There are currently a handful of MLB teams looking for a shortstop, and with money to spend.
Carlos Correa is perhaps the best free agent shortstop on the market, and could command a $300 million contract.
His play warranted it: he hit 26 home runs, scored 104 runs, drove in 92, and finished with a .850 OPS in 2021.
The Los Angeles Dodgers lost Corey Seager, the Philadelphia Phillies can bring in an upgrade, the New York Yankees badly need a shortstop, and the Seattle Mariners are looking to make a splash.
However, there is always room for surprising teams; and these two can swoop in and lure the star with an enticing project and a good contract.
2. Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox already have an elite shortstop in Xander Bogaerts, one of the best players in the big leagues.
But there is a catch here: Bogaerts has the ability to opt out of his long-term contract after the 2022 campaign.
He is making $20 million per season from 2022 to 2026.
You would have to assume he will opt out, considering he could get a much higher AAV (average annual value in this market).
Javier Baez is making more than $20 million per year in his contract with the Detroit Tigers, and Bogaerts is considerably better.
If he does, Correa could slide over to shortstop and occupy the position for the long haul.
If he opts to stay, Correa could theoretically be a very good second baseman (Rafael Devers plays third), but it remains to be seen if that’s a position he wants to play.
When it comes to money, Boston is in a position to offer a juicy contract and may need a signing of Correa’s caliber to keep up with the rest of the American League East powerhouses.
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) December 2, 2021
Additionally, Correa would be a fit for the Red Sox because it’s Alex Cora’s team.
We don’t have to go too far back to remember Cora being the bench coach of the 2017 Houston Astros team that won the World Series with Correa at shortstop.
The two men have an amazing relationship and could be reunited in Boston if the stars align.
1. Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels like Correa, and have an opening at shortstop.
However, Los Angeles is considered a “surprise” team for Correa because most of their needs are related to pitching.
That’s why they could go after Correa.
The agent for Carlos Correa has been in contact with the Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Cubs and Dodgers. Plus the Astros, who have a standing 5-year offer. Per @MarkBermanFox26.
One team not mentioned; the Angels. 2 hours until the lockout.
— Doug Rush (@TheDougRush) December 2, 2021
The team got 0.0 Wins Above Replacement (WAR) from its shortstops in 2021: something needs to be done.
Correa would fit in nicely, but it’s fair to wonder whether the Angels can accommodate another max contract considering what they are paying to Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Syndergaard, and Justin Upton.
They may have around $40 million to play with until reaching the $210 million luxury tax threshold, but the number could go up after the lockout anyway.
If that’s the case, expect the Angels to go from dark-horse team to favorite in the Correa sweepstakes.
They badly need a competent shortstop, and Correa is the best available and one of the best in the league.