MLB Rumors: Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor on Red Sox's long-term radar?

Darren Hartwell
NBC Sports Boston

MLB Rumors: Carlos Correa, Francisco Lindor on Red Sox's long-term radar? originally appeared on nbcsportsboston.com

Alex Cora already brought the Red Sox a World Series title. Could he bring two marquee players to Boston next?

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During an appearance Saturday on "MLB on FOX," The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal suggested Cora's presence in Boston may give the Red Sox the "inside track" on the Houston Astros' Carlos Correa and the Cleveland Indians' Francisco Lindor when both shortstops become free agents after the 2021 season.

"The Sox, in theory, could have the inside track on both players," Rosenthal says. "Their manager, Alex Cora, is from Puerto Rico, as are both players, and he was their GM in the 2017 World Baseball Classic."

We know what you're thinking: 2021 is still three years away. Why is Rosenthal bringing this up now?

We'll give you a reason: Xander Bogaerts can hit free agency after this season, and if the Red Sox don't re-sign him, they'll have a sizable void to fill at shortstop. 

Correa and Lindor certainly would fill that void; both players are younger than the 26-year-old Bogaerts yet already have established themselves as top-five shortstops in the game.

Of course, signing either player would be easier said than done. The Sox just handed out a $145 million extension to ace Chris Sale, and they want to keep Mookie Betts past 2020, they'll likely need to pay the stud outfielder close to $40 million per year. Both Correa and Lindor are elite talents who would command elite money, and Boston would need to clear serious cap space to bring them in.

Cora's connection to both players is noteworthy, though (Cora also was Correa's bench coach in Houston during the 2017 season), and likely will be highlighted if Bogaerts seeks greener pastures in free agency.

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