Well, the third time is the charm. Superstar shortstop Carlos Correa is reportedly signing with the Twins after his megadeal with the Mets fell through. The contract, which is pending a physical, is for a guaranteed six years and $200 million, with a vesting option for an additional four years and $70 million, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.
Correa, 28, had initially signed a 13-year, $350 million deal with the Giants last month during winter meetings, but San Francisco released Correa from the agreement after team doctors were concerned about his surgically repaired right leg. New York swooped in and hours later agreed to sign him for 12 years and $315 million. That same lower-leg injury also caused the Mets to back out of that deal, and the two sides spent nearly three weeks trying to work out a new contract. They couldn’t do it, and now Correa appears to be heading back to Minnesota.
We asked some of our MLB writers to weigh in on the latest development in the Correa saga. Here’s what they had to say.
Pending physical is doing a lot of work here, but no team is more familiar with Correa’s current health than the Twins, his most recent employers. This process has played out in ridiculous fashion, but if this is the final result, it does seem like a good outcome for everyone: The Twins raved about Correa’s leadership last season, and Correa said he loved playing there. The biggest loser might be Mets owner Steve Cohen, who confirmed to the New York Post on the record that his team had agreed to terms with Correa; if Correa’s representative, Scott Boras, wants to file a grievance about the way the Mets handled Correa’s physical, he would seem to have a case.
Somehow, the Giants no longer are the biggest losers in the Correa sweepstakes. That title belongs to the Mets, who despite their endless pool of financial resources were unwilling to give the 28-year-old more guaranteed money than the smaller-market Twins over the first six years of the deal. According to Jon Heyman of the New York Post, New York’s best new offer was six years for $157.5 million, with a conditional option for another six years. That deal could’ve maxed out at $315 million—the same total value New York had initially offered—but it would have required Correa to meet more conditions than he has to meet with the Twins for the option to kick in, per Heyman. Altogether, Correa’s choice makes perfect sense: With Minnesota, he gets $42.5 million more guaranteed and has a greater likelihood of his option vesting.
“This puts us over the top,” Steve Cohen told the Post about signing Correa while he was taking his premature victory lap. By that logic, the Mets are back below the top—all because of an injury that happened when Correa was still in the minors and hasn’t been a problem since. The Mets remain the game’s most confounding franchise.
Well, well, well. How the turntables…
As former president George Bush once said: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, can’t get fooled again. It’s a lesson we all would have been wise to heed after Correa’s deal with the Giants fell through and he reached an agreement with the Mets: Nothing is official until it’s actually official. So while a Correa-Twins reunion would certainly make waves in the American League Central (and leave MLB’s highest-priced team out in the cold for a change), the prudent thing to do here would actually be to wait until all the I’s have been dotted and the T’s have been crossed. At least this time, we don’t have to imagine what Correa will look like wearing the jersey of his new/old home.