Carlos Correa free company: Ranking all 30 teams as possible landing spots with fringe contenders leading list

Once we get previous this week, Thanksgiving week, the MLB sizzling range ought to really, lastly warmth up. The Winter Meetings are set for early December and there is usually a fairly good quantity of motion earlier than getting nearer to Christmas. One of the most important free brokers available on the market is Carlos Correa.

Correa, 28, hit free company final offseason however did not discover a long-term deal to his liking. He took a three-year deal with the Twins that had an opt-out clause after one yr and most of the people knew from the get-go that it was mainly a one-year deal. He’s now testing the waters once more.

Where would possibly he find yourself? Let’s check out the most definitely landing spots and, sure, we have eradicated greater than half the league earlier than even getting began. He’s possible already completed the identical, so why should not we?

Not occurring

30. Pirates
29. Eds
28. Brewers
27. Marlins
26. (*30*)
25. Astros
24. Royals
23. Guardians
22. Rays

The ship has sailed with the Astros. The relaxation cannot or will not afford the deal Correa will get.

Unlikely, however not inconceivable

21. Rockies
20. Mets
19. Nationals
18. Rangers
17. Blue Jays
16. Tigers
15. White Sox

The monetary means are there and a few depth chart shuffling might be completed, nevertheless it’s simply not of their plans or Correa would not signal there.

The Wild Cards

14. Angels – I do not assume they’ll add one other mega-contract to the books, particularly amid rumors they may commerce Shohei Ohtani (they’ve denied the rumors, however there is a purpose these exist). Plus, proprietor Arte Moreno is about to promote the staff. If, by some means, a sale comes collectively shortly and the brand new proprietor has time to make a splash, possibly it is possible. You by no means know.

13. Diamondbacks – They look prepared to show the nook and contend once more. They even have a fairly low payroll and will spend a ton of cash this offseason. The lineup can also be very lefty-heavy proper now and the D-Backs are mentioned to be specializing in right-handed energy this offseason. Correa checks that field. Are they keen to spend what it could take to persuade Correa to affix a staff that certainly cannot compete with the Dodgers for the division title proper now? That’s the place there is a disconnect, for me.

12. Padres – It certain feels just like the Padres are at or no less than close to their restrict with payroll and filling out the rotation must be a better precedence than a luxurious like Correa. Then once more, he is Carlos Freaking Correa. Could they shock and pull off one other celebrity heist? A lineup with Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Carlos Correa and Fernando Tatis, Jr. could be fairly rattling enjoyable. I’m not seeing it, although.

11. Mariners – Club president Jerry Dipoto has continued to insist their shortstop is JP Crawford and Correa is not signing someplace to vary positions. This yr, although, Dipoto has appeared much less hardcore on saying Crawford will certainly stay the beginning shortstop and simply mentioned it is “possible” but in addition left open the potential of including a celebrity. Would Correa wish to signal with a spot that has chanted “cheater” at him the final a number of years?

Priorities lie elsewhere, however do not depend them out

10. Braves – It looks as if the Braves are going to re-sign Dansby Swanson or hand the keys at shortstop to younger Vaughn Grissom. They don’t, nonetheless, should proceed on this vogue. Especially with how a lot cash they’ve saved on elite expertise in locking up gamers like Ronald Acuña, Jr., Ozzie Albies and Michael Harris early and cheaply, there’s room for an out of doors addition like Correa. Still, the hunch right here is that this does not occur.

9. Cardinals – Pitching and catching are their priorities, though they might shift Tommy Edman again to second base and use some center infield depth to commerce for pitching. Correa could be an ideal match and so they do have the monetary means to make such a splash. Not that they usually go this excessive in free company, they do not. It seems like issues must break excellent, too, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says “the Cardinals are hanging out on the sides to see the place the market goes subsequent.”

8. Red Sox – Retaining Xander Bogaerts is their precedence, from the sounds of it. If he walks, the Red Sox might pivot to Correa, though Trea Turner feels extra possible. Of course, it’s in all probability simply as possible they will transfer Trevor Story again to shortstop and shore up the roster in different, extra cost-efficient (learn: low cost) methods. Still, it could be folly to utterly ignore them right here.

7. Yankees – If the Yankees miss out on retaining Aaron Judge, I’d in all probability make them the favorites right here. Instead, I’ve them ranked seventh. That’s how assured I’m that the Yankees will re-sign Judge. In doing so, they will then take away themselves from consideration for some other mega-deal in free company, no less than on the place participant facet. To be clear, they might completely afford to re-sign Judge and signal Correa. This present possession simply would not appear inclined to spend that a lot cash on payroll. If, by some means, the Yankees do lose out on Judge, they will be frontrunners for Correa.

