By: Eliana Detata
Jan. 29, 2023
Photo Credit: Associated Press
Nearing the end of the offseason, star shortstop Carlos Correa agreed to a six-year, $200 million dollar contract with the Minnesota Twins. It is not always common to see such a high-caliber player in the free agency pool this late in the offseason, but this was not the first reported deal Correa has agreed to this offseason.
On Dec. 14, Correa went through the same process with the San Francisco Giants, who offered him a 13-year contract worth $350 million dollars. For the time being, there was no issue with this deal; all that was pending in order for it to go through was a physical. However, the doctors inspecting Correa’s physical found an issue with his lower right leg. The issue is linked to an injury he endured in the minor leagues, which resulted in surgery in which a plate was attached to his right ankle.
The interesting fact of the matter is that Correa has been able to stay healthy and perform consistently well since the surgery, as his ankle did not hinder his play in any major way. It was determined that the impending issue in the physical were not the short-term, but the long-term concerns. The doctors were worried about the long-term effects that this plate may have, which led the Giants to question if a 13-year deal was the best route to take.
Not even 24 hours after the Giants had expressed hesitation, the New York Mets decided to take over. Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, believed the Giants were taking too long to reach a decision, so he had started looking for other interested teams for his client. On Dec. 21, they signed Correa to a 12-year, $315 million dollar contract, once again pending a physical.
Just before Christmas, the Mets flew Correa out to complete his physical. But just like the Giants, the Mets reached similar concerns regarding the longevity of Correa after inspecting his right leg. The Mets, unlike the Giants, were able to take three weeks attempting to reach negotiations with Correa, but remained unsuccessful.
The Mets tried to structure the contract such that they could back out if Correa’s injury prohibited him from playing. The language of the contract was being tossed around, trying to make both sides happy with its contents. However, this was not an attractive deal from the player's side, so Correa declined.
It is important to note that Correa would have been an influential addition to the Mets' roster. They already have Francisco Lindor at shortstop, so Correa had agreed within his contract to move over to third base. Having two young franchise players who are more than talented on both sides of the field would have increased playoff hopes for the Mets in this coming season. Correa hit .291 AVG /.366 OBP /.467 SLG with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs last season, on top of being one of the top left-sided players in the game today. However, it is evident that this long-term issue many doctors see with Correa’s right leg is enough to overshadow his performance thus far in his career.
After the deal with the Mets fell through, the Twins came back into the picture. After only having Correa for a year, they wanted more. The Twins secured him for a smaller deal compared to the two other teams: a six-year, $200 million dollar contract. This deal includes a vesting option that values the contract at a total of $270 million.
You wonder, did the Twins stick to a shorter deal for the same reason that the Giants and Mets were hesitating? A shorter deal is less risky for the Twins, especially with this concern that Correa will have injury issues in the future. However, this should not discredit the incredible traits that Correa brings to the table as an athlete.