Chicago Cubs: Would 5 years and $200 million get a deal with Carlos Correa?

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Carlos Correa likes the Cubs. The Cubs like Carlos Correa. Even at the holiday season, though, that mutual affection isn’t going to be enough to make each side abandon their principles and desires. It’s going to take some creativity to bring the two-time All-Star to the North Side in free agency.

Correa, 27, is rightfully looking to set a new high-water mark when it comes to free agent contracts. You can bet that he and agent Scott Boras have their sights set on the 10-year, $340 million extension the Mets gave Francisco Lindor ahead of the 2021 season as a solid measuring stick when it comes to talks this offseason.

We already saw Corey Seager get 10 years and $325 million from the Texas Rangers, so you can safely assume that’s another set of numbers Correa’s camp has circled. The big difference between what Seager got and what the Cubs would prefer to give Correa comes down to one thing: years.

With two years left on Jason Heyward’s franchise record eight-year, $184 million deal that’s been a failure by almost every measure, fans are as hesitant as Jed Hoyer to plunge right back in with another mega-contract that spans the better part of the next decade. But that’s what Correa is looking for: a deal around 10 years in length.

Does that mean Chicago is out of the running? Absolutely not. But if the market shifts toward a higher-AAV, shorter-term deal for Correa, you can bet more suitors are going to come out of the woodwork and the competition for the former AL Rookie of the Year will significantly intensify post-lockout.

So just how high would you go in terms of AAV if it kept the number of years to, say, five?

Bleacher Nation penned a piece on Wednesday delving into that very matter and, per usual, Brett hit it right on the head.

"You take all that together and just do some mental math, and you come to the conclusion that a shorter-term deal on Correa – even at five years – is gonna have to have an AAV up in that Cole range, at a minimum. You could argue it would have to approach $40 million, all things considered. Heck, maybe it would have to top Scherzer if it was only five years."

Would the Cubs pay Carlos Correa more per year than any player in history?

$40 million annually for one player has been done just once in the history of baseball – and that came a few weeks back when the Mets added right-hander Max Scherzer on a two-year, $86.7 million contract with an $43 million player option for 2024 on the back end. Not even Mike Trout – undoubtedly the greatest position player in baseball – got $40 million in his deal with the Angels.

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What does this mean? If you’re serious about keeping your offer to Correa at five years, you’re probably going to have to pay him more per year than perhaps any player ever. So the question is this, Cubs fans: just how badly do you want to avoid that 10-year contract?