My wager is Judge re-signs with the Yankees and Correa finally ends up on one of many following six teams.

6. Dodgers – They’ll try to re-sign Trea Turner earlier than Correa and the Dodgers additionally want to deal with beginning pitching (maybe with Justin Verlander or Jacob deGrom?). Plus, there’s phrase that the Dodgers are no less than mildly involved at fan backlash to signal a central determine from the 2017 Astros. If the whole lot breaks in a route the place Correa makes essentially the most sense for the Dodgers, although, this should not — and will not — matter. Fans can recover from rather a lot if it means a participant helps their staff win.

5. Phillies – Fresh off a World Series journey with cash to spend and a possible gap at shortstop (Jean Segura is a free agent and Bryson Stott can play second base), the Phillies are an ideal match for a free agent shortstop. If we have been rating teams based mostly on simply getting one of many massive ones, they’d be ranked increased (in all probability primary). With Correa, although, the Phillies transfer a bit down the list just because they have been related in rumors much more usually to Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts. Correa is not a comfort prize, so we’ll go away the Phils right here at quantity 5.

4. Giants – Bringing Aaron Judge again (considerably near) dwelling to the Bay Area seems to be the highest precedence. They would additionally should deal with shifting Brandon Crawford off of shortstop, however that may show to be a minor impediment if they’ve the chance to signal a participant of Correa’s caliber. There’s cash to spend and the Giants appear motivated to have an enormous offseason, so they’re main gamers right here. Assuming I’m proper that the Yankees retain Judge, will Correa nonetheless be on the board for the Giants? Timing might definitely be a problem.

The Big Three?

3. Orioles – After successful 31 extra video games in 2022 than the earlier yr, pushing them as much as their first successful report since 2016, the Orioles are prepared to maneuver up into perennial contender standing. They might spend a veritable fortune in free company, as proper now Baseball-Reference tasks their 2023 payroll at a paltry $33.8 million. With catcher Adley Rutschman and infielder Gunnar Henderson, we have already seen the beginning of the wave of prospects hitting the bigs. Correa would give them a bonafide celebrity with championship expertise to guide the cost.

There are questions, after all. Will they make top-shelf beginning pitching extra of a precedence than including Correa? How will first-time normal supervisor Mike Elias function on this section of the turn-around? We’ve solely seen him rebuild up to now and it is possible he is danger averse on large free agent offers. Then once more, possibly he is much like Theo Epstein and can go nuts when he feels the state of affairs warrants. We simply do not know but.

And, clearly, Correa must wish to be there, too. Maybe he would fairly go elsewhere. It’s powerful to get a learn right here as a result of the Orioles have been in an excessive rebuild and fairly irrelevant only a yr in the past.

2. Twins – In this case, we all know Correa is OK with signing in Minnesota as a result of he simply did it final offseason. He had an ideal season there in 2022 and the Twins are mentioned to badly need him again. They are reportedly keen to get artistic and do no matter it takes to retain their companies and whereas it is a small market, they’ve wealthy house owners. Yes, the Twins collapsed down the stretch final season, however Correa wasn’t at fault. He hit .361/.423/.585 in his final 37 video games.

Early within the season, Correa was speaking like he’d be keen to spend the remainder of his profession with the Twins. Now is their likelihood, however they will must pony up as a result of the competitors from some deep-pocketed organizations ought to be fierce.

1. Cubs – The Cubs are prepared to leap again into rivalry after a number of years of restocking the farm system and particularly after a profitable second half (they went 39-31 after the All-Star break). Shortstop Nico Hoerner led the staff in WAR (4.5) final yr, however he can play second base and is not the kind of super-duper star that ought to make a staff just like the Cubs keep away from diving in to speak with a Correa-level expertise .

Word has been by way of the offseason, to date, that the Cubs are going after one of many big-name shortstops we have talked about right here (Correa, Turner, Bogaerts, Swanson), Correa is the perfect of the bunch and it is possible a few of the bigger market gamers are occupied elsewhere (see above).

The one mark in opposition to that is that the Cubs beneath Jed Hoyer have not made it a secret that they’d prefer to keep away from excessively lengthy offers. That is, they’d a lot fairly do one thing like six or possibly seven years as a substitute of 10. If Correa can land a 10-year deal like Corey Seager did final offseason, it will not possible be with the Cubs. In this list, although, I’m not likely arising with a staff that may give Correa 10 years, particularly after he could not get such a suggestion when he was a yr youthful and coming off a greater season.

At this level, no staff is “possible” to signal Correa. There’s been essentially the most smoke across the Cubs, although, in order that they take the highest spot.

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