Cubs among likeliest landing spots for superstar shortstops

(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

As was the case last winter, the Chicago Cubs are expected to be right in the thick of things when it comes to the class of free agent shortstops. Carlos Correa, Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts could all be available, depending on how opt-outs play out, giving Jed Hoyer and his vast war chest the opportunity to add some badly-needed star power.

Now, if you’re still thinking Nico Hoerner is the shortstop moving forward, I can’t blame you. He’s been wildly impressive this year, answering the questions surrounding his defensive abilities at the position by establishing himself as an elite defender. Throw in the fact he’s been a leader at the plate, as well, and I get the Nico love – and share with you in it.

But given the team’s woes at second base (Nick Madrigal just hit the injured list for the third time this year and has managed just a .588 OPS when he’s been on the field), sliding Hoerner back over to to the right side and pairing him with a superstar shortstop isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Cubs Rumors: Chicago, Philadelphia among likely shortstop suitors

According to MLB insider Jon Heyman, “The Cubs and Phillies are among the likely landing spots for the shortstops,” – hardly a surprising statement given everything we’ve heard and what we know about this team heading into the offseason.

One person who seems to be very keen on the idea of making such a big splash in free agency? Cubs skipper David Ross, who has been tasked with piecing together a ramshackle lineup for the majority of his managerial career on the North Side.

"“It’s like when you want to buy a new car but you don’t have to, you can be picky, right?” Ross said. “We’ve got a really good shortstop here. If something works out where they identify a middle infielder that is of value that they feel like fits really well, I think everybody’s on board with that, including myself and Nico. Those are good problems to have. We’ll let the front office kind of pick and choose on that.”"

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Correa seems like an ideal fit and is a lock to opt out of his deal with Minnesota – but I’m hardly balking on the idea of Turner or Bogaerts, either. The Cubs have a lengthy wish list if they want to be in contention a year from now, but adding a top-tier talent up the middle alongside Hoerner would certainly be a nice start.