Carlos Correa deal: All-Star shortstop overtakes physical Twins to strike six-year, $200 million deal after Mets saga

The Minnesota Twins and infielder Carlos Correa have agreed to a six-year contract worth $200 million that includes an acquisition option that could increase the value to $270 million. The deal is the latest twist in a month-long free agent saga for the star MLB infielder, who previously agreed to strike deals this winter with the Giants and Mets. The deal with the Twins was pending a physical review – nothing certain this winter as far as Correa is concerned – but Correa passed the review on Wednesday, allowing the Twins to officially announce the signing.

This resolution in Minnesota – where Correa also spent the 2022 season – comes after several messy weeks in which the Mets and Correa reached an agreement in principle on a 12-year contract worth $315 million before the Mets hesitated over the shortstop’s physique. It is believed the Mets were concerned about Correa’s lower right leg, which he had surgically repaired as a teenager.. Correa’s deal with the Mets was preceded by his 13-year, $350 million contract with the San Francisco Giants which fell apart over similar issues. His agent, