Late Monday night, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported that the Astros have been “floating” All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa in trade talks with other clubs due to the notion that it “is unlikely they will sign him befre he reaches free agency at the end of the season.”
Rosenthal has since updated his story though, and now reports that Houston “is not engaged in any active conversations on Correa.”
Whether someone within the Astros organization reached out to Rosenthal to provide an update or he simply corrected himself has yet to be determined, but one thing is for certain: Correa, as of now, will be a free agent this time next year.
The 26-year-old is coming off a rather underwhelming 2020 campaign in which he slashed .264/.326/.383 with five home runs and 25 RBI over 58 games played.
As uninspiring as those numbers may be, Correa made up for it in October by posting a 1.221 OPS and driving in a team-leading 17 runs en route to Houston coming up one game short of a second consecutive World Series appearance.
Given how well he performed this most recent postseason, the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year could entice a great many a club looking to upgrade their infield and make a deep run into the playoffs next year.
The Red Sox, having missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year in 2020, will certainly be one of those teams attempting to bolster their roster in many areas this offseason.
On the surface, dealing for Correa does not make all that much sense for Boston given the fact that Xander Bogaerts is the club’s everyday shortstop and is one of the best in the American League at what he does. The 28-year-old can opt out of his contract after the 2022 season, though.
Even with that in mind, a potential positional logjam has not stopped Chaim Bloom from at least exploring trades for high-caliber players thus far in his brief tenure as Boston’s chief baseball officer.
Just this week, it was reported by The Chicago Tribune that the Sox and Cubs talked about a potential Kris Bryant trade over the summer. Before that, it appeared as though the Red Sox had/have at least some interest in Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, who like Correa is entering his final year of arbitration eligibility.
That leads us to this next point: the connection Correa and Lindor share with Red Sox manager Alex Cora.
All three of Cora, Correa, Lindor hail from Puerto Rico and Cora, by all accounts, is very close with both infielders.
In Correa’s case, Cora served as his bench coach in Houston during the Astros’ march to a controversial World Series victory over the Dodgers in 2017. Cora was also Correa and Lindor’s general manager for Team Puerto Rico during the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Cora’s relationship with players such as Correa and Lindor could provide the Red Sox with the inside track on acquiring their services, as Rosenthal noted last March.
At the end of the day, the chances of the Sox acquiring Correa or Lindor before next July’s trade deadline are likely slim to none, but as was the case before his first tenure as manager ended, Cora can prove to be a selling point for players who are contemplating getting traded to or signing with Boston for years to come.
Also, for what it’s worth, Correa is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to earn $10.2 million in his final season of arbitration eligibility in 2021.