A report Wednesday evening listed the Cubs among several teams that had checked in on elite shortstop Carlos Correa, something that felt a lot more plausible in the wake of the Marcus Stroman deal. The Cubs have signaled that they want to compete immediately, they have the financial flexibility to make more moves, and they need a top-tier defender to back Stroman and a rotation that gives up a lot of contact.
Lending credence to that earlier report is this tweet from Univision’s Mike Rodriguez, which says the Cubs and Yankees are the two teams most likely to sign Correa. Rodriguez adds that Correa spoke to Javier Báez to gather information about how he was treated by the Cubs and what the organization is like.
Carlos Correa #cubs y #yankees son los 2 equipos con más probabilidades de firmar al Campo-Corto ya que son las negociaciones más fluyentes por el momento, fuente me confirma que Correa llamo a Báez para preguntarle cómo es el trato de la organización de Chicago #carloscorrea pic.twitter.com/mxu42g60KR
— Mike Rodriguez (@mikedeportes) December 2, 2021
While it may not alleviate all of your skepticism, Rodriguez was the one who broke the details of Javy’s deal with the Tigers. He’s also based in Chicago and handles Spanish broadcasts of Cubs and White Sox games for Univision, so it’s not a stretch to see how he might have some connections when it comes to Báez.
As for the Cubs truly being a favorite to land Correa, well, that may be a different matter. The same could also be said for the Yankees, who’ve reportedly opted to stay out of the deep end of the shortstop market as they wait on the arrival of their top two prospects at the position. That could obviously be just a smokescreen for their true intentions, but if the reports are legit it would mean the Cubs have that much more of a chance.
Now, we’re talking about a massive deal that is definitely going to surpass the 10-year, $325 million contract Corey Seager signed with the Rangers and could top the record 10-year, $341 million deal Franciso Lindor got from the Mets. The 27-year-old former Astro is probably looking for $350 million or more for a minimum 10 years, possibly with opt-outs and other sweeteners.
I know a lot of you are opposed to long deals on principle alone, but consider that the Cubs have only $26.5 million in guaranteed commitments for 2024. And that’s including Stroman’s third season, which is contingent on him opting in. Kyle Hendricks has a $16 million vesting option and the club holds a $6 million option on Yan Gomes that I doubt will be exercised, but that’s still under $49 million in obligations as things currently stand. They could make Correa work.
Whether they will or not is a whole different story, one that we won’t get to read until the CBA is figured out and the lockout ends.