The first talks between the league and the MLBPA went about as expected this week – in other words, poorly. MLB made a proposal and the players were discouraged by what the owners brought to the table.
Spring training is set to kick off in just over a month, but I wouldn’t be booking those trips to see the Chicago Cubs in Mesa just yet because there’s a good chance at least some of the Grapefruit and Cactus League schedules will be affected by this whole mess.
Once the lockout ends, it seems pretty likely teams will be staring at a wildly condensed time frame in which they’ll need to do 2-3 months of work that couldn’t be done this winter. That includes signing free agents, which in the Cubs’ case, could center around shortstop Carlos Correa.
No one really knows what Correa’s market will look like once the lockout lifts, but there’s a good chance you’ll see the Dodgers and Yankees at least kick the tires on the reigning Platinum Glove winner. The Cubs appear to be in the mix, too – and the level of competition for Correa could do a lot in shaping what his next deal looks like.
Here are three distinct ways the Cubs (or any other team, really) could structure an offer to Correa before Opening Day hits.
3 ways the Cubs could structure a Carlos Correa contract: 10 years, $350M
Look, if you’re going for something like what the Mets gave Francisco Lindor after acquiring him from Cleveland (10 years, $341 million) or Bryce Harper got from the Phillies (13 years, $330 million), this is the way to do it.
You know Scott Boras is going to use the Lindor deal, along with the Corey Seager pact with Texas from earlier this offseason (10 years, $325 million) as the measuring stick here. $300 million is a floor for Correa if you’re thinking about any sort of deal that spans the next decade or more.
We know the Cubs aren’t keen on dipping their toe in this pool. They’re more focused on shorter-term pacts. It’s not the dollars that concern them. Rather it’s being locked into one player and having a major chunk of your payroll accounted for over the next 10 years. Given how the Jason Heyward contract has aged on the North Side, I’d say that’s a valid concern.