Carlos Correa agrees with Twins after talks with Mets fell through
All-star shortstop Carlos Correa and the Minnesota Twins are finalizing a six-year, $200 million contract, pending a physical, after weeks of wrangling to salvage a deal with the New York Mets fell through, sources familiar with the situation told him. to ESPN.
The stunning turnaround caps a whirlwind month for Correa, who agreed to a 13-year, $350 million contract with the San Francisco Giants on Dec. 13. After the Giants raised concerns about the surgical repair of Correa’s right leg, he quickly switched to the Mets, who offered him a 12-year, $315 million contract. The Mets also raised concerns about his fitness, and efforts to amend the deal failed, leading Correa back to Minnesota, where he too signed after a turbulent offseason last year.
The deal includes a buyout option that can add another four years to the deal and will become official if Correa passes a medical, which is expected to begin Tuesday and continue through Wednesday, according to the sources. The focus will be on his lower right leg, which was broken in 2014 during a minor league game. Correa hasn’t spent time on the disabled list with a sore right leg in his eight-year major league career, but the Giants and Mets medical staff were concerned about how the leg would age.
The 28-year-old Correa is among the best shortstops in the game and entered the winter hoping to clinch the megadeal he missed last offseason, when he settled for a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Twins that included an opt-out clause after the first season. Correa hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and top-tier defense, leaving the Twins hoping he would consider returning after filing for free agency.
Minnesota never intended to play in the $300 million-plus neighborhood, and after Aaron Judge returned to the New York Yankees, the Giants, looking for a franchise player, surpassed that number for Correa, leaving the Twins to deal with. to salvage his winter by signing outfielder Joey Gallo and catcher Christian Vázquez. Meanwhile, they loomed as the backup plan for Correa, excited to potentially add him to a lineup that also includes All-Stars Byron Buxton and Luis Arráez plus top prospect Royce Lewis, José Miranda, Jorge Polanco, Max Kepler, Nick Gordon, Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach.
If Correa passes his physical, the Twins are more familiar with his medical situation than any other team and, earlier this winter, considered a 10-year, $285 million deal, which is about what the current deal would end if option exercised: Minnesota will enter 2023 with high hopes of winning the AL Central.
Meanwhile, the Mets will go into spring training without the player that player owner Steve Cohen told the New York Post “puts us over the top” right after the team and Correa agreed to terms. It was the shock coup of the winter, a middle-of-the-night Mets coup that took the most expensive team in baseball history and added a two-time All-Star and a lauded postseason player who would bring the payroll to nearly of $500 million.
What came next mirrored what had allowed the Mets to have a shot at Correa in the first place. When the Giants refused to give Correa the fourth-biggest deal in baseball history because of the leg, he wasted no time agreeing with the Mets less than 12 hours later. After the Mets’ physical raised similar questions, Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, continued to engage in discussions with the team, aware that a failed second physical could potentially torpedo the market for Correa. Talks with the Mets drew closer to three weeks, and the lack of substantive progress pushed Correa back on the market, questionable medicals and all.
They certainly ended up having an effect on the length of the deal, though Correa’s average annual salary of $33.3 million will be the second-highest at the position, behind Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor, whom Correa planned to have alongside him in the Third base. The deal falls short in total dollars of the 11-year deals signed by fellow shortstops Trea Turner ($300 million with Philadelphia) and Xander Bogaerts ($280 million with San Diego) this winter, but trails only the nine-year contract and Judge’s $360 million in annual value.