Here’s where Carlos Correa free agency rumors stand on Christmas

Free agent shortstop Carlos Correa cannot sign during the MLB lockout, but that hasn’t stopped the rumor mill.

Correa, once linked to the Astros, Tigers, Yankees and even Dodgers, has more recently received interest from the Chicago Cubs.

Despite the fact that the Cubs are in a retooling phase of sorts, Correa is patient enough to deal with a rebuild on a long-term contract. If he’s signing a 10-year contract, or anything close to that, he wants it to be with a team committed to winning long-term.

Correa has even stated that he admires Cubs fans and has always loved playing at Wrigley Field. His most recent compliment came late last season after the Cubs traded away Kris Bryant, Javier Baez, Craig Kimbrel and Anthony Rizzo, as he admired the fans for continuing to show up for the team despite the lack of star power.

Carlos Correa rumors: Where do Cubs stand?

Bruce Levine broke several stories this week about the Cubs’ interest in Correa, even stating that interest was mutual. But what kind of contract would the Cubs offer him?

No, the Cubs don’t want to hit Correa’s benchmarks — ten years and $300 million aren’t numbers Jed Hoyer appreciates.

Yet, Bowden proposed offering Correa seven years and $224 million with a second-year opt out. By doing so, those first two seasons would make Correa the highest-paid position player in baseball. After that, he’d have the option to opt out of the final five years and $150 million at age 29, still young enough to receive another huge payday.

There are plenty of teams in on Correa, so despite the Cubs interest being very real, they are not alone. Yet, that kind of contract structure could be perfect for a player of Correa’s stature, especially if he doesn’t receive the exact offer he’s looking for elsewhere.