What happens to the Houston Astros if Carlos Correa leaves? Well, they’ve already got a suitable shortstop ready to go.
After losing to the Atlanta Braves in six games in the 2021 World Series, Houston is facing the possibility of losing yet another one of their stars. Shortstop Carlos Correa will be looking at some pretty impressive contract offers as he enters into free agency. He’s one of the most talented players in MLB and will be impossible to truly replace.
Unfortunately for them, the Astros have a couple other free agents they may need to retain or replace.
Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, and Kendall Graveman are all pitchers on the Astros roster who are also entering into free agency this year. When considering how Houston’s starting pitching in particular performed during the World Series, it’s certainly worth looking at pitching as a high priority item that must be properly addressed this offseason.
That could make keeping Correa, a fan favorite in Houston, difficult to bring back. While the Astros might be able to make some decent offers to Correa, there’s an argument to be made that they should consider pursuing some pitchers before their absurdly talented shortstop.
So, what can Houston do if Correa leaves the Astros?
Carlos Correa free agency: Astros have replacement in mind
Well, the Astros will have a few different options available to them.
First, they can try to find a shortstop out on the market. There will be a few free agents they should consider if they want to go this route, but they’ve got a few more creative options that are worth exploring.
Both of them center around putting Alex Bregman at shortstop.
Bregman is more than familiar with the position. While he’s not as physically imposing as Correa, Bregman is an experienced shortstop after having played the position throughout his impressive college career with the LSU Tigers. During his freshman season in 2013, Bregman went out and earned the Brooks Wallace Award, which is presented annually to the best short stop in college baseball.
As it turns out, Bregman is the first freshman to have won the award.
By moving Bregman to shortstop, Houston would then have to find a new third baseman. Luckily for them, they’ve got one available who is currently playing first base: Yuli Gurriel. Like Bregman, Gurriel has experience playing the position that he could move to. Like Bregman, he’s versatile enough to be moved around. Like Bregman, he’s already on Houston’s roster.
So, if the Astros don’t want to go out and fight for a shortstop in free agency, they can go down this path and then figure out what they’d rather look for: a new third baseman or a new first baseman.
And that’s where Houston might have to get creative.