In Dec. 21, many declared the Mets as the winners of the offseason when they agreed with Carlos Correa, one of the best baseball players, in a 12-year, $315 million contract. . The Mets, who won 101 games in 2022, added a superstar in what they hope will be the final stretch of team owner Steven A. Cohen’s tenure. The Mets’ deal, which came after Correa’s 13-year, $350 million contract with the San Francisco Giants last week, is “pending a physical examination,” contract language that is often referred to as “terms and conditions ” on the website. .
Three weeks later, Correa, 28, who is shorter, also agreed to the deal. On Wednesday, he agreed to a six-year, $200 million contract with the Minnesota Twins, with whom he played last season. The agreement, explained by officials familiar with the discussion on condition of anonymity, confirmed its details with the team on Wednesday. After the season killed two of his previously agreed-upon contracts, Correa passed Minnesota’s medical on Tuesday, making the deal official.
Correa hasn’t signed with the Mets yet? And the Giants?
Correa’s contract with the Giants would have been the second largest this offseason, according to Spotrac. Which he believes the Mets will be the third largest. But both were held after the team completed a physical examination, with concerns centered on the long-term health of his right leg. Instead of renegotiating those trades, Correa agreed to a deal with Minnesota that guaranteed him more overall money but paid him more each year.
With the contract, Correa is only after the Mets’ Francisco Lindor among shortstops in average salary, but his contract is lower in total value than those who agreed this season of Trea Turner (11, $300 in Philadelphia) and Xander Bogaerts. (age 11, $280 in San Diego). How is his new contract different?
In his new contract with the Twins, Correa will be paid $33,333,333 per season over six years and can increase his salary to about $245 million over seven years with certain hits , according to a person familiar with the conversation. There are acquisition options built into the deal to protect the team and potentially benefit the player, including those tied to playing time and where he ranks in the regular season and playoffs.
Are protections like these unusual? Not particularly. In the past, Boras’ clients such as Ivan Rodriguez, JD Drew and Magglio Ordóñez have agreed to contracts with language to protect teams when health problems arise while continuing to pay players competitive wages.
What did the twins say?
On a low note, Minnesota tweeted a photo of Correa in a Twins jersey with the message “He’s home.” Correa’s team announced the event on Twitter and the team is expected to hold a press conference on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the deal with the media. As for Correa, he posted a statement on Instagram before his press conference:
What did the Mets say?
In a rare move, Cohen went to the autograph before it was over – a decision he regrets. “We need one more thing, and that’s it,” Cohen told Jon Heyman of the New York Post the day the deal was made. “It’s important. This puts us on top.
Heyman later said the Mets sold $1 million in tickets the day Correa’s story broke.
On Wednesday, shortly after Minnesota announced its deal with Correa, the Mets released a statement: “We are unable to reach an agreement. We wish Carlos the best.
What did the Giants say?
The Giants have scheduled a press conference for Dec. 2. 20 to introduce Correa to the press. It was canceled that day, leading to speculation that something about his autopsy was troubling them. Overnight, Mets news broke and Scott Boras, Correa’s agent, dismissed any suggestion that there was a problem with Correa’s health, telling the New York Times that “health theories are exactly what they are – theories”.
The Giants then released a statement on the conversation.
“Although we are prohibited from disclosing confidential medical information, as Scott Boras said publicly, there is a different opinion about the results of Carlos’s examination,” said the statement to Farhan Zaidi, the head of the baseball team. . “We wish Carlos the best.”
Zaidi then addressed the issue in more detail in a conference call with battered reporters, disputing the idea that the team had blinded Correa and Boras with their concerns.
OK, is Correa hurt? The short answer is no. The answer is long. Almost all speculation and anonymous reports have focused on the condition of Correa’s right leg. In 2014, two years after Houston selected him as the first overall pick, Correa was on the rise for Class A Lancaster when a bad slide in the third inning sent his pitcher into the dirt. Correa, who was 19 at the time, was taken off the pitch.
What was initially diagnosed as an ankle injury turned out to be a broken fibula, which was described as a minor injury. He underwent season-ending surgery five days after the injury, and Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ general manager at the time, said the team expected Correa “to be right back where he was when he was hurt.” “.
That certainly seemed to be what had happened. In 2015, Correa started the season with class AA Corpus Christi and was promoted to class AAA Fresno after 29 games. He excelled there and was called up to the Astros after only 24 games at the senior level. In Houston, he hit .279 with 22 homers and 14 stolen bases in 99 games and his best friend Lindor, who was playing in Cleveland at the time, was named the American League Rookie of the Year. Although Correa missed a lot of time with injuries in 2017, 2018 and 2019, none of the absences involved his right leg. And he has been consistent since, playing in 342 of his team’s 384 regular-season games since the start of the 2020 season. If there are other problems in his physical examination, beyond the previous leg surgery, they have not been reported.
So the leg is not a problem at all? Head. The old ailment and its short-term solution started last season when Correa was playing for the Twins. On September 20, he attempted to steal second base and fell back after being tagged out. After the game, he didn’t worry that he hurt himself too much.
“He hit my plate,” Correa told reporters. “I had surgery and he beat him. A little bit. Shaking. So I was waiting for it to cool down. It was a little scary, but when I moved, I knew it was okay.
Apparently he was back on track the next day but missed a bit of time because of the slide.
What is the problem then? A long contract like Correa’s with the Giants and Mets carries a lot of risk and is difficult to cover. Signing in with a known issue that can limit a player’s mobility as they age will increase the risk. This is especially true for a player like Correa, who derives most of his value from his defense in the game.
Contract language and insurance changes can be included to account for the increased risk, but Boras asked Correa to leave the Giants when they wanted to change the issue, and then leave the Mets as well. The terms of the contract that Minnesota gave to Correa and Boras are acceptable.
Will the Mets make it without him? For all the money Cohen has spent this offseason — the Mets’ payroll and luxury tax are expected to reach $500 million in 2023 — the team’s offense hasn’t gotten any better than Correa. That being said, third baseman Eduardo Escobar, who hit 20 home runs in his first year with the Mets, is still under contract, as is second baseman Jeff McNeil, the winner bat of LL last season. And Lindor, although not as strong a defender as Correa, had to stay at shortstop the whole time.
So not signing Correa is a blow for the Mets, but it doesn’t really leave them with a hole in their roster. Is it worth all the fuss?
In the short term, yes. Correa has never hit 30 home runs or hit 100 runs in a season. He never stole 20 bases or won the Most Valuable Player award. But he has proven to be extremely valuable when healthy thanks to his consistently strong batting average, walk ability, good fielding and fielding.
In three seasons in which he played at least 130 games, he averaged 7.0, 7.2 and 5.4 RBIs, respectively, according to Baseball Reference. These numbers are at the end of the M.V.P. Because of his all-around game, Baseball Reference ranks him as baseball’s most valuable shortstop since 2015, even though he has played fewer games than Lindor and Bogaerts, who are second and third on the list. It’s not about talent, or leadership, in Correa. The risk for the Twins is all about Correa’s physical ability to last the length of the contract. Ultimately, the stakes are high for the Giants and Mets.
David Waldstein and Tyler Kepner contributed to the report.