Cubs: 2 free agent packages to replace a Carlos Correa signing
With the MLB lockout taking longer than we all want, it’s unfortunate for teams like the Chicago Cubs, who had really picked up serious steam before things ground to a halt. Of course, the most notable rumor had the team in the thick of the race for Carlos Correa, although admittedly, there was a gap in the length of what a prospective deal might entail
That’s where talks stopped – leaving us all on the edge of our seats.
There’s no doubt. The Cubs have quite the plethora of funds available after trading Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Craig Kimbrel back in July. Even after bringing in Wade Miley, Marcus Stroman, among others, there’s plenty left in the coffers while still staying under any sort of luxury tax in 2022.
But maybe we should stop and think for a second. Perhaps the best route the Cubs can take isn’t even in that superstar player market. You’re putting a lot of eggs in one basket on a guy like Correa (or anyone who has their eyes on a $300 million deal, for that matter).
The upside isn’t being debated by anyone, really. However, the last thing any team wants is to be stuck paying a player a ridiculous amount of money with little to show for it. Maybe Jed Hoyer will take a slightly safer path forward once the lockout ends, going with the ‘quantity over quality’ approach?
Instead of signing Correa to a deal that’ll cost you a minimum of $30 million annually, what about finding two guys in that $15-18 million AAV range that have proven they can produce just as well on any given season? Correa, far and away, is the best remaining free agent. With above average marks on both offense and defense, he deserves to be the most sought after free agent at this point. But that doesn’t mean he’s the best option for Chicago, a team that’s still trying to get out from under Jason Heyward’s deal that didn’t even hit $200 million.
My theory here is simply pondering what two above-average bats can do for the Cubs’ lineup instead of just one in terms of Correa. If the longtime Astros shortstop can play at an MVP level for years to come, batting .300 with 30 homers and 100 RBI with some Gold Gloves sprinkled in, he’ll be worth every penny. However, you could arguably take the same amount of money and bring in two guys like Kyle Schwarber and Eddie Rosario – which makes you wonder which is the best option.
Personally, I believe that approach is a smarter spend, as it fills two spots in the order instead of one. Simply put, the more depth you have, the better your team. There are actually a number of players that have produced more so than Correa has offensively in any given season that will be relatively cheap compared to the former AL Rookie of the Year. With that being said, Let’s take a look at a couple different combinations that actually make more sense than just going after one big fish in Correa.