Carlos Correa Finally Finds A Team, Staying Put With Minnesota Twins

With little more than a month before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, the off-season odyssey of one position player finally has an ending.

Carlos Correa has agreed to a six-year, $200 million Minnesota Twins contract significantly less in overall value than the previous offers he received from the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets.

The star shortstop, who has spent his entire career in the American League, had agreed to a 13-year, $350 million deal with the Giants, pending passage of a physical that he ultimately failed.

Then the Mets swooped in, announcing agreement on a 12-year, $315 million deal. But the New York doctors also wouldn’t approve.

Although Mets owner Steve Cohen had called Correa “the piece we need” to become a bona fide World Series contender, he and Scott Boras, Correa’s agent, were unable to restructure the years and dollars in the original offer.

As a result, the 28-year-old Puerto Rican has accepted a new offer from the Twins, who had signed him out of free agency last winter, giving him a three-year, $103 million contract with an opt-out clause after the first two seasons.

Correa was widely considered the best of four elite shortstops eligible for free agency during the current off-season. Trea Turner signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, Xander Bogaerts with the San Diego Padres, and Dansby Swanson with the Chicago Cubs.

The Twins had hoped to keep Correa after finishing third in the American League Central, 14 games behind the Cleveland Guardians, with a 78-84 record, but were outbid by the Giants and Mets before medical issues intervened.

According to Jon Heyman of The New York Post, the Twins have already completed the major part of Correa’s physical. In addition, the team is familiar with him because he was with them last year.

Their offer includes four vesting years that could pay the shortstop an additional $70 million. Unlike his last Minnesota pact, this one has no opt-out clauses.

Once he signs, Correa’s new contract will have a guaranteed value of $33.33 million per year, greater than the $26.25 million annual average value of the latest reported revamped offer from the Mets.

Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY wrote that the Mets, worried about the status of his right leg, would not guarantee anything more than eight years.

When Correa was 19, he fractured his leg sliding and needed surgery to repair it.

Doctors inserted a metal plate – still in place today – to stabilize the leg. He has had no issues with it since but told reporters last year that the leg went numb and vibrated after a hard slide into second base.

Although he didn’t miss any time from that particular injury, Correa has had trouble staying healthy. He has not played as many as 150 games in any season since 2016.

A healthy Correa is one of the best shortstops in the game. The owner of a Rookie of the Year trophy, Gold Glove, and World Series ring, he has a .279 lifetime average and 155 home runs over eight seasons, most of them with the Houston Astros. He also has 18 post-season homers in 16 series.

More than a dozen teams courted Correa during the Baseball Winter Meetings in San Diego.

Losing Correa puts a damper on Cohen’s extensive and expensive winter signing spree, which brought Justin Verlander, Jose Quintana, and Japanese star Kodai Senga to the pitching rotation and kept closer Edwin Diaz and center-fielder Brandon Nimmo, among others, in Mets livery.

With Francisco Lindor the incumbent shortstop, the team had planned to shift Correa to third base for the first time. Since he’s apparently staying put with the Twins, the Mets may give rookie Brett Baty a chance to unseat veteran incumbent Eduardo Escobar.