This shortstop market, man … it is a roller coaster. At least we/the Cubs are still along for the ride. Here’s the latest, via Jon Heyman:
Around mid-week this week, I think we all started to grow a little pessimistic about the Cubs’ chances of landing a top free agent shortstop. Among the new datapoints:
(1) The Giants, after whiffing on Aaron Judge, are/were expected to turn their attention to Carlos Correa, who already has the full attention of – at least – the Twins.
(2) Xander Bogaerts signed a surprisingly massive deal (11 years, $280M) with a team (the Padres) not initially expected to land one of the top shortstops.
(3) And because of that deal for Bogaerts (in both years and dollars), Dansby Swanson’s price tag had presumably skyrocketed.
But then yesterday, the pendulum swung back, with stray reports downplaying the active discussions with Correa via the Giants and Swanson via the Braves. It was not much, but it certainly perked us up a bit. And now, today, Jon Heyman adds that the Cubs are still one of the teams in on Correa. One of only three teams mentioned, in fact. That’s good news. Perhaps especially good news, after we saw just how good Correa projects to be in 2023 via ZiPS.
For what it’s worth, I tend to believe Heyman, when he implies that there are more than just those three teams involved, but it certainly seems fair to say, at this point, those are the presumed front runners.
I won’t re-tread all the reasons Correa makes PERFECT sense for the Cubs right now; we’ve done that a dozen times. But I will underscore Heyman’s point: Carlos Correa is still the youngest shortstop and still the only one not connected to draft pick compensation. If Swanson’s price tag is really going to move up to the $200M level … it really might make a lot more sense to swing even bigger on Correa (in other words, if Swanson was going to be a massive relative discount, you could see why the Cubs *might* prefer to spread their spending around, but now? He’s going to cost a ton *and* he’d cost the Cubs a draft pick and IFA bonus pool space).
And obviously, the younger the free agent, the more time the Cubs will have to add around him to continue building a team that can contend.
So, again, this isn’t much, but after getting splashed with cold water around Wednesday-Thursday, I’m happy to see that, as of today, the Cubs are still involved.
Now go get him.