How the fight for Carlos Correa could come down to these 5 teams
The Astros wasted no time in trying to re-sign their All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa once the 2021 season concluded. The club initially offered him the most expensive contract in team history for $160 million over five years. The Astros have also offered him the qualifying offer which would be a one year deal worth $18.4 million.
It is unlikely his camp will accept this offer, as he looks to be the highest-paid free agent this offseason.
The Astros are not out of the conversation in regard to retaining the 27-year-old shortstop, but they will have some fierce competition for his services soon.
All teams with championship aspirations would love to have Correa in their infield, but his contract demands will scare a lot of teams off.
Most big market teams will be in play here with a few exceptions like the Mets and Cubs, as Chicago is entering into a rebuild and the Mets just signed Francisco Lindor to a $300+ million contract last off season.
The Dodgers and Padres would most likely be non-players in the Correa sweepstakes considering their contractual obligations, already high payrolls and their security of other shortstops like Fernando Tatis Jr. and Trea Turner.
That leaves eight potential teams that could be a fit for the Gold Glove winning player.
The Angels, Giants and Cardinals could certainly afford Correa's services, but none of these teams have showed interest in the All-Star shortstop thus far.
The Giants re-signed Brandon Crawford to play on the left side of the infield and look to re-sign Kris Bryant to a long-term deal before signing a player like Correa.
As for the Angels and Cardinals, neither team appears to be willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money when they could get other players on cheaper, shorter deals.
The Angels have already locked up Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon to long-term deals, while the Cardinals have Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt committed to long-term money.
All three of these clubs could be a factor later on, but other teams pose bigger threats at the moment.
5. Red Sox
The Red Sox seem to be an unusual play here considering they already have Xander Bogaerts playing shortstop, but there have been rumors of Correa replacing him at the infield position.
The word in Boston is if they can sign Correa, they would move Bogaerts to 2nd base. Seems like a logical solution, except that Bogaerts is a free agent after the 2022 season. It seems more likely the Sox would re-sign their own guy before breaking the bank for someone who just beat them in the postseason.
Or they could sign Correa and trade Bogaerts, but that's just speculation on their end.
One other person to note in Boston is manager Alex Cora.
Correa and Cora had a close relationship when he was the bench coach for the Astros. He could be a determining factor if the 27-year-old ultimately decides to put on a Red Sox uniform.
Verdict: Not likely
Albeit a seemingly random section considering the Phillies finished with an 82-80 record this past season, they have showed they are willing to spend money to acquire talent. Before the start of the 2019 season, Philadelphia signed outfielder Bryce Harper to a club record 13 years, $330 million contract.
They have spent money on quality players such as pitchers Zach Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and catcher JT Realmuto.
The Phillies believe they are still in a win now mode despite their mediocre record over the past three seasons, so adding a player like Correa to their roster could bolster their chances of obtaining more wins.
Philadelphia does have Didi Gregorius and Jean Segura at the top of their infield, but one of these players could be moved to third base or even traded to make room for the Gold Glove winning shortstop.
This would be every Astros fan's nightmare if Correa left the team to join the Bronx Bombers. As outlandish as it may sound, he may fit in well in New York City.
He would be an instant upgrade at shortstop over Gio Urshela and Gleyber Torres and would be the power hitter the Yankees have been searching for to compliment Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
New York is not afraid to spend money and be aggressive in free agency (anyone remember Gerrit Cole after the 2019 World Series?)
For Correa to "join the Dark Side" the Yankees would have to offer him the moon, and if they are the only team that offers the All-Start shortstop what he wants, it's easy to envision him in pinstripes.
It may be cheating to have the Astros on this list, but they are not out of the Correa sweepstakes by any means.
Houston is the only team Correa has played for so far and he loves this city, so that's a plus.
Jim Crane has been willing to spend money in the past with additions such as Justin Verlander and Zack Greinke and signing Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman to long-term contract extensions over $100 million.
The Astros have lost both Gerrit Cole and George Springer in back-to-back offseasons. It would be sad to see three great players leave the franchise in consecutive years.
Crane and the Astros front office have already offered Correa two different contract options and look to fight to keep their home-grown shortstop in Houston.
Assuming his market dries up and no team offers him a $300 million plus contract, the Astros may sign him.
Detroit may seem odd at first, but are a perfect fit on paper.
Former Astros manger AJ Hinch had a great relationship with Correa and would love the two reunited in Detroit.
In Hinch's first season with the Tigers, he transformed a 47 win team in 2019 to a 77 win team in 2021.
Needless to say he is pushing the right buttons to make this Tigers' team competitive.
Detroit already has decent players on this roster to build around, like Akil Baddoo and decent pitching.
Adding a Carlos Correa to this team would accelerate their rebuilding phase and potentially put them in contention to win the American League Central Division for years to come.
Plus, if Detroit can convince Correa to join, who's to say they can't get other free agents such as Justin Verlander and others.
The Tigers are one or two players away from being competitive again, and adding the All-Star shortstop to their team would do wonders for Detroit.