The Chicago Cubs have yet to make any significant free-agent signings this offseason as the team is heavily involved in the market for each of the top four free-agent shortstops. With the expectation being that the Cubs do not want to set the market for the free agent shortstops, chances are the team will have to wait for the first domino to fall before seriously entertaining making a signing. We may be close to the first shortstop signing as on Wednesday morning, multiple tweets surfaced regarding the Philadelphia Phillies and their chances of signing a shortstop this offseason.
First, ESPN's Buster Olney spoke with an agent that anticpates the Phillies signing one of the star shortstops.
Then, MLB Network's Jon Paul Morosi tweeted that the Phillies are now the favorits to sign free-agent shortstop Trea Turner.
Finally, ESPN's Jesse Rogers doubled down on Olney's tweet.
When three different Major League Baseball reporters tweet similar information all within a 10-minute span of one another, that is activity that warrants monitoring. With the belief being that Turner has a preference to play on the East Coast, there has always been a sense that the Phillies would be the team to watch for the former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop.
The free agent shortstop market could be about to burst open.
If Turner does sign with the Phillies, it will be interesting to see where the Dodgers pivot. The Dodgers are currently involved in the sweepstakes for New York Yankees free agent outfielder Aaron Judge but if Judge opts to remain in New York, the Dodgers may look to the shortstop market as a fallback option. The Dodgers' front office has long been interested in Carlos Correa but given the history between Correa from his time with the Houston Astros and the Dodgers, it seems unlikely that a pairing will happen.
The next question will be the contract. The Phillies have not been afraid to spend money in recent offseasons so chances are they are willing to break the bank for one of the shortstops such as Turner. If that is the case, Correa's asking price will likely be just as high. Under the scenario, the Cubs may be forced to settle for either Xander Bogaerts or Dansby Swanson.