1. SS Carlos Correa (Age: 27)
Projected Contract: 10 years, $320 million
Last Contract: 1 year, $11.7 million
Former Astros’ shortstop and World Series Champion Carlos Correa is undoubtedly the biggest name left on the free-agent board. He was before the lockout and still is. This offseason was supposed to be one of the biggest winters ever for free-agent shortstops and very well could be still. Only one big name shortstop signed before the lockout: Corey Seager, who will be teaming up with Marcus Semien in Texas this year.
With much to prove in 2021, Correa delivered, slashing .279/.366/.485 and finishing fifth in AL MVP voting. There had been some concerns about Correa’s ability to stay healthy considering the former Rookie of the Year played in only 185 games between 2018 and 2019, but after playing in 148 games in 2021, those worries have all but subsided. Correa brings a fantastic glove and powerful bat to the shortstop position and he’s just 27 years old. Expect him to sign a deal similar to what Mets’ shortstop Francisco Lindor signed last season.
Several teams are likely interested in signing Correa, and while it would make sense for a team like the New York Yankees or Philadelphia Phillies to go after Correa in an attempt to win a World Series, perhaps a reunion with the Houston Astros makes sense as well, it seems much more likely that a team looking to build around Correa will spend more on him for more years.
The Chicago Cubs have always been one of the most heavily rumored teams around Correa, and after a tumultuous 2021 that saw Chicago ship off everyone not named Wilson Contreras, they have tons of money to spend. The Tigers likely priced themselves out after signing Javy Báez and the Astros never seemed too interested in re-signing Correa given that their extension talks last year never got past $125 million total. Correa will be looking for much more than that.
Prediction: Chicago Cubs