3 contracts Cubs can trade to free up room for Carlos Correa

Chicago Cubs, MLB Free Agency

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Carlos Correa, Detroit Tigers

Sep 20, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) is greeted in the dugout after scoring a run against the Los Angeles Angels in the eighth inning at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Cubs have been linked to Carlos Correa, so much so the free agent shortstop even admitted he’d want to play at Wrigley Field. The fit isn’t so simple, though.

Correa’s contract demands are hefty, and there’s no evidence thus far the Cubs are interested in paying anywhere close to $300 million for his services, especially not during a lockout where communication between players and teams is tough to come by. Any free agent leaks were typically aged a few weeks from pre-lockout times, rather than fresh off the presses.

The 27-year-old shortstop turned down a 10-year, $275 million offer from the Detroit Tigers a few months ago, which led them to sign Javy Baez instead. This is despite Detroit having hired Correa’s former manager A.J. Hinch over a year ago, making the link between the two sides rather obvious.

Correa and Chicago don’t have many obvious links, despite the fact that the Cubs could use all the help they can get. The Cubs have spoken to Correa’s reps, at least at some point in his process. Correa has spoken to former Cubs like Javy Baez about what it’s like to play in Chicago, proving that he either does a ton of research or, perhaps, is as interested as he seems.

We’ll go with both.

But for the Cubs to make this dream a reality, the Ricketts’ family could use a break on a few bad financial investments from past seasons.

3 players Cubs should break up with: Jason Heyward

The Cubs would love to part ways with Heyward and his remaining $44 million on his contract. Chicago doesn’t have an out on Heyward, so the only way they can hope to get rid of him for now would be via trade.

Unfortunately, Heyward isn’t the impact player the Cubs thought he would be when they signed him to a contract in 2016. The best decision for Chicago moving forward would be one of the following:

The Cubs could agree to pay the remainder of Heyward’s deal, and trade him elsewhere for a low-level prospect. This doesn’t net Chicago much of a return and forces them to still pay the remainder of his contract. It’s not a good idea.

Second, the Cubs could try to trade Heyward to another rebuilding team with the hopes they’d be willing to pay out the remainder of his deal. Teams do need outfield help, and Heyward remains a good defensive player. What’s the catch? Well, the Cubs would have to attach a prospect, potentially a high-level one, to get a team to take on Heyward’s deal. This is especially true with the uncertainty of a new CBA, once it’s agreed to.

Either way, unless the Ricketts’ change course and are willing to swallow a lot of cash, it’s unlikely both Correa and Heyward are on the Cubs’ roster to start next season.

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