Correa Signing with Twins for Six-Years as Giants & Mets Back Out

(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

The baseball offseason was already wild enough with multiple stars changing teams and signing lucrative long-term deals. Yet, when it couldn’t get any crazier, Carlos Correa provided baseball with one of the craziest offseason sagas in decades. The Minnesota Twins have finalized the signing of the star shortstop to a six-year, $200 million contract.

This comes shortly after the New York Mets swept in and acquired the All-Star, signing him to a 12-year deal worth $315 million. However, the physical and medical concerns held contract talks to a standstill, with the Mets concerned about Correa’s long-term health, and the player was looking to finalize the deal. As a result, Correa, and his agent Scott Boras, searched for another suitor. Enter the Twins.

Correa initially looked destined to play with the San Francisco Giants, who signed him to a 13-year, $350 million contract earlier in the month. However, the deal was postponed after unresolved results from the physical. It nullified the deal and left Correa available on the free agent market. Within a few hours, the Mets swept in and signed him. They have the same question marks as the Giants in regards of the physical, specifically, with an ankle injury suffered in 2014 that required surgery. Ultimately, it left both the player’s camp and the Mets front office at odds. The team’s owner, Steve Cohen, was eager to acquire the star and pay him his worth but the 12 years were off the table.

In a chaotic few weeks, the Twins, Mets, Giants, and the entire league were affected by one player. Correa is arguably the most talented player to change teams this offseason. After one season with the Twins, he’ll be returning to the team for the next six years. The physical has caused two teams to back away but the Twins look more eager to sign him. Notably, they are willing to overlook the ankle issue and are starting the physical on the other aspects involving Correa.

Giants Miss Out Again

The Giants entered the offseason as a team eager to make a splash. After a disappointing 2022 season, going 81 and 81, they were looking to spend, and add a star to the roster. Initially, they looked like they had the reigning American League MVP on their roster, with a huge offer reported for Aaron Judge.

Unfortunately for the Giants, they never closed the deal. Instead, the New York Yankees, the team that drafted Judge, re-signed him to a nine-year deal. The Giants were left empty-handed and eager to make a splash signing. Enter Correa, who put a bow on an otherwise rough winter.

Differing opinions from Correa’s camp and the Giants organization on the physical set the two sides apart. Their precaution might have looked wise in hindsight. After all, the Mets also dealt with the fallout from the physical, wondering if his injury woes can come back to hurt them down the road. However, the failure to add him leaves the team empty-handed. The Giants needed to make a splash and could have done so with a Correa signing, but they failed.

In addition, it left a void in the offseason and they once again missed out on a star player in free agency. The Giants’ offseason went from bad, to good, to worse than ever. In the National League West Division with the Los Angeles Dodgers possessing an All-Star heavy roster, and the San Diego Padres making a handful of big moves, the Giants are left in the dust.

The Mets Sweep in But Show the Same Concerns

The Mets looked poised to put a bow on an already strong offseason. They signed reigning American League Cy Young Justin Verlander and re-signed closer Edwin Diaz. To boost the lineup, they re-signed outfielder Brandon Nimmo. Correa looked like he’d play third base with All-Star Francisco Lindor playing the shortstop position. Additionally, his bat would slide into the heart of a lineup that has Lindor, Pete Alonso, and Jeff McNeil.

Under a new owner in Cohen, the Mets were willing to spend to compete. The Correa deal further proved that point, as they gave him a lucrative contract. The Mets were a 101-win team last season and suddenly had another star on the roster, making them unquestionable division favorites and National League juggernauts.

Then came the same information from the physical. Yes, the ankle injury in 2014 didn’t affect Correa in the prime of his career. Similarly, the ankle has been an injury since 2014, and Correa has not even received treatment of any kind on it since and has missed a total of 0 innings due to the past injury. However, for the front office to give him a long-term deal when the underlying health question could derail his career at any point was a red flag. It wouldn’t be for a short-term deal, but for 12 years it became clear that the Mets were concerned. Ironically, the same team that drafted Kumar Rocker in the 2021 MLB draft but refused to sign him because of his health faced a similar question.

Correa was at a standstill with his second team in one offseason. His options were limited, but re-signing with the Twins was apparently still on the table.

Correa Signing Impacting the Twins

Correa is unquestionably one of the most talented players in baseball. The two-time All-Star and World Series champion with the Houston Astros is a gold-glove shortstop, and he’ll play that position on the Twins for the upcoming seasons. Yes, the ankle injury is a question mark, and a reoccurring injury can leave the player out of the lineup for an extended period. However, the Twins, who saw him play 136 games last year, are optimistic about his health–especially considering his production since the 2014 injury and surgery.

Correa’s career slash line is .279/.357/.479 and 155 home runs and 1602 total bases. He is one of the best power-hitting shortstops in the past eight years. The Twins don’t have a star-powered lineup, but do have reliable hitters in Byron Buxton, Luis Arraez, and Jorge Polanco. The Correa re-signing returns much-needed power to that lineup. Moreover, his fielding ability helps secure the infield and makes any team a competitive one. Last season with the Twins, his 5.4 WAR led the team and his 1.1 defensive WAR made him one of their bright spots.

The Twins were in the mix in an unpredictable American League Central Division but the signing makes them favorites. Granted, they went 78 and 84 last year. In addition, the Cleveland Guardians have a young and talented team while the Chicago White Sox possess a star-studded roster as well. However, the elite talent on the Twins is among the best in baseball. Moreover, the team went 30 and 21 in the first two months of the 2022 season, proving that if they are healthy, they can run away with the division.

Correa Signing Impacts the League

The Correa saga leaves the entire league in a whirlwind. The Correa signing makes the Twins divisional favorites. The Mets looked like the undisputed favorites to win the National League East Division, something they haven’t won since 2015. Likewise, the Mets were one of the favorites to win the World Series, with little-to-no weaknesses on their roster. Now, they are one piece short. The Giants, on the other hand, are left with a massive void in their offseason and their roster altogether. They were a .500 team last year and are struggling to keep up with the rest of their division and the National League. The offseason has been a wild one highlighted by a former Astro whose impact leaves multiple teams wondering about his future.

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Mike Fink

Mike Fink

Mike Fink joined Sport Relay in December 2022 and covers the New York Yankees. In addition to covering the Yankees, Fink has also covered the New York Islanders since 2020 for The Hockey Writers and has been writing about sports at large. Mike also likes to travel but has found Baltimore and Chicago are the only two cities that come close to New York City.

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