The Houston Astros are reportedly considering moving superstar shortstop Carlos Correa according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Why the Astros, who cut payroll and raked in profits for years, then have sold billions of tickets, won a World Series, and gone to Game 7 in another one, are trying to cut payroll is a wild idea to wrap your head around – but here we are. And since it’s apparently happening, the Cincinnati Reds need to be pounding on the Houston Astros’ suite door tomorrow morning at 9AM at The Winter Meetings.
The Cincinnati Reds were reportedly one of the final teams being considered by Didi Gregorius before he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday afternoon according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic. While Cincinnati still has Freddy Galvis to man shortstop if needed, they were looking to upgrade this offseason. And while Didi Gregorius was likely to be a real upgrade, moving on to a player like Carlos Correa would be a next level kind of upgrade.
As the Reds roster is currently constructed, they don’t have a star player. There are guys who have been that for a season, or most of a decade – but no one that looks like that kind of player for 2020. What the Reds do have is a lot of solid to above-average players. Carlos Correa would be someone who is a different kind of expectation. The now 25-year-old hit .279/.358/.568 last season and posted 3.2 WAR in half of a season. He only played in 75 games after missing all of June, most of July, and most of September.
When he’s been on the field he’s been an MVP caliber player in three of the last four seasons. The one issue is that he’s played in 109, 110, and 75 games in each of the last three years. He’s struggled to stay on the field. That, however, is about the only negative you can come up with to hold against Carlos Correa.
Contract wise, the shortstop has two years remaining before he would reach free agency. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to get $7,400,000 in arbitration for the 2020 season. That’s not much money at all, much less for a player the caliber of Carlos Correa. The Astros need to shed payroll, which again is confusing, but that’s what their owner has said. To acquire Correa, the team may need to also take on another contract.
Even if that is needed, the Cincinnati Reds needs to call the Houston Astros, go beat down their door at the Winter Meetings, follow them back to Houston – whatever it takes, and get a deal done. Offer them the entire farm system. Carlos Correa in the Reds lineup in 2020 and 2021 changes everything. With the Chicago Cubs talking about shedding payroll and trading their own superstar in Kris Bryant, the Brewers losing Yasmani Grandal, Mike Moustakas, and talking about trading Josh Hader – the division is there for the taking for Cincinnati if they choose to go for it. The price paid would be steep, but it’s hard to see how the price wouldn’t be worth it.
Photo of Carlos Correa by Keith Allison and was edited. The license can be found here.