The Los Angeles Dodgers figure to be major players in the free agent market after the World Series concludes, with several holes to fill after their 111-win regular season resulted in a disappointing NLDS exit.
Star shortstop Trea Turner is hitting free agency, and the team has decisions to make regarding third baseman Justin Turner and center fielder Cody Bellinger, as well as significant questions in the starting rotation.
Reports have already linked the team to Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, which would be an offensive fit that could potentially push Mookie Betts to second base.
But a new rumor from the New York Post’s Jon Heyman suggests the Dodgers are going to pursue one of the more unlikely possible targets: Carlos Correa.
Correa’s talent and on-field production certainly justify the Dodgers’ rumored interest, with a 129 career OPS+.
He also put together a 5.4 WAR season in 2022 with the Twins after a 7.2-WAR 2021 season in Houston.
Importantly, Correa’s also been an outstanding postseason performer, with a career .272/.344/.505 batting line in the playoffs. Though his stats from the Astros 2017 World Series run are forever marred by their cheating scandal.
He’s also generally been well regarded defensively, adding to his value.
But while his performance might justify the Dodgers’ pursuit, his history with the team makes this an incredibly surprising rumor.
Obviously the 2017 World Series is one thing, but Correa’s history with the Dodgers goes deeper than that.
After the news of the cheating scandal broke, Dodgers star Cody Bellinger had some harsh words for the Astros, and Correa did not take it well, telling Bellinger to ”shut the f*** up.”
Then later that same year, he and former Dodgers pitcher Joe Kelly got in a shouting match in Houston after Kelly struck him out.
The following season, when the Astros made their long-awaited return to Dodger Stadium with fans in attendance, Correa was viciously booed the entire series.
He launched a home run in the 8th inning of game two in the series, then put his ear to the crowd while rounding the bases, purposefully playing up to the ”villain” persona.
Only a few other current players have inspired more animosity among Dodgers fans; namely Madison Bumgarner and Manny Machado.
But Correa’s earned that dislike, remaining mostly unapologetic after the cheating scandal and showing up the fans after homering off Kelly, who became a fan favorite during his time in LA.
All these factors make this an extremely unlikely match, especially with other star free agent shortstops like Dansby Swanson, Xander Bogaerts and the aforementioned Trea Turner all soon to available.
But stranger things have happened, and obviously his talent justifies the Dodgers’ apparent pursuit.
Free agency starts at the conclusion of the World Series, so we could see just how serious the Dodgers are about Correa in just a matter of days.