Carlos Correa

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 75-51

MLB's Top 100 players for 2020 season: Numbers 75-51

With MLB players and owners struggling to come to terms on a return-to-play strategy for 2020, we're focusing on the actual players who will take the field when games eventually get back underway.

Over the next several weeks, NBC Sports Boston is counting down the Top 100 players for 2020. While our list won't include several aces who will definitely not play this season — Noah Syndergaard of the Mets, Luis Severino of the Yankees, and Chris Sale of the Red Sox — our countdown includes many other All-Stars.

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Red Sox closer Brandon Workman kicked off our list at No. 100, and there's another Boston hurler in the next group of 25 players. 

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez finally delivered on his considerable promise in 2019, going 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA and finishing sixth in the AL Cy Young race.

He was the rock of a rotation missing Nathan Eovaldi for most of the season, David Price for large chunks, and Chris Sale for what amounted to the final two months. Just 27 years old, E-Rod remains firmly in his prime, and with another strong season should climb even higher next year.

Click here for Part 2 of our Top 100, featuring players 75-51.

 

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

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

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

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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Correa gets ring, then gives one to his girlfriend

cp-astros-correa-girlfriend-rodriguez-110217.jpg

Correa gets ring, then gives one to his girlfriend

LOS ANGELES -- Carlos Correa and Daniella Rodriguez both left Dodger Stadium with rings.

The Astros shortstop proposion moments after Houston earned its World Series title with a 5-1 victory in Game 7 on Wednesday night.ed to his girlfriend on live televis

The proposal from her boyfriend of over a year completely surprised Rodriguez, a former Miss Texas USA.

"He had been so focused on the game," Rodriguez said. "All he ever talked about was winning the World Series, so I never really thought something like this would be on his mind, so when it all went down, I was just shocked."

She also had no idea Correa had been urged to put a ring on it by his mother, and he was plotting a proposal for several weeks. Even Correa's teammates were in on the scheme: Carlos Beltran, the Astros' 40-year-old slugger, helped the 23-year-old shortstop pick out the ring.

Correa said he gambled and waited for a dramatic finale to the Astros' first championship year.

Astros win first World Series title in franchise history with 5-1 win over Dodgers

"I knew we had championship potential, so I decided to hold out until the last game of the season," Correa said.

Rodriguez said yes, once she regained the ability to speak.

While Correa went to the clubhouse to spray champagne, Rodriguez gleefully flashed the huge ring to her fellow Astros wives and girlfriends, including Kate Upton.

She'll need a bit longer to get over the shock, however.

"Everyone knew besides me," Rodriguez said. "I'm really good at finding stuff out. Every time I had a surprise birthday party, I would always find out. So I was literally in just the complete dark about this. Everyone knew but me."

Correa and Rodriguez are living together in Houston with a beautiful puppy named Groot . Correa, the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year, had five homers and 14 RBIs in an outstanding postseason, capped by eight hits in the World Series, including two homers.

But when he wasn't raking, Correa was getting ready to surprise Rodriguez.

"I saw a picture of the ring two days ago," Astros third baseman Alex Bregman said. "We were supposed to do it (after) Game 6, but then we didn't play our game. Came back today, won the World Series, the guy proposed to his girlfriend. It was unbelievable."

The TV proposal brought back memories of Boise State running back Ian Johnson's surprise on-camera proposal to his girlfriend, Broncos cheerleader Chrissy Popadics, after Boise State's stunning 43-42 victory over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1, 2007.

Not for Rodriguez, though: She had never heard of it.

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