Carlos Correa hiring super agent Scott Boras made headlines earlier this week because it was a clear grab for the star shortstop to become the highest-paid shortstop in the game following Corey Seager’s $325 million pact with the Texas Rangers.
So how does this affect the Los Angeles Dodgers? Well, we learned before the lockout that they were among the teams to contact Correa and then it was rumored LA would be battling it out with the Astros once transactions were permitted again.
Now with Boras in the fold, we can probably expect to see Correa eclipse Francisco Lindor’s $341 million contract. We really don’t know if the Dodgers were ever keen on giving out another $300 million deal because they tried to defer a good portion of the money in a reported offer to Seager, so it’s clear there’s some hesitation.
Though Boras entering the fold has no doubt limited the number of suitors for Correa, it does have us wondering if one may come out of nowhere. Could the Washington Nationals make a run at the star slugger because of their relationship with Boras?
Could the Nationals steal Carlos Correa from reported top suitors, such as the Dodgers?
Though a lot of other teams also do, the Nationals have a long history of employing Boras clients: Max Scherzer ($210 million), Stephen Strasburg ($245 million), Bryce Harper, Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Anthony Rendon, Erik Fedde, Seth Romero and Keibert Ruiz (in terms of the most recent).
Additionally, Washington has just $112.5 million committed to 2022 and $94.5 committed to 2023. We know there’s a mammoth extension for Soto on the way in the next few years, but with Patrick Corbin’s money coming off the books after 2024, is it conceivable for the Nats to invest a combined ~$800 million in both Soto and Correa? With how the future of MLB is looking, it’s not going to be uncommon to have two guys making $30-plus million in the payroll.
The Yankees are pretty much doing it with Gerrit Cole ($36 million) and Giancarlo Stanton ($29 million) for 2022, but Stanton’s AAV escalates to $32 million from 2023-2025.
When you realize the Nationals are likely going to want to contend sooner rather than later and there are no shortstop prospects nearing their MLB debuts, there’s an immediate need for possibly the most important position on the field. But they do have building blocks in Josiah Gray, Keibert Ruiz, Carter Kieboom, and, possibly, Luis Garcia and Lane Thomas.
If they believe that young core can develop quickly, then bringing Correa on board to compete in what could be a weakened NL East (Braves and Phillies could very well get worse and the Mets are the Mets, regardless of who is on the roster) is a bold idea if you’re willing to stomach the investment.
We wouldn’t count on it, but keep an eye on the Nationals post-lockout, because their moves last offseason and leading up to the trade deadline indicate they’re up to something, and with a generational player like Soto on the roster, they don’t have time to waste.