One of the biggest questions left on MLB's free agent market is what type of deal All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa could command after baseball's lockout ends.
As one of the youngest stars on the market, the length of Correa's next contract could be as big a question as the amount of money.
WSCR's Bruce Levine took a shot at answering that question in an interview on Houston radio ESPN 97.5 FM this week, suggesting the Cubs could target Correa on a seven-year deal.
“The consensus is that a seven-year deal would be probably what the Cubs are going to try to convince Correa of doing," Levine said. "I don’t know if that’s going to get it done."
The bigger question might be whether Correa would even consider that type of offer. He reportedly turned down a five-year, $160 million offer from the Astros and a 10-year, $275 million offer from the Tigers in recent months.
“You know, a lot of people don’t believe in 10-year contracts and in long-term deals and all that,” Correa told NBC Sports Chicago in October. “But when you look at most of the 10-year contracts they’ve been giving out, the long-term deals, they’re players that are 31, 30, 32.
“I’m going to be 27 on my first year. I’m young, I’m healthy, and I perform. So we’ll see what happens.”
Levine threw out the possibility of opt outs early in the contract, which have become very common in recent years with high value, multi-year contracts, as an enticement — allowing Correa to re-enter the market. Those deals typically are often front loaded.
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Take it with a grain of salt because no communication at any level is allowed between Correa and any team during the lockout. Whatever the internal discussions might be, they could be moot by the time the lockout ends.
Many expect Correa to be in play for the top contract of the offseason, if not a record deal. Fellow shortstop Corey Seager landed a 10-year, $275 deal with the Rangers before the lockout.
Francisco Lindor signed a record deal for shortstops earlier this year via a 10-year extension with the Mets worth $341 million.
It's also all but impossible to predict what the market could look like until teams and players know what baseball's financial structure looks like post-lockout — not to mention whether the season starts on time.
But if Correa doesn't get strong offers after the lockout, maybe seven years could be in play.