might have projected going into the offseason, but no one saw the 11-year structure coming back in October. And then the guarantee Bogaerts got from the Phillies BLEW AWAY anyone’s reasonable estimate, and the fact that he also got 11 years sure felt tied to the Turner deal. So, then, it would not be at all hard to imagine Correa’s demand is for longer than 11 years and for waaay more than $300 million. And Swanson suddenly has a market-based argument for $200 million (at, what, like eight years?!), which is jarring. And, yes, it becomes fair to ask whether that’s the right move at all.
I gotta stop myself on that side of things, because I think we just have no idea where these contracts are actually going. I’m sure that’s part of why this process slowed down a bit.
Oh, and to be sure, Heyman does not suggest it is ONLY the Giants, Twins, and Cubs for Correa, and ONLY the Cubs and Braves for Swanson. Those teams get more of the focus, but he also name checks the Red Sox and Dodgers for obvious reasons, and then the Cardinals and Mariners as long-shots.