Trevor Story is one of two star free agent shortstops remaining on the market. To some extent, he’s in a second tier of his own at this point. Carlos Correa is the clear prize of the class. He’s two years younger than Story with more upside on both sides of the ball, and there’ll be a fairly significant gap in each player’s respective contract reflecting that.
Yet Story should be in high demand in his own right. Only one team can land Correa, and many may not want to entertain an asking price that could approach or top the $325MM Corey Seager landed from the Rangers. Story’s the only other shortstop still on the market who’s likely to offer above-average production for the next few seasons.
Let’s take a look at some potential suitors and try to peg Story’s likeliest landing spot. A few clubs are such longshots they only warrant cursory mention. The Orioles, Pirates and D-Backs aren’t in the kind of competitive window that suggests they’d make this kind of splash. The A’s and Reds are far likelier to cut payroll than make a nine-figure investment. The Rays, Brewers and Royals don’t typically spend at this level and have an abundance of infielders anyways. The Rangers have already signed both Seager and Marcus Semien in the middle infield and have Josh Jung approaching at third base.
Which teams make more sense?
Clubs With Infield Opportunity And Known Interest
Mariners — Jon Heyman of the MLB Network indicated prior to the lockout that the Mariners had put an offer on the table to Story. Seattle’s known to be pursuing infielders, and while they could roll with a group of Ty France, Adam Frazier, J.P. Crawford and Abraham Toro, adding Story would be a nice boost on both sides of the ball. President of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto has been adamant about keeping Crawford at shortstop, but if Story’s amenable, he could slide to second base and push Frazier and/or Toro into roving utility roles.
Astros — The Astros are facing Correa’s potential departure and have Aledmys Díaz as their top in-house option at shortstop. Top prospect Jeremy Peña isn’t far off big league readiness, but Houston’s a win-now club without many vacancies on the roster. Aside from perhaps left-handed relief, shortstop is the only real question mark. Signing Story would reaffirm their position as one of the best teams in the sport, and Heyman reported they’ve shown some interest.