After losing Carlos Correa, here are three trade targets for the Houston Astros to replace him.
It seemed somewhat likely all along, but the Houston Astros have officially lost shortstop Carlos Correa. The two-time All-Star and reigning AL Gold Glover is headed to the Minnesota Twins on a three-year, $105.3 million deal. It’s not that Correa signed elsewhere that’s a shock, it’s who he signed with. No one saw Minnesota coming.
As the Astros now look to replace Correa, there’s one free agent option who stands above the rest–Trevor Story. Rumors attached him to the Twins, ironically enough, but now he’s clearly the No. 1 free agent shortstop (and one of the top players at any position) available.
But if the Astros weren’t willing to pay Correa, it stands to reason they might not be willing to do so with Story even on a short deal as other teams also have interest to push the price up. So a shift to the trade market may be in the offing, and time is of the essence as a shortened spring training goes on and Opening Day approaches.
Here are three trade targets for the Astros to try to fill a massive void at shortstop.
Houston Astros rumors: 3 trade targets to replace Carlos Correa
3. Kevin Newman, Pittsburgh Pirates
Newman might be expendable for the Pirates with top prospect Oneil Cruz possibly ready to take over, and Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic (subscription required) suggested back in January he would be available when the lockout was over.
Newman has a rough run offensively lately, with a .226/.268/.302 slash-line over 726 plate appearances over the last two seasons combined. But he hit .308 with 12 home runs, 64 RBI, 16 stolen bases and a .800 OPS over 130 games in 2019, and bad luck seems to a factor in his recent struggles (.250 BABIP in 2020, .236 BABIP in 2021, according to Baseball Reference). Based on his .333 BABIP in 2019, somewhere better than the last two years but not quite to that season looks like his baseline offensively.
Newman made strides defensively in 2021, posting a 1.3 dWAR (via Baseball Reference). He is also cost-controlled for years, only in his first year of arbitration this year.