There’s been plenty of speculation as to Carlos Correa’s next destination, and even as the lockout trudges on, some reporting on the interest he’s received to date. The Yankees, Dodgers, Cubs, Braves and incumbent Astros were all reported to have contacted Correa prior to the lockout, and in recent weeks, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Tigers had put forth a ten-year offer worth $275MM — presumably prior to signing Javier Baez to his six-year, $140MM contract. Bruce Levine of 670 The Score in Chicago wrote yesterday that while there’s mutual interest with the Cubs, the team is loath to commit the length of contract Correa is seeking.
The length of contract Correa is set upon will obviously play a large role in where he ultimately signs. If he’s set on a deal of ten (or more) years in length, the Cubs and Astros seem to be out of the question. If he eventually is willing to take a slightly shorter deal, presumably with a massive annual value, it could open the door a bit further. Some suitors may yet may ramp up their interest or pivot to Correa if they miss out on larger target (e.g. Braves and Freddie Freeman) or if the luxury tax threshold rises substantially in the forthcoming collective bargaining agreement.
Given that he’s hitting the market in advance of his age-27 season, it’s not a surprise to see Correa eyeing deals of ten-plus years in length. And, now that Corey Seager has inked a 10-year deal for $325MM — joining Francisco Lindor and Fernando Tatis Jr. as shortstops with contracts of 10 or more years — Correa is surely hopeful of adding his own name to that prestigious group (if not besting all three in terms of total guarantee).
If the Yankees indeed plan to sit out the market for top shortstops, as has been reported, that’s a sizable blow to Correa’s market. Add that the Dodgers have an excellent in-house option already in Trea Turner and may not want to add a second $300MM contract to the books alongside Mookie Betts, and Correa may have to drum up some interest from teams that haven’t been publicly linked to him just yet.
The Phillies have a need at shortstop but appear more focused on center field and the bullpen. The Mets don’t seem like a fit in terms of roster composition, but owner Steve Cohen has shown a willingness to spend at a nearly unparalleled level. The Blue Jays reportedly pursued Seager before he signed in Texas; would they consider a legitimate pursuit of Correa in the wake of Marcus Semien’s departure? Could the Tigers follow the Rangers’ lead and shock baseball with a double-dip in the shortstop market? The Mariners haven’t been characterized as a suitor just yet, but they have the payroll space and are seeking an impact bat.
As the already slow news cycle winds down during the holiday season, let’s try to make our best guess both as to where Correa will sign and for how much in total dollars…
How large will Correa’s contract be? (poll link for Trade Rumors iOS/Android app users)
Where will Correa sign? (poll link for Trade Rumors iOS/Android app users)