Many people inside and outside the industry have long predicted the Tigers as the eventual landing spot for top free agent shortstop Carlos Correa. The calculus to get him there is relatively straightforward. The Tigers have the clearest need in the league at shortstop. They are an up-and-coming team with a relatively clear financial ledger. There’s a clear interpersonal link with manager A.J. Hinch having managed Correa in Houston.
Everything adds up – except that the Tigers aren’t planning on putting all their free agent dollars in a single basket, making Javier Baez or Marcus Semien more likely targets for Detroit, per Jon Heyman of the MLB Network, (via Twitter). The Tigers already made a significant financial investment to Eduardo Rodriguez, so there’s certainly some logic to Detroit targeting the mid-tier free agent shortstops.
The Rangers are also showing interest in Semien, per Jon Morosi of MLB Network (via Twitter). If the Rangers can add a top shortstop, Isiah Kiner-Falefa could move back to third base, where he previously won a gold glove award. Texas has also shown interest in Corey Seager and Trevor Story. Texas is reportedly willing to spend upwards of $200MM for the right guy, per Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.
Semien, at 31, is presumably looking for a shorter-term deal that Correa, who can reasonably expect a deal in the $200-300MM range. Semien’s deal, while significant, will presumably fall far short of that range, even after a 7.3 rWAR season. MLBTR predicted Correa to get more than double Semien in terms of raw dollars ($320MM over ten for Correa, $138MM over six for Semien).
The Blue Jays, of course, continue to have interest in a reunion with Semien, though their needs are flexible enough that a bidding war could push them in a different direction. Like the Tigers, the Jays have already spent significant money this winter in the form of a reasonable extension for Jose Berrios.