With the most recent comments by Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa regarding his future, it is becoming more apparent that Correa has set his sights on testing the free-agent market in hopes of landing a big-time contract. The question is, where will he land? Several teams will be looking to add a high-caliber (and clutch postseason) player like Correa to their roster. Oh, and he has been known to flash the leather on defense at least once or twice!
Even though the Astros did not offer Correa a contract extension before the start of the season, it does not necessarily mean Houston is out of the running to bring him back. Correa has said that he wants to play for the Astros for the rest of his career. This is possible, but Astros owner Jim Crane will have to open his checkbook and pay Correa for that to happen. Not known for extending long-term contracts, the Astros will have to go against their norm because Correa will want a lot of years on this contract. It will be tough, but the Astros can do it if they want to contend in the future.
New York Yankees
It comes as no surprise that the New York Yankees would make this list. Every offseason, the Yankees are a team that seems to be tied to every top free agent there is, and rightfully so. The Yankees are known to spend money to build a championship team, which is still a work in progress since the 2009 title. As it currently sits, the Yankees are ranked 17th overall in offense with a combined team batting average of .236. If the Yankees want to be competitive, they are going to need to fix that. Correa’s addition will add more offensive power to a lineup stacked with power hitters.
From a defensive standpoint, especially at shortstop, the Gleyber Torres experiment has not quite worked out for the Yankees. There is no disrespect to Torres, but when we look at the wins above replacement numbers between Torres and Correa, it is night and day. This season Correa leads all shortstops with a 0.8. Torres is currently eighth at 0.5, only a few ticks behind Trevor Story. This is something the Yankees will consider when they begin trying to court Correa to New York.
The Detriot Tigers could be a team that sneaks in at the eleventh hour to sign Correa. Something special is brewing with the Tigers, and it has to do with former Astros manager AJ Hinch. It is no surprise that many current and former Astros players loved playing for Hinch, and a reunion between Correa and Hinch might be just the ticket to get the Tigers back in the postseason. Given recent comments by Hinch, the Tigers are hungry for a World Series championship.
The Philadelphia Phillies are a team that could desperately use an upgrade at shortstop. A top-five payroll club, the Phillies are ready to make it back to the postseason. With President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski at the helm, known for retooling rosters, it would be not very smart if he failed to make a play for Correa this offseason. The Phillies are a key player away from possibly winning a World Series. With one of the best players in Bryce Harper in the lineup, the Phillies need to build around their star. By bringing in a high caliber player like Correa, Dombrowski might get the Phillies over the hump to take the National League East and bring another pennant to the City of Brotherly Love.
There is no doubt that Correa will be the most coveted free agent this offseason. His clutch moments at the plate and his superb gold glove defense will make any team a contender. It will take the right contract to sign Correa, so front offices better be prepared to sign Correa to a long-term deal. As Astros fans say, Pay The Man!
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