News on Carlos Correa’s market
With MLB implemented a ban yesterday, it will likely be some time before fans learn the fate of the sport’s currently undistributed free agents. According to the parameters of the ban, teams will not be able to contact players or conduct transactions during this time. Touted by many as the best player in the free agent market, Carlos Correa his later contract will also be delayed, but that doesn’t mean he won’t have his fair share of applicants when the lockout is complete. Before yesterday’s announcement, Mark Berman of Fox 26 (KRIV) tweeted a list of Correa’s camp teams was contacted sometime this off-season. The Astros and Yankees were teams that were already known, but Berman also adds the Red Sox, Dodgers, Cubs, and Braves to the mix.
At first glance, some of these newly enrolled teams may seem like imperfect landing spots for a shortstop that will demand a nine-figure salary. On the other hand, it’s hard to blame a large market team for doing due diligence on a high profile player like Correa. It is currently unknown when these teams contacted Correa’s agents or how serious these check-ins were, but any team that even casually reports that they have a communication with Correa’s camp could provide fans with clues as to where the star- Shortstop will sign at the end.
Starting alphabetically with one of the stranger seizures, Atlanta ended its flag-winners season with Dansby Swanson anchored in the shortstop position. While Swanson didn’t quite reproduce its 2020 production, it posted a personal best of 27 homers and offered a defense that was widely seen as passable or better. The 27-year-old will start under his final year of team control in 2022, potentially creating a scenario where Correa is signed and Swanson is sold to a team that is still looking for a new shortstop. Any move out of Atlanta in the Correa market would likely be after a resolution (or, to afford Correa, a breakdown) in the market Freddie Freeman Front.
Boston also ended 2021 with a prominent name on shortstop. Xander Bogaerts. The 29-year-old Bogaerts continues to be one of the most consistent running producers in the league and won his fourth Silver Slugger Award after a performance of .295 / .370 / .493 (127 OPS +). Like Swanson in Atlanta, Bogaerts may be in his final year of team control if he quits the remaining three years of his contract, as is widely expected. A Correa chase would require some mixing in the infield, but would make an imposing addition to an already strong Red Sox lineup. It would also provide cover for a Bogaerts exit while dramatically increasing central defense.
Chicago stands in the way of a Correa run less than the previous two teams, given that they have the payroll spot and an acute need for more offense. Nico horns Projects as the current shortstop of the Cubs after the midseason Javier Baez Trade, and to his credit he has done well in the position. As solid as the former first round player was in 44 games, batting 0.302 / 0.382 / 0.369 (105 OPS +), he’s just a year away from 57 OPS + shown in a similar number of games. Hoerner is also so well versed in defense that he could slide to any number of other positions to make room for the stronger Correa. It remains to be seen whether or not the Cubs will be willing to spend extra funds to regain competitiveness Marcus Stroman The signature will be her off-season signature.
After all, LA serves as a mesmerizing landing pad for the all-star Correa. Like other teams here, the Dodgers already have a strong shortstop. Treasure turner. However, the fast gymnast can play a second base, which makes second basemen possible Chris Taylor and Gavin Lux operate in the utility roles to which they have become accustomed. One question for the Dodgers front office, however, is whether they would be willing to spend more than $ 300 million on a shortstop if they simply let their last superstar shortstop go on a similarly rich contract. There’s also the 4-year-old elephant in the room, the 2017 World Series, in which Correas Astros notoriously defeated the Dodgers. Persistent madness is unlikely to pique mutual interest (money speaks most in the free agency, after all), but it could serve as a deal breaker if another team were to pursue Correa with the same ardor.