Astros shortstop Carlos Correa could be traded by the World Series runners-up this offseason, according to a report from Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Correa, 25, has been a star most of his career when healthy, but his ability to remain on the field remains a question given his 132 missed games over the past two seasons. Because Houston’s young core is reaching arbitration, Rosenthal wrote, the embattled club appears keen to find ways to cut payroll.

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“No deal appears close, and the timing might not be right for such a move, considering that most teams are set at shortstop and Correa’s trade value is down,” Rosenthal reported. “But at some point, the Astros will need to make difficult decisions, and Correa might be the odd man out.”

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The Astros, just a couple of months ago considered a well-run baseball organization, have suffered repeated embarrassment since mid-October. Assistant general manager Brandon Taubman berated female reporters about the enduring employment of closer Roberto Osuna, an alleged domestic abuser, in the clubhouse after an ALCS Game 7 win. Taubman was dismissed — but not after the club without evidence called Sports Illustrated reporter Stephanie Apstein a liar in an official statement after she reported on the matter. Soon after, Houston lost the World Series to the Nationals in seven games despite being the heavy favorites. And just as the offseason was getting underway, the organization faced accusations it set up an illegal system to steal opposing signals, a case MLB is currently investigating.

While a trade of Correa would probably not rise to the level of the aforementioned incidents, it would still represent another major shake-up for the Astros, who also expect to lose ace Gerrit Cole in free agency. Houston selected Correa with the first overall pick in the 2012 MLB Draft back with it was among baseball’s worst teams, then rose all the way to a 2017 World Series title with Correa manning a middle-infield position at a high level. He has long been an integral part of the clubhouse and a foundational piece.

Correa has hit 102 home runs and in five MLB seasons recorded an .845 OPS. He also rates as a standout defensive shortstop. He has been worth 21.0 wins above replacement by Baseball Reference calculations since entering the league.

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