Cubs still considered a frontrunner for free agent Carlos Correa

(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /

In the days leading up to the lockout, there were all kinds of rumors connecting the Chicago Cubs to former AL Rookie of the Year Carlos Correa. Those persisted, at times, throughout the last three months and, fresh out of the lockout, we already have multiple national writers resurfacing those reports.

That Morosi report focuses heavily on Chicago in the Correa sweepstakes, only making passing mention of his former team, the Astros, who – like the Cubs – reportedly want the shortstop on a shorter-term pact as opposed to something that spans a decade or more. But with Scott Boras eyeing a deal that exceeds the 10 years and $325 million Corey Seager got from Texas, whichever team comes away with Correa may have to get creative to keep the length of the deal palatable.

Correa, 27, is coming off a stellar showing in 2021 with Houston. He put up 7.2 bWAR, playing in 148 games and slashing .279/.366/.485 while leading the Astros to another American League pennant. He has clear upside at the plate, but when looking at a potential match between him and the Cubs, his defense could wind up being even more critical.

Heading into 2022, Chicago’s starting rotation is very much a pitch-to-contact and keep the ball on the ground mix of arms. The two biggest offseason additions to the pitching staff, Marcus Stroman and Wade Miley, both pound the lower portion of the zone and rely on the defense behind them to get outs.

For what it’s worth, Stroman himself has been an incredibly vocal advocate for bringing Correa to the North Side – constantly recruiting him via social media throughout the offseason.

The Cubs have their fair share of question marks defensively and adding the reigning Platinum Glove Award winner up the middle would obviously go a long way toward shoring things up. Nick Madrigal, the likely second baseman, could benefit from such a double play partner, which would also allow Nico Hoerner to move around the diamond defensively.

dark. Next. What are the Cubs' top priorities coming out of the lockout?

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Correa is the top free agent left on the market and we’re going to hear plenty of rumors involving him in the coming days. At least for now, though, the Cubs are at or near the front of the pack when it comes to the superstar shortstop.