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 truly, lastly warmth up. The Winter Meetings are set for early December and there is typically a reasonably good quantity of motion earlier than getting nearer to Christmas. One of the most important free brokers in the marketplace 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 principally 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 probably already achieved the identical, so why should not we?

Not taking place

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 unimaginable

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 achieved, but it surely’s simply not of their plans or Correa would not signal there.

The Wild Cards

14. Angels – I do not suppose they are going to add one other mega-contract to the books, particularly amid rumors they could commerce Shohei Ohtani (they’ve denied the rumors, however there is a cause these exist). Plus, proprietor Arte Moreno is about to promote the crew. 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 reasonably 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 might take to persuade Correa to hitch a crew 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 at the least close to their restrict with payroll and filling out the rotation must be the next 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. can 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 alter positions. This yr, although, Dipoto has appeared much less hardcore on saying Crawford will certainly stay the beginning shortstop and simply mentioned it is “probably” but additionally left open the opportunity 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, nevertheless, must proceed on this trend. 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 outdoor addition like Correa. Still, the hunch right here is that this does not occur.

9. Cardinals – Pitching and catching are their priorities, though they may shift Tommy Edman again to second base and use some center infield depth to commerce for pitching. Correa can be an incredible match and so they do have the monetary capability to make such a splash. Not that they typically go this excessive in free company, they do not. It seems like issues must break good, 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 probably. Of course, it’s in all probability simply as probably they’re going to transfer Trevor Story again to shortstop and shore up the roster in different, extra cost-efficient (learn: low-cost) methods. Still, it might 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’re going to then take away themselves from consideration for every other mega-deal in free company, at the least on the place participant facet. To be clear, they may completely afford to re-sign Judge and signal Correa. This present possession simply does not appear inclined to spend that a lot cash on payroll. If, by some means, the Yankees do lose out on Judge, they’re going to be frontrunners for Correa.

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

6. Dodgers – They’ll try and re-sign Trea Turner earlier than taking a look at Correa and the Dodgers additionally want to handle beginning pitching (maybe with Justin Verlander or Jacob deGrom?). Plus, there’s phrase that the Dodgers are at the least mildly involved at fan backlash to signal a central determine from the 2017 Astros. If every thing breaks in a course the place Correa makes probably the most sense for the Dodgers, although, this should not — and will not — matter. Fans can recover from loads if it means a participant helps their crew 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 incredible match for a free agent shortstop. If we have been rating teams based mostly on simply getting one of many huge ones, they’d be ranked greater (in all probability primary). With Correa, although, the Phillies transfer a bit down the list just because they have been linked in rumors much more typically 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) residence to the Bay Area seems to be the highest precedence. They would additionally must deal with transferring 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 a giant 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 actually be a difficulty.

The Big Three?

3. Orioles – After profitable 31 extra video games in 2022 than the earlier yr, pushing them as much as their first profitable document 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 part of the turn-around? We’ve solely seen him rebuild up to now and it is possible he is threat averse on big free agent offers. Then once more, possibly he is just like Theo Epstein and can go nuts when he feels the scenario warrants. We simply do not know but.

And, clearly, Correa must wish to be there, too. Maybe he would slightly go elsewhere. It’s robust to get a learn right here as a result of the Orioles have been in an excessive rebuild and slightly 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 incredible season there in 2022 and the Twins are mentioned to badly need him again. They are reportedly keen to get inventive and do no matter it takes to retain their providers and whereas it is a small market, they’ve wealthy homeowners. 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’re going to 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 competition 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 crew 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 crew just like the Cubs keep away from diving in to speak with a Correa-level expertise .

Word has been by the offseason, to this point, 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 most effective of the bunch and it is possible a few of the bigger market gamers are occupied elsewhere (see above).

The one mark towards that is that the Cubs underneath 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 slightly do one thing like six or possibly seven years as an alternative of 10. If Correa can land a 10-year deal like Corey Seager did final offseason, it will not probably be with the Cubs. In taking a look at this list, although, I’m not likely developing with a crew that may give Correa 10 years, particularly after he could not get such a proposal when he was a yr youthful and coming off a greater season.

At this level, no crew is “probably” to signal Correa. There’s been probably the most smoke across the Cubs, although, so that they take the highest spot.

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