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The Houston Astros are debating the unthinkable, and might trade away Carlos Correa.
Per Ken Rosenthal’s reporting, Astros owner Jim Crane is reluctant to pay Correa the huge sum he’ll rightfully be asking for by next summer, when he becomes a free agent. But trading Correa would hinge on the ability of the Astros to sign New York Yankees free agent DJ LaMehieu to play second base. As a result, Alex Bregman would move over to shortstop. Given the Astros expect to lose George Springer this offseason, all of this is very well possible, with the plus-30 outfielder signing elsewhere being the first domino to fall.
Per Rosenthal. “The club indeed has checked in on LeMahieu, with general manager James Click following the philosophy used by his previous employer, the Rays — try to acquire as many talented players as possible and figure out where to play them later.”
Rosenthal insists that Houston isn’t necessarily floating Correa’s name in trade talks, but they’re willing to entertain all options. There’s enough smoke to consider a Houston trade of Correa viable, even if it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense in the long-term.
So, which teams have the prospect base to make the Astros at least mull over a deal?
5. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays are involved in just about any trade or free agent conversation this offseason, with Scott Boras characterizing them as all-in this offseason. It’s a rare spot for the Jays to be in, as Toronto has typically been considered a mid-market team at best.
Yet, with the popularity of these young Blue Jays at an all-time high, what’s to stop them from making a trade of this magnitude for a 26-year-old shortstop? Correa is arguably the best player at his position in the major leagues. With Toronto nearing their competitive window, or perhaps already in it, it makes sense to add a superstar to the mix.
Toronto is thought to be the lead suitor for Cleveland Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, as well. The Blue Jays have several connections to the Indians front office, and that familiar relationship makes a trade for Lindor more likely. But if they strike out, or Cleveland won’t give in to their demands, Toronto could look elsewhere.