The Chicago Cubs have been linked to Carlos Correa for the last few months, but what if they actually do sign him? The North Siders lineup would greatly improve.
The Cubs are reportedly seeking out a seven-year contract with Correa, with a lucrative yearly value over the mark he’d receive were he to seek out a decade-long deal elsewhere. That’s their pitch, anyway.
From the Cubs perspective, it allows them to offload Correa — or perhaps sign him to a more fitting contract in his mid 30’s — rather than be stuck with an aging shortstop until he’s 37 years old. For Correa, more money is more money, and perhaps the 27-year-old believes his skills and attributes will age better than the average pundit.
Who are we to judge?
To this point, Correa is still pursuing a contract near 10 years for more than the $325 million Corey Seager received. Those remain his expectations, even when the lockout does end. The Cubs’ best hope is that Correa’s contract talks drag onward, perhaps forcing him to look at offers he’d otherwise ignore.
Chicago Cubs lineup if they sign Carlos Correa
If the Cubs actually did sign Correa, their starting lineup would greatly improve. Here’s how the starting nine would line up. Please note — this is not the actual lineup David Ross would employ.
- Pitcher – Marcus Stroman
- Catcher – Willson Contreras
- First Base – Frank Schwindel
- Second base – Nick Madrigal
- Third Base – Patrick Wisdom
- Shortstop – Carlos Correa
- Left Field – Ian Happ
- Center Field – Rafael Ortega
- Right Field – Jason Heyward
Now, the Cubs have several question marks here. First of all, where does Nico Hoerner fit in, as well as the newly-acquired Clint Frazier? If the designated hitter expands to the National League, that could clear out a spot for Frazier, who is much more reliable at the plate than in the field.
Hoerner has some experience at second base and outfielder. It’s unlikely the Cubs would ask Correa to switch positions upon signing, so perhaps Hoerner could serve as a utilityman coming off the bench to start, especially with Madrigal coming back from injury.
So with that, here’s a real lineup prediction without a DH:
- Rafael Ortega
- Willson Contreras
- Carlos Correa
- Ian Happ
- Frank Schwindel
- Patrick Wisdom
- Nick Madrigal
- Jason Heyward
- Marcus Stroman
Moving Contreras to the two-hole is a risk in itself. Both Correa or Schwindel could play in that role. Happ also improved in the second half last year, and showcased his power like a cleanup hitter should.
Nonetheless, there’s plenty of room to improve with that bunch, but the lineup would sure look better with Correa involved.