February 4, 2023

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Carlos Correa agrees to a $200 million deal with the Twins

On December 21, many declared the Mets the winner of the off-season after they agreed to terms with Carlos Correa, one of the best players in baseball, 12-year contract worth $315 million. The Mets, who won 101 games in 2022, were adding a star all-rounder in what they hoped would be the last piece on the team. Its owner Stephen A. Cohen Puzzle tournament.

The Mets deal, which followed 13-year-old Correa’s $350 million deal with the San Francisco Giants the week before the collapse, was “awaiting physical examination,” contract language as often overlooked as “terms and conditions” on a website. .

However, twenty days later, the 28-year-old Correa pulled out of that deal as well. On Tuesday, he reached an agreement with the Minnesota Twins, whom he played for last season, on a six-year, $200 million contract. A person familiar with the details of the negotiations confirmed Correa’s deal with the twins on condition of anonymity.

The Twins deal is also on hold. So until it’s completed, everyone will have to stay in touch.

Korea’s deal with the Giants would have been the second-largest deal this off-season, According to Spottrack. The person he agreed to with the Mets was going to be the third largest. But both were postponed after both teams performed physical examinations. Rather than rework those deals, Correa accepted a contract with Minnesota that guaranteed him much less money overall but paid him more annually.

With the deal, Correa will only trail Mets’ Francisco Lindor among shortstops in average salary, but his contract is smaller in total value than the contracts agreed upon by Trea Turner (11, $300m with Philadelphia) and Zander. Bogaerts (11 years old, $280 million, with San Diego).

In his new deal with the Twins, Corea will earn an average of $33,333,333 per season over six years and could increase his earnings to $245 million over seven years by hitting certain benchmarks, according to the person familiar with the negotiations. There are vesting options built into the deal to protect the team and potentially benefit the player, including those tied to where he places in the regular season and postseason awards.

First, the Twins have to close the deal, which, given Korea’s off-season so far, isn’t foolproof.

not specified. In the past, Scott Boras clients such as Ivan Rodriguez, JD Drew, and Magglio Ordóñez have agreed to contracts containing language to protect teams after medical issues arose while still paying players competitive salaries.

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In an unusual move, Cohen addressed the signature before it was completed—a decision he no doubt regrets.

“We needed something else, and that’s it,” Cohen said He told John Heyman New York Post on the same day the agreement was made. “This was important. This puts us over the top.”

Heyman later reported that the Mets sold $1 million worth of tickets the day the Korea news broke.

Since then, the Mets have not discussed the deal. And after all the excitement on December 21, the team is back where it started in terms of its lineup.

The Giants had scheduled a press conference for December 20 to introduce Correa to the reporters. But it was canceled that day, leading to speculation that something in the physical was worrying them.

Overnight, the Mets news was reported, and Correa’s agent Scott Boras brushed off any indication of problems with Correa’s health, He tells the New York Times That “medical opinions are just what they are – opinions.”

The Giants made the unusual move of issuing a statement about a deal that fell through.

“While we are prohibited from disclosing classified medical information, as Scott Boras has stated publicly, there was a difference of opinion about the results of Carlos’ physical examination,” said the statement attributed to Farhan Zaidi, the baseball team’s chief of operations. We wish Carlos the best.

Zaidi later Address this issue as well In a conference call with action journalists, he disputes the notion that the team has blindly stunned Correa and Porras with his insecurities.

Never shy, Boras was happy to talk to reporters once he found a landing spot for Korea after the troubles with the Giants.

“He was preparing himself for a new place in his life and then delays hit and you have to go through another transition,” Boras said he told the Times From Korea’s decision to move on from the giants. “But he’s very happy to be joining the Mets.”

Boras described his phone call with Cohen in detail and dismissed any concerns that the Mets would have any issues with Corea’s medical information. After that, he made no public comments about the Mets deal.

The short answer is no. The long answer is long.

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Almost all speculation and anonymous reports have focused on the condition of Correa’s lower right leg. In 2014, two years after Houston selected him 1 in the draftCorrea was thriving for the Class A Lancaster when an ill-timed slide into third base landed him in the dirt. Correa, then 19, was moved off the field.

What was initially diagnosed as an ankle injury ended up being a fractured fibula, with what was described as minor ligament damage. He had season-ending surgery five days after the injury occurred, and Jeff Lono, the Astros’ general manager at the time, said the team He expected Correa to return to the exact point he was at when he was injured.

This certainly seems to have happened. In 2015, Correa started 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 only 24 games played at the highest level in the minors. In Houston, he hit . 279 with 22 home runs and 14 stolen bases in 99 games and narrowly outplayed his close friend Lindor, who played for Cleveland at the time, as an American League starter. newbie general.

While Correa missed significant time due to injuries in 2017, 2018 and 2019, none of those absences were related to his right leg. And he’s been more or less persistent since then, playing 342 of his team’s 384 regular season games since the start of the 2020 season. If there were other concerns with his physical, other than prior leg surgery, they went unreported.

Especially. The old injury and the way to fix it briefly resurfaced last season when Correa was playing for the Twins. On September 20, he attempted to steal second and limped up after being tagged out. After the match, he wasn’t worried that he had seriously hurt himself.

“My plate just hit,” Correa to reporters. “I had surgery, and it hit. Just kind of numb. Shaking. So I’d wait for it to subside. It was a little scary, but when I moved I knew it was a good thing.”

Sure enough, he was back in the lineup the next day and didn’t miss any time with the slide result.

Extremely long decades Like the one Korea agreed upon with Giants and the Dead carried a great deal of risk. Getting into one with a known issue that could limit a player’s mobility as they age would increase that risk. This is especially true of a player like Correa, who derives much of his value from his defense and sportsmanship.

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Contract language and insurance modifications could be included to account for the increased risk, but Boras would walk away from the Giants when they wanted to change the terms and then walk away from the Mets as well.

Instead, Correa will return to Minnesota in a shorter deal that includes more language to account for potential health issues. That is, he will, if the transaction is completed.

No!

For all the money Cohen spent in the offseason — Mets payroll and luxury taxes were projected to approach $500 million in 2023 — the team’s offense hasn’t been upgraded other than Korea. However, 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 although Lindor was not a strong player like Correa, he was expected to stay short throughout.

So not signing Correa is a blow to the Mets, but it doesn’t leave them with a hole in the lineup.

In the short term, yes. Correa has never hit 30 homers or drove in 100 runs in a season. He never stole 20 bases or won an MVP award. But he has proven remarkably valuable when healthy thanks to his consistent hitting rate, dribbling and walking ability, and good running and defense.

In the three seasons in which he played at least 130 games, he compiled 7.0, 7.2, and 5.4 wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference Formula. These numbers are on the cusp of playing at the MVP level. As a result of his overall game, Baseball Reference rated him as a The most expensive player in baseball since 2015 Although he has played far fewer games than Lindor and Bogaerts, who are second and third on that list.

There is no question of talent, or Leadershipwith Korea. The danger of twins comes down entirely to whether Correa’s body can hold out for the decade. In the end, that risk was too much for the Giants and Mets.

David Waldstein And Tyler Kepner Contribute to the preparation of reports.