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What a turn of events the MLB offseason can create. As of Monday, the Chicago Cubs were not one of the reported favorites for Carlos Correa's services this winter. The San Francisco Giants and Minnesota Twins were the top suitors — reportedly. However, less than 24 hours later, the Cubs are supposedly still in the conversation, according to The Athletic's Jim Bowden.

Bowden elaborated on each of his top 25 remaining free agents. Correa and Swanson, No. 1 and 3, respectively, have some interesting dialogue surrounding the Cubs.

Carlos Correa

Aug 24, 2022; Houston, Texas, USA; Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa (4) hits a RBI sacrifice RBI against the Houston Astros in the third inning at Minute Maid Park.

In regards to Correa, Bowden notes "there have been indications the Twins and Cubs have the inside track." That report is quite the contrast to what Steve Phillips of MLB Network indicated on Monday. That said, Bowden continues by noting "it only takes one owner from another team to step up at the last minute to change the equation and pull off a deal [for Correa]." 

With this latest development, one has to think the Cubs and Twins are getting closer to making a decision on Correa. Reports surfaced on Monday from LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune that the Twins are trying to determine over the coming days if they have a real shot at landing Correa. If they decide they need to pivot, that could open the window for the Cubs to sign Correa before Christmas.

In addition, it appears the sportsbooks might have some insider information as well. A recent odds release pins the Cubs as the favorite to land Carlos Correa. Take it for what you will, but that is certainly intriguing.

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The team the Cubs need to be concerned about is the Giants. If any club is willing to pony up big dollars for a marquee player, especially after missing out on the Aaron Judge sweepstakes, it's San Francisco. However, if the Cubs truly have this significant inside track on Correa, then they need to capitalize before the Giants or any other team in need of a shortstop comes out of left field and steals him.

Dansby Swanson

Oct 12, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson (7) fields the ball and throws out Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos (8) at first base in the seventh inning during game two of the NLDS for the 2022 MLB Playoffs at Truist Park.

If one of those major teams does in fact swoop in for Correa, the Cubs will reportedly turn to Dansby Swanson as the shortstop of the future. As Bowden notes, "the Cubs appear to be the most likely to sign Swanson if they don't get Carlos Correa."

Swanson makes plenty of sense for the Cubs. They need the defensive improvement, some thump in the lineup, and a proven winner. Swanson checks all those boxes, just as Correa does. However, there is little doubt that Swanson's number will be much lower than Correa's. Similar to Correa, the hope is that the Cubs can gift their friends a shortstop for Christmas with a signing in the coming days.

Keep in mind that the Cubs will have the same competition for Swanson as they will for Correa. A number of teams need a legitimate shortstop after the latest movement involving Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner. In other words, it isn't as simple as "sign Swanson if they miss on Correa." There are plenty of roadblocks with this plan.

What's On Tap Next for the Cubs?

It's simple, the Chicago Cubs NEED to sign either Carlos Correa or Dansby Swanson. The Cubs lineup as currently constructed doesn't scream "contender" in 2023. However, adding one of the two remaining big fish shortstops can help change that. One move won't be enough, but it would be a hell of a start with a competitive 2023 in mind.

For now, it's a waiting game to see what the Cubs ultimately do. For fans, the next 10 days or so will surely be full of anxiety and suspense with hopes that the Cubs make a big splash.