Though it’s perhaps little consolation for those of you who were pining for Carlos Correa, it sounds like the Cubs may have put forth a significant offer to the shortstop. Correa’s courtship took a very unexpected turn once the lockout ended, leading him to take a three-year, $105 million deal with the Twins that features opt-outs after each of the first two seasons. That deal would not have made sense for the Cubs, who would have wanted more of a guarantee as they rebuild their roster.
As it turns out, they may actually have offered exactly the kind of seven-year deal they were reportedly interested in convincing Correa to accept. As MLB Network host Stephen Nelson told Laurence Holmes of 670 The Score, it wasn’t just a matter of rumors tying the Cubs to the former Astro.
“Correa and the Cubs, there was not just a little smoke there,” Nelson said. “There was a huge offer thrown Carlos Correa’s way in Chicago, but because of some representation issues, let’s say, with Correa and his camp, that deal never came to pass.”
Though Nelson didn’t offer additional specifics at the time because he had the audacity to prioritize the supervision of his infant over spilling a little tea, he later tweeted some additional context. Those “representation issues” stemmed from Correa’s move from William Morris Endeavor to Scott Boras in January, the wake of which apparently washed the Cubs’ offer overboard.
For better context than I could give while chasing a crawling 8-month-old: I was told the Cubs offered Correa a 7-year deal worth more than $30M/year. But in the complicated nature of Correa’s agent switch, that deal was never even presented to him. https://t.co/hNgoUHGfmr
— Stephen Nelson (@StephenNelson) April 6, 2022
At first blush — and upon further review, more on that later — it seems really odd to think that no one from the Cubs rekindled talks with Boras after the move. However, this does kind of track with another report about WME being entitled to a majority of Correa’s new deal since he had fielded offers prior to firing them. There’s also the notion that the Cubs’ offer probably seemed laughable at a time when the expectation was that Correa would get at least 10 years and $340 million.
Even if the Cubs were at $35 million AAV, you’re looking at nearly $100 million less than the projected target on a deal that probably didn’t have immediate opt-outs. So while the deal Correa signed with the Twins is less than one-third of what Francisco Lindor and Fernando Tatis Jr. have gotten, he’s got all kinds of flexibility and can hit free agency again at either 28, 29, or 30.
That means the Cubs could very well jump right back in on him if the opportunity presents itself again this offseason.
“So that is why with those opt-outs, if I’m a Cubs fan, I’m keeping an eye on the Minnesota Twins this year,” Nelson added. “Because if they struggle and Correa has a good year – let’s put that one first. If Correa has a great year, you know he’s opting out again – whether or not the Twins are good or not. I think that’s something that will be revisited on the North Side of Chicago, is Carlos Correa.”
I’m not sure that’s the spoonful of sugar you need to make the medicine of a disappointing offseason go down, but I guess it’s something. It’s more like calling cough syrup “grape flavored” when it’s really just a purpler shade of gag juice for those who are really pessimistic about what the Cubs have done. Or haven’t done, since their strategy all winter seemed to hint at bigger moves that never came to fruition.
If we can get back to the veracity of the whole Correa report, though, I’m having a really hard time seeing it clearly. It feels like there were kernels of truth that maybe got turned into popcorn and slathered with butter. I don’t doubt the Cubs advanced a feeler about a seven-year deal and I think the AAV is probably accurate as well. But the idea that said offer just, whoopsidoodle, slipped through the cracks and never even made it to Correa seems odd.
I supposed there’s also reason to wonder whether there was really an offer at all or if this was a convenient way to put a little positive spin on the non-pursuit of Correa and most other big-ticket free agents. Not that the Cubs have ever used a member of the media to advance a report about an offer well north of $200 million that a player didn’t accept.