Dec. 21, the Mets were heralded by many as the winners of the offseason after signing Carlos Correa, one of the best infielders in baseball. A 12-year, $315 million contract. The Mets, who hit 101 games in 2022, added an all-around superstar in what they hoped would be their final season on the team. Owner Steven A. Cohen Championship puzzle.
The Mets’ deal, which came after Correa’s 13-year, $350 million contract with the San Francisco Giants, was unsealed a week before, “pending a physical,” contract language that often reads like “terms and conditions” on a website. .
Twenty days later, the 28-year-old Correa pulled out of the deal. On Tuesday, he signed a six-year, $200 million contract with the Minnesota Twins, where he played last season. A person familiar with the details of the negotiations confirmed Correa’s deal with the duo on condition of anonymity.
A doubles contract is also pending. So everyone has to wait until it is over.
Didn’t Correa already sign with the Mets? What about the Giants?
Correa’s deal with the Giants would have been the second-largest this off-season. According to Spotrak. His deal with the Mets would have been the third largest. But both the teams were arrested after physical examination by both the teams. Instead of renegotiating those contracts, Correa accepted a deal with Minnesota that guarantees him far less money overall but pays him significantly more annually.
With the deal, Correa will trail only the Mets’ Francisco Lindor in average salary, but his deal is smaller in total value than what Trea Turner (11 years, $300 million with Philadelphia) and Xander agreed to this off-season. Bogarts (11 years, $280 million with San Diego).
How is his new deal different?
In his new contract with the Twins, Correa will be paid an average of $33,333,333 per season over six years and could increase his earnings to $245 million over seven years by reaching certain criteria, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. There are vesting options built into the contract to protect the team and benefit the player, including regular season and postseason awards.
First, the Twins must complete the deal, which, given Korea’s off-season thus far, is far from guaranteed.
Are such safeguards unusual?
Not particularly. In the past, Scott Boras clients like Ivan Rodriguez, JD Drew and Magglio Ordóñez have agreed to contracts that contain language protecting teams after medical problems while paying players competitive wages.
What did the Mets say?
In an unusual move, Cohen addressed the signing before it was over – something he no doubt regrets.
“We needed one more thing, and this was it,” Cohen said Jon Heyman said of the New York Post on the day the deal came together. “It was important. It puts us on top.”
Heyman later reported that the Mets sold $1 million in tickets the day the Korea news was announced.
Since then, the Mets have not discussed the deal. After all the excitement on December 21, the team is back where it started in terms of its lineup.
What did the giants say?
The Giants had scheduled a Dec. 20 news conference to introduce Correa to reporters. But it was canceled that day, with speculation that something had worried them about his physical examination.
Overnight, the Mets reported, and Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, brushed off any suggestion that Correa had health issues, The New York Times says “Medical opinions are what they are – opinions.”
The Giants took the unusual step of releasing a statement about a deal falling apart.
“As Scott Boras has stated publicly, disclosure of confidential medical information is prohibited, but Carlos’ physical examination results differed,” said a statement attributed to Farhan Zaidi, the team’s president of baseball operations. “We want the best for Carlos.”
More later Addressed the issue further In a conference call with Beat reporters, the team took issue with the idea that Correa and Boras were blindsided by their concerns.
What did Korea’s agent say before the duo’s deal came together?
Never shy, Boras was happy to talk to reporters once he found a landing spot for Correa after his troubles with the Giants.
“He was preparing himself for a new place in his life, and then there were delays and you had to go through another transition,” Boras said. told the Times Correa’s decision to move on from the Giants. “But he’s very happy to join the Mets.”
Boras described his phone call with Cohen in detail and dismissed concerns that the Mets would have any problems with Correa’s medical information. Since then, he has not commented publicly on the Mets deal.
Well, is Korea hurt?
The short answer is no. The long answer is long.
Almost all speculation and anonymous source reports center on the condition of Correa’s lower right leg. In 2014, two years after Houston drafted him The No. 1 pick in the draft, Correa was thriving for Class A Lancaster when a nasty slide to third base caught his spike in the dirt. Correa, then 19, was carried off the field.
What was originally diagnosed as an ankle injury ended up being a fractured fibula, which was described as minor ligamentous damage. He underwent season-ending surgery five days after the injury, and Jeff Luhnow, the Astros’ general manager at the time, The team said Correa is expected to “get back to where he was when he got injured.”
It certainly seemed to happen. In 2015, Correa began the season with Class AA Corpus Christi and was promoted to Class AAA Fresno after 29 games. He thrived there as well and was called up to the Astros after 24 games at the highest level of the minors. In Houston, he hit .279 with 22 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 99 games and eclipsed Linder, his close friend who played for Cleveland at the time, in the American League. Rookie of the Year.
While Correa missed significant time with injuries in 2017, 2018 and 2019, none of those breaks were related to his right leg. He has been the most durable since the start of the 2020 season, playing in 342 of his team’s 384 regular-season games. Beyond previous leg surgery, his physical examination revealed no other concerns, if any.
So no foot problem?
Mostly. The old injury and how it repaired briefly resurfaced last season when Correa played for the Twins. On Sept. 20, he attempted a second steal and was tagged out, causing him to limp. After the game, he wasn’t worried about hurting himself.
“He hit my plate,” Correa told reporters. “I had surgery and he hit it. Kind of a numb feeling. Vibrating. So I waited for it to calm down. It was a little scary, but when I moved I knew it was going to be good.
Sure enough, he returned to the lineup the next day and didn’t miss any time as a result of the slide.
So what’s the big deal?
Unusually long contracts As Correa acknowledged with the Giants and Mets, there is a huge amount of risk involved. As the athlete ages, going to someone with a known problem that may limit the player’s mobility increases that risk. This is especially true for a player like Correa, who derives his value from his defense and athleticism.
Contract language and insurance adjustments may add to the heightened risk factor, but Boras walked away from the Giants and then the Mets when they wanted to change the terms.
Correa will instead go back to Minnesota, which includes more language to account for potential health issues. That is, if the deal goes through he will.
Is there a deadline for completing a contract?
Will the Mets be okay without him?
For all the money Cohen spent this off-season — the Mets’ payroll and luxury taxes were expected to reach $500 million in 2023 — the team’s offense didn’t improve much except for Correa. 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. NL batting champion Last season. And Lindor, while not as strong a fielder as Correa, was expected to be at short.
So not signing Correa is a blow to the Mets, but it doesn’t really leave a hole in their lineup.
Is he worth the fuss?
In the short term, yes. Correa never hit 30 homers or scored 100 runs in a season. He never stole 20 bases or won a Most Valuable Player award. But he’s proven remarkably valuable when healthy with his consistently solid batting average, ability to draw walks, his good baserunning and his defense.
In three seasons in which he played at least 130 games, he averaged 7.0, 7.2 and 5.4, according to the Baseball Reference formula. Those stats are on the cusp of MVP-level play. As a result of his all-around play, Baseball Reference rates him The most valuable shortstop in baseball since 2015 He has played fewer games than Lindor and Bogaerts, who are second and third on that list.
No question about talent, either Leadership, with Korea. The risk for the Twins is entirely wrapped up in whether Correa’s body can hold up for the life of the deal. Ultimately, that risk was too great for the Giants and Mets.
David Waldstein And Tyler Kepner Contributed report.