Short of the Chicago Cubs signing free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa to a lucrative free-agent contract this offseason, there will be questions that surround team president of baseball operations Jed Hoyer and his quest to return the team to contention. In recent days, pessimism has suffocated the Cubs as the team continues to miss on free-agent targets. The latest targets to come off the board were Christian Vazquez, who signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Twins, and Sean Murphy traded to the Atlanta Braves.
Correa, along with fellow free-agent shortstop Dansby Swanson, remains available and the Cubs have been connected to both. Correa, the top free-agent position player on the market, is seeing his market come into focus after the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings. To that end, former Major League Baseball general manager Jim Bowden, now with The Athletic, offered this update on Correa's market.
"Carlos Correa is the top position player left on the free-agent market and as many as six teams are interested in him, according to team sources. There have been indications the Twins and Cubs have the inside track, but it only takes one owner from another team to step up at the last minute to change the equation and pull off a deal. Correa would be a great fit with the Angels, Tigers, Braves, and Red Sox, who just lost Xander Bogaerts to the Padres in free agency."- Jim Bowden, The Athletic.
The Cubs being on the inside track for Correa would seem to go against recent reporting. After missing on free-agent outfielder Aaron Judge, there has been an expectation that the San Francisco Giants would pivot toward Correa. Meaning, if Correa signed with a team other than the Twins, the growing expectation was that it would be with the Giants.
Correa is certainly going to prove to be the factor that determines how willing Hoyer is to spend aggressively this offseason. Correa is the perfect fit for the direction that the Cubs intend to head in for 2023 but he is now expected to land a deal that would far surpass anything that Hoyer has been comfortable doing in the past.