After Jameson Tylon is out, will Carlos Correa be the next Cubs player? originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
SAN DIEGO – Don’t stop now.
The day after baseball’s first player of the winter was signed for $300 million, on Tuesday the Cubs began fulfilling months-long promises to get through this winter in an attempt to “absolutely” try to compete in 2023.
It wasn’t quite the level of Trea Turner’s 11-year contract with the Phillies on Monday. But hold that thought for a moment.
The Cubs did put $82.5 million into their first offseason free agent deals, including a significant addition to their four-year rotation of right-hander Jameson Tylon, $68 million.
It came late Tuesday night, about eight hours after former MVP nominee Cody Bellinger received $17.5 million for the year.
“I think the Tom-Tom drum is finally beating again,” agent Scott Boras said Tuesday of Tom Ricketts and the Cubs family ownership.
It was a drum that slowly thumped amid the booming industry until Tuesday.
Now the big question is how much more money a team that has just played two seasons in a row will bring in.
And by big question, we mean a big-name, big-money contract that will signal a tipping point in this latest rebuild and a bona fide start for the Next Great Cubs team president Jed Hoyer.
Carlos Correa anyone?
It’s no coincidence that Boras was asked how he felt about the Cubs’ spending intentions as an agent for pals Correa and Xander Bogarts, ace starter Carlos Rodon, All-Star outfielder Brandon Nimmo, and incidentally, Bellinger.
Boras did not comment on the details of any of his conversations with Cubs officials, or even their well-documented and serious pursuit of Correa, arguably the top free agent shortstop this winter.
But sources say Boras had at least a brief conversation with Ricketts after the season ended.
And his comment on Tuesday was in line with what Dave Kaplan reported to NBC Sports Chicago on Monday: Ricketts instructed Hoyer to add enough talent to get the Cubs out of their two-year malaise and gave the green light to spend what it takes.
And manager David Ross acknowledged on Tuesday that he and Hoyer met with Correa, the free agent’s wife and Boras on Monday – just one of “many players” Ross has met as part of the recruiting drive the Cubs are undertaking on countless fronts. add the talents of the middle infield, pitching, bats and outfielders.
Tuesday’s two deals may have even hinted at Hoyer’s overall plan for the winter, especially considering Tylon is introducing yet another contact pitcher in a Cubs rotation already packed with them, highlighting the need for a Golden Glove shortstop like this. like Correa to help reinforce a less-than-impressive working infield (especially with extreme infield changes banned from next year).
Not to mention, Golden Glove outfielder Bellinger was in top form at the All-Star Game.
If the Cubs weren’t focused on Correa until Tuesday, they certainly are now.
And sources suggest they are as deeply involved in trying to get him as anyone this side of the Gemini — despite the fact that the price is widely believed to be higher than Turner’s, as the youngest (28) of the four known shortstop and the only group not tied to a qualifying offer and subsequent compensation for being drafted.
“We have several teams and several offers that have come in over the past few days,” Boras said of his two stars in the position.
The Cubs are on their way with Correa, the player they’ve been coveting since their mind-blowing training at Wrigley Field before he was selected No. 1 by the Astros in 2012. And they have a serious conversation with Atlanta’s free agent Dansby. Swanson as at least a possible plan B (while Ricketts’ mandate supports reports suggesting they could be in play for both).
“Whether or not we get one of these short stops will be announced at a later date,” Cubs general manager Carter Hawkins said of that pool of positions Tuesday night. “But we’re certainly actively involved and we’ll see where things land.”
Several sources said they expected this to be resolved within a few days or less “because,” as one source put it, “the buddy market is hot.”
As for the Bogaerts, several other teams appear to be more serious than the Cubs, whose interest was described as “tire kicking” by a source familiar with their dialogue.
“I know we play a lot of players,” Ross said. “And there are a lot of great players out there. There are also a lot of great teams trying to add players.”
The Cubs have faced “dozens” of players.
But Correa will be the pearl of their winter. Big investment in big game player (18 homers, .849 OPS in 79 postseason games). An investment that brings talent to the roster and credibility to the process.
Just a few months ago, during the season, Correa said he spoke briefly with the Cubs last winter, but “I didn’t want to participate in the reconstruction.”
This time, “there was no doubt on his part about any of the teams that approached us.”
Ross and Hawkins said it’s not like they’re advertising free agents to convince them they’re not rebuilding anymore.
But there was a lot of talk about the vision and what’s next for a team with consecutive losing seasons and lots of gaps to fill.
“Just be realistic about where you are. You talk about the plan and how you’re going to execute it,” Hawkins said. “It would be unrealistic for us to say that next year we will become a team with 105 victories. So we don’t do it.
“But we’re talking about the path we’re on, the improvements we’re making, and how this player will fit into that plan.”
The addition of $71 million starter Marcus Stroman last winter and Jameson Tylon this time around can’t hurt the messaging.
But this cannot be the last word.
Because the only way the Cubs will keep their 2023 promises and make money is to keep beating the drum. And if the beat goes on
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