2021 MLB Free Agents: Latest Rumors on Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistDecember 22, 2021

2021 MLB Free Agents: Latest Rumors on Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and More

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    Another team has reportedly entered the Carlos Correa sweepstakes.

    The Chicago Cubs have expressed interest in the All-Star and the shortstop appears intrigued by the possibility of playing at Wrigley Field, but the same hang-ups that have plagued negotiations to this point have slowed any movement on a deal.

    Freddie Freeman, whose Atlanta Braves defeated Correa's Astros in the World Series, also remains a free agent. The length of his contract desires has been revealed, but will his beloved organization make an offer to keep him around?

    Those two topics, as well as intensifying interest in free agent Josh Harrison, headline this collection of MLB free-agent reports.

Carlos Correa, Cubs Have Mutual Interest

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    Bruce Levin of 670 The Score reported that there is mutual interest between Correa and the Cubs, but the organization would rather not engage in a 10-year agreement.

    "However, the only hesitation is about the length of the deal—not the annual average value of the contract," the report stated.

    Correa entered the offseason ranked as the top free agent available. Lofty contract expectations that include not settling for less than what Francisco Lindor received from the Mets (10 years, $341 million) and the current MLB lockout have prevented him from signing on the dotted line.

    One of the elite players in baseball, Correa is coming off a year in which he hit 26 home runs, drove in 92 runs and posted a slash line of .279/.366/.485.

    It is no wonder that the 27-year-old has received as much interest as he has. It is also no surprise that teams have been hesitant to put together a deal with him based on his parameters. Until he shows a willingness to change those expectations linked so closely to Lindor's deal, the greater the likelihood that his free-agency process drags on.

Freddie Freeman Looking for Lengthy Deal

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    Freddie Freeman remains a free agent, but when he does sign, he is looking for a six-year deal, per Jon Heyman.

    The reigning World Series champion would be 38 at the conclusion of the prospective deal.

    Freeman is a career-long Atlanta Brave and said he would rather stay with the only organization he has ever known. With interest from the Yankees and other teams sure to follow, it is only a matter of time before the Braves have to decide whether they want a player who has been their heart and soul to remain with the team.

    The first baseman is coming off a 31-home run, 83-RBI season in which he made his most plate appearances in a season (695), scored the most runs in a season (120) and finished ninth in National League MVP voting.

    If the Braves are willing to allow him to walk rather than retaining his services, Freeman will find a home with a team that values the heart, leadership and offensive output that he brings to its organization.

Josh Harrison Garnering Attention from Multiple Clubs

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    Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith tweeted that Josh Harrison has garnered the attention of multiple clubs: "After Correa, Bryant and Story sign, a name to watch will be Josh Harrison. Before lockout, his market was quietly moving with 10-plus clubs checking in and multiple offers."

    Harrison played for both Washington and Oakland in 2021, proving versatile as he played six positions in the field. That he can do that elevates his value and makes him that much more intriguing to teams looking to bolster their defenses.

    Primarily a second baseman, Harrison had a low strikeout percentage (13.4) last season and got on base 29.6 percent of the time. The 34-year-old is not likely to generate double-digit home runs, but he did enjoy a career high of 60 RBI in 2021 and his highest batting average (.279) since 2016. Those are positive trends for someone looking to catch on with his fourth team in three seasons.

    Nicholson-Smith did not indicate which clubs have expressed interest in Harrison.

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