The Chicago Cubs have seen the first free-agent shortstop domino fall at the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings on Monday as the Philadelphia Phillies have agreed to a deal with free-agent shortstop Trea Turner.
There has long been an expectation that the Phillies would be the team to land Turner and there likely wasn't a team in Major League Baseball that would have been willing to match the 11-year, $300MM contract the Phillies offered the former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop. For the Phillies, the move is more proof of the team being everything that the Cubs should have been in regard to their offseason activity. In recent offseasons, the Phillies have not been afraid to spend money on the likes of Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, or Nicholas Castellanos.
Phillies' owner, John Middleton, understands why it is important to spend money and the impact that those players may have on an organization. Look no further than what Middleton had to say after Harper's memorable home run in the National League Championship Series this past postseason.
""I'm thinking that maybe I underpaid him," Middleton told CBS Philadelphia's Don Bell during live postgame coverage. "I told him that tonight. I told that to Scott Boras a while ago.""- CBS Philadelphia
Turner now becomes the latest example of the Phillies doing what the Cubs need to do. With the first shortstop domino falling this offseason in Turner signing with the Phillies, pressure is mounting on the Cubs as now three of the top four free-agent shortstops remain available.
For the Cubs, the market is now set for free-agent shortstops Carlos Correa, Dansby Swanson, and Xander Bogaerts. Correa is expected to land a deal similar to Turner's in terms of value at $300MM. What remains to be seen for Correa is his desired contract length. The expectation was that Correa and Turner would be seeking deals for between 8 to 10 years and, now, with the latter landing at 11, chances are the former Minnesota Twins shortstop will have a similar target. If the Cubs are unwilling to go to the length of a 10 or 11-year deal for Correa, then the team will likely pivot to Bogaerts or Swanson.