Cubs, Carlos Correa free agent speculation already ramping up

Cubs, Carlos Correa speculation already ramping up originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Speculation about what could lie ahead for the Cubs this offseason is already ramping up with a week left in the 2022 season.

And in one case, speculation is restarting. We’re talking Carlos Correa, who can opt out of his three-year deal with the Twins after this season.

On the “Chin Music” podcast with Twins TV analyst Roy Smalley and Minnesota Star Tribune columnists Jim Souhan and LaVelle Neal, Souhan said Minnesota would “love" to retain Correa.

But regarding a Correa return to the Twins, Neal discussed the possibility of Correa being a fit with the Cubs this winter.

“He’s gonna want at least $35 million for X amount of years on a long-term deal,” Neal said of Correa. “I’m not sure he’s going to get it, but it only takes one idiotic owner to agree, and I’m worried that owner has already presented himself.

“And that’s Tom Ricketts of the Chicago Cubs, who has pledged to spend money this offseason. They were interested in Correa in the past. So I’m wondering about a Correa-to-Cubs deal as a way the ownership shows the Cubs fan base they’re ready to be a contender again. And that means they would sign him to a 10-year deal at a ridiculous amount of money.

“That’s the only team I could think that would probably bite on that.”

RELATED: Why Tom Ricketts feels 'really great' about 58-81 Cubs

Correa, a two-time All-Star who turned 28 last week, and the Cubs were connected at various points in his free agency last offseason, though the team didn't make an offer.

The Cubs have payroll flexibility this winter and are expected to explore the shortstop market. Correa is one of four All-Stars who could be available, along with Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson.

NBC Sports Chicago's David Kaplan recently reported mutual interest between the Cubs and Turner.

Whether a Correa-Cubs pairing comes to fruition, free agency speculation is underway.

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