As we’re all well aware, 99 percent of what we, as baseball fans, get right now is pure speculation and opinions from national writers. Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required) falls firmly in that category – but he recently penned a piece identifying the best fits for the remaining top 25 free agents and the Chicago Cubs were all over it.
Chicago’s offseason could still go in some wildly different directions, even after Jed Hoyer brought in Marcus Stroman, Yan Gomes, Wade Miley and Clint Frazier. There could be a big-ticket move or the club could look to go more in the direction of higher quantity, shorter-term deals. But let’s break down the names Bowden believes the Cubs are among the best fits for.
Chicago Cubs: Carlos Correa tops Bowden’s rankings – and with good reason
Starting things off, Bowden looks at Carlos Correa – and has the Cubs fourth on his list of best fits, trailing the likes of Houston, New York and Boston.
For me, the reasons that would keep him from returning to the Astros mirror those that could prevent him signing with the Cubs. Houston’s ownership famously prefers higher AAV, shorter-term deals and it’s hard to envision that changing this winter, even for a player who’s been as integral to the franchise as Correa.
Personally, I don’t see Yankees fans forgiving and forgetting Correa’s role in the Astros’ 2017 sign-stealing scandal – and I think he’s smart enough to understand that. Boston has the flexibility to make it happen, but that would mean the Sox moving Xander Bogaerts off shortstop, which would be a surprising move given his tremendous value in recent years (he’s racked up 17.6 WAR since 2018, even with the shortened 2020 season).
There could be another suitor out there. Maybe Detroit gets frisky and tries to match the Rangers by signing Correa to play alongside Javier Baez, who has experience at second base. This is the biggest fish left – and it’ll be interesting to see where he winds up.