Cubs officials meet with Carlos Correa as he continues his search for a star shortstop

SAN DIEGO – chicago cubs President of baseball operations Jed Hoyer and supervisor David Ross visited Carlos Correa and his spouse Daniella Monday on the Southern California resort that agent Scott Boras is utilizing as a base to attach groups and purchasers throughout Winter Conferences, the sources mentioned. the athletic.

Cubs officers traveled to that off-site location close to Boras Corp. headquarters in Newport Seashore as a part of their complete method to a free-agent market that shortly escalated after the Philadelphia Phillies reached an settlement with Trea Turner on an 11-year, $300 million contract that can carry the All-Star shortstop previous his fortieth birthday. That information from the primary day of the primary Winter Conferences in three years appeared to point simply how aggressively sure groups will function with the safety of a brand new labor settlement, the probabilities of an expanded playoff discipline, and a possible return to pre-Forged spending ranges. pandemic. .

The Cubs are doing their due diligence as they attempt to rebuild their center protection, help their pitching employees and alter to approaching restrictions on defensive trades, which can reinforce the significance of athletic infielders. Correa, particularly, additionally represents a degree of star energy that the big-market franchise has been notably missing, whereas dumping gamers from the 2016 World Sequence workforce and making investments in a brand new TV community and actual property. roots round Wrigley Area.

In Correa and Xander Bogaerts, Boras represents two of the three remaining shortstops anticipated to land nine-figure offers this offseason. The Cubs have already met with Bogaerts, who performed with Ross within the Boston Crimson Sox workforce that gained the 2013 World Sequence, and Dansby Swanson. Though the Cubs submitted a bid, the workforce was not seen as a finalist by Turner, who beforehand linked with Ross and Cubs GM Carter Hawkins when he met with groups in South Florida earlier than making his closing choice. .

With early indicators pointing to a participant market, will the Cubs alter their plan of assault?

“No,” Hoyer responded flatly throughout Monday evening’s press briefing.

However there are two necessary features to think about when the baseball trade gathers on the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego: how shortly the gamers will come off the market and the way they’ll in the end be valued. Hoyer adjusted to the second and picked up the tempo when pitchers started signing en masse earlier than the house owners’ lockout started final December. The Cubs lobbied to shut a three-year, $71 million contract with marcus stroman, who had mentally ready to signal nearer to March, within the rush for an abbreviated spring coaching. If Turner’s megadeal is any indication, the Cubs might finally must readjust their price-per-win projections within the ivy systemthe pc database owned by the workforce.


Carlos Correa represents a degree of star energy that the Cubs have been conspicuously missing. (Chase Agnello-Dean/Getty Photos)

“It is onerous to know the way early offers have an effect on later offers,” Hoyer mentioned. “Typically, you see nice offers early on, nevertheless it’s onerous to get an actual really feel for them. It actually has been an aggressive market. Many agreements have been reached. Clearly, these are numbers that in some instances are increased than projections.”

The Cubs are targeted on free brokers at premium positions and are not closely concerned in commerce discussions proper now. With Willson Contreras doubtless going elsewhere, the Cubs are contemplating a number of catchers to pair with Yan Gomes, together with Christian Vázquez, who has been part of World Sequence-winning groups with the Crimson Sox and Houston Astros. The Cubs even have two-time Gold Glove winner Tucker Barnhart on their radar. Barnhart grew up within the Indianapolis space, turned a strong receiver for the cincinnati redsafter which wrestled with him detroit tigers this 12 months (.554 OPS).

The Cubs aren’t going to interchange all of Contreras’ offensive contributions, in order that they’ll attempt to make defensive upgrades behind the plate and enhance at different positions. Signal an All-Star shortstop and transfer Nico Hoerner second base can be an apparent answer. Middle discipline is one other space the Cubs want to deal with. Based mostly on defensive runs saved and above common putouts, the Cubs had been the worst defensive workforce in heart discipline. In those self same defensive classes, the Cubs ranked twenty first and twenty fifth, respectively, at second base. On offense, their heart fielders had been common (90 wRC+, fifteenth in baseball) whereas their second basemen had been under common (85 wRC+, twenty first within the sport). Even within the age of data overload, it is a staple of workforce constructing.

“There are specific truisms in baseball that I consider are true, and being sturdy within the center actually helps,” Hoyer mentioned. “Particularly with the brand new guidelines, it is actually necessary to have a extremely good protection within the center. A midfielder, you may’t conceal him on the flip anymore, so I feel that can expose these guys much more. It makes athleticism and midfield protection that rather more necessary. It is one thing we’re speaking about loads.”

In some unspecified time in the future this winter, the Cubs are going to must cease speaking and begin closing offers. Hoyer was nonetheless an worker of the Crimson Sox when Bogaerts initially signed with Boston in 2009. Swanson is extraordinarily achieved: the No. 1 decide within the 2015 draft out of Vanderbilt College, main the atlanta braves workforce that gained the 2021 World Sequence, a Gold Glove winner and an All-Star in his stroll 12 months, however not in line for a similar type of remedy Turner obtained from the Phillies. The Cubs had been concerned within the Correa negotiations earlier than MLBthroughout the lockout, throughout which Correa modified administration and employed Boras. It is honest to marvel if the Cubs can have a profitable offseason this time round with out signing one in every of what pedro gammons referred to as “the Fab 4 Shortstops”. After which, there have been three.

“The entire idea of a market being established, I simply suppose typically it takes some offers on the prime to interrupt the ice and free individuals as much as do enterprise,” Hoyer mentioned. “Now it is clear that is going to occur.”

(Carlos Correa prime picture: David Berding/Getty Photos)

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