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Cubs free agent target: Carlos Correa

Let’s talk about shortstops.

Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images

It seems to be a given among many Cubs fans, as well as sports pundits, that the Cubs will go after one of the big-name shortstops expected to be on the market this offseason.

True, the Cubs already have a shortstop, and a good one, in Nico Hoerner. But Hoerner could, and surely would, make an easy transition to second base if the Cubs sign a FA to play shortstop.

Carlos Correa is one of the names being named as a possibility for the Cubs to sign. Last week, Correa told a Spanish-language paper that he was opting out of his Twins contract and would become a free agent. It is also true that the Cubs did kick the tires on Correa last offseason. This article by Bruce Levine, written during the lockout, indicated the Cubs did want Correa but didn’t want to commit to the 10-year deal he was supposedly looking for:

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.”

Well, now it’s a year later. So... only a nine-year deal? Kidding. Mostly.

Anyway, Correa was supposed to make $35.1 million in 2023 in the deal he opted out of.

In 136 games for the Twins in 2022, Correa hit .291/.366/.467 (152-for-522) with 24 doubles and 22 home runs. He played solid defense and overall, posted 5.4 bWAR. The WAR figure ranked 21st in MLB, tied with another high-priced shortstop (Francisco Lindor) and just behind Steven Kwan — and just slightly above the 4.8 bWAR produced by Correa’s replacement in Houston, Jeremy Pena.

Presumably, Correa is going to be looking for at least eight years at an AAV higher than the $35 million he opted out of.

Correa turned 28 last month and so an eight-year contract would comprise his age 28 through 35 seasons. I would think he’d remain fairly productive through those years. He’s never had much baserunning speed — he has just six steals in eight attempts over the last six years — so that’s not something to be concerned that he’d be losing over such a contract period.

The thing is, for a contract with that sort of AAV — likely approaching $40 million — I’m going to want one of the best players in baseball. Correa is very good, but he’s not in that class, I don’t think. For example, Aaron Judge turned down a Yankees offer last winter of seven years and $213.5 million, an AAV of $30.5 million. After Judge’s great year, he’ll probably want close to $40 million in AAV — and he’s likely worth it. Correa? Not so much.

So I’m going to say no, the Cubs should not sign Carlos Correa. Perhaps you disagree.


Carlos Correa...

This poll is closed

  • 9%
    ... the Cubs should sign him to at least an eight-year deal worth over $300 million
    (120 votes)
  • 38%
    ... the Cubs should sign him, but for fewer years or dollars or both
    (472 votes)
  • 50%
    ... the Cubs should not sign him
    (620 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (19 votes)
1231 votes total Vote Now