The Philadelphia Phillies were the first team to make a major move in the shortstop market this offseason when they agreed to an 11-year, $300 million deal with Trea Turner, per ESPN's Kiley McDaniel and Jeff Passan, but the Chicago Cubs may not be far behind.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported the National League Central team sees Dansby Swanson as "their most realistic target at shortstop, assuming they don't go big for [Carlos] Correa."
He notably called the idea of signing both Swanson and Xander Bogaerts "far-fetched" after Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reported the Cubs could go that route and ask the latter to switch to third base.
Chicago's interest in Correa is nothing new.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reported the team "jumped into the Correa sweepstakes" last offseason before he signed with the Minnesota Twins, and he would be a major addition for a club looking to return to competitiveness after two consecutive losing seasons.
Correa's resume includes a World Series crown, Rookie of the Year, Gold Glove and two All-Star selections, and he could be the new face of a team that has lost Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javier Báez and Willson Contreras, among others, in recent years.
The team has already been aggressive this offseason by adding Cody Bellinger on a one-year, $17.5 million deal, per Passan, and pitcher Jameson Taillon on a four-year, $68 million deal, per ESPN's Jesse Rogers.
Yet it needs more star power and could be counting on the shortstop market to provide it.
Swanson is more than just a consolation prize, though, considering he is coming off a season that saw him win a Gold Glove and make his first All-Star Game. He slashed .277/.329/.447 with 25 home runs and 96 RBI for the Atlanta Braves in 2022 and helped lead them to a World Series title the previous season.
Chicago would likely respond to signing Swanson or Correa by moving Nico Hoerner off shortstop and bolstering the middle infield defense as it looks to build a contender as soon as next season.