Cubs: Extreme caution must be exercised when it comes to Carlos Correa

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Carlos Correa
(Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Setbacks occur. Is it worth pushing the chips and going all in?

As previously stated, Correa put up an incredible 7.2 WAR last season. While slashing .279/.366/.485 with 26 homers and 92 RBI, you see how defense really is an incredibly important aspect of the game, as his offensive numbers were good but not quite “best in the business”.

The Cubs, meanwhile, return former Gold Glove finalist Nico Hoerner in 2022 – and we’ll get our first look at Nick Madrigal in his new threads, as well. Noerner is an elite defender at second – but with Madrigal and his so-so glove in the picture, he’s probably shifting over to short or into the outfield this year.

There’s no questioning that Correa and Hoerner paired together up the middle would give Chicago one of the best double play combinations in the league. But there are questions about Hoerner’s ability to stay healthy that need to be considered, too. Look. Correa would make the Cubs a better team. But the dollars he’s looking for are hard to swallow for me personally. Instead of adding one guy who can net you 85-90 RBI, you can net yourself 170-180 RBI by signing two offensive weapons for the same price you’d otherwise give just Correa.

You hate to say it, but setbacks are a part of baseball. God forbid an injury occurs (knock on wood) or Correa happens to have a down year at the plate. Then what? All the eggs you have put into one basket spoil and you’re right back where you started, except now you’re down $35 million in payroll and essentially find yourself stuck in a lose-lose situation for any given season that he is tenured with the Cubs. For that type of money, any down year at the plate at all is essentially Jason Heyward 2.0 and then some in terms of contracts. There are just too many risks that go into a mega-signing such as this given where the rest of the roster is right now.

There’s no debating that Correa is an elite defender. The Cubs also have a projected rotation of Marcus Stroman, Kyle Hendricks, Adbert Alzolay and Alec Mills as four of their starters going in 2022. All of which are right-handed pitchers. Does that mean everything in the world? Well no, but It’s worth noting and giving a reminder that to some degree, due to splits, matchups and what have you, teams are going to continue to stack as many lefty hitters against our starting pitching staff that’s full of righties this year as any team normally would. Not to say that *everybody* will be a lefty this year, but with this in mind, it’s not like everybody will be a righty hitter that’s going to ground out to Correa on every play either.

All I’m saying is, yes, Correa makes this team much better defensively – but, again, he’s not some magical, life-saving pill, either – despite his asking price.