Just imagine Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa as a member of the Chicago Cubs. Well that almost happened.
As the Chicago Cubs prepared for the 2012 MLB Draft, they brought in the 17-year-old prospect out of Puerto Rico for a showcase. It was the first draft under Theo Epstein and the Cubs held the sixth overall pick.
The team met with Correa’s agent and according to CSN Chicago, there was a sense that he could fall to the sixth overall pick:
Less than a week later, sources said, the Cubs spent part of draft day on the phone negotiating with Correa’s camp, pushing to close a deal that would have made him the sixth overall pick. Paul Kinzer, Correa’s adviser at that point, had long-standing connections in Chicago through his associations with Aramis Ramirez, Starlin Castro, Carlos Marmol and Geovany Soto.
The Cubs kept getting strong signals that Correa could fall and felt this close to landing a potential superstar. The only wild card would be the Houston Astros, another franchise following their own tanking blueprint and holding the No. 1 choice.
The Astros wound up making Correa the number one overall pick and the Cubs took outfielder Albert Almora Jr. with the sixth pick.
Landing Correa likely would have changed the Cubs future. They probably don’t deal for Addison Russell, who has turned into an All-Star shortstop, and maybe they trade Javier Baez somewhere. Who knows?
Instead the Cubs still ended up with a loaded infield full of All-Star talent. Meanwhile, in two seasons with the Astros Correa is a .276 hitter with 41 home runs and 158 RBI’s. He’s part of a young and promising core that took the Astros to the playoffs.
I think the Cubs are happy right where they are.