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The Cubs and Carlos Correa have mutual interest

... but it depends on the number of years in the deal.

Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

MLB’s lockout continues, so no signings or trades (other than minor-league deals) can be made at this time.

Nevertheless, that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill. Before I get to the subject of the headline to this article, I want to refer you to this article I wrote two weeks ago about Carlos Correa and other free-agent shortstops.

In it, I suggested:

Could Correa be signed to a deal like the one [Marcus] Stroman got? Two years and and opt-out (which essentially equates to a player option)? That might work, then Correa gets to hit free agency again at age 29 or 30.

Now, per Bruce Levine, that’s something the Cubs would actually like to do:

For the Cubs, the length of Correa’s contract is going to be key in their pursuit. The Cubs understand it’s going to take a long-term commitment to land Correa and have serious interest in him, but they’d rather not go 10 years in length, sources said.

“The Cubs have the money to sign Correa,” a source said. “However, the only hesitation is about the length of the deal – not the annual average value of the contract.”

Obviously, that puts the ball in Correa’s court, once the lockout is over. If, as I suggested, Correa would be willing to sign a short-term deal (two or three years) at a high AAV, he’d make good money for the next two or three years, then go to free agency again at an age where he still might be able to get an eight- or 10-year deal for generational money.

With Correa, the Cubs would certainly rate as a contender in 2022. If so, and they have a decent playoff run, maybe they have enough to offer him an extension.

Yes, this is kind of pie-in-the-sky thinking. But the length of the lockout could drive some free-agent decisions when it ends. If it drags on through February, a lot of players are going to want to get signed quickly.

In any case, I thought I’d put this out there for discussion.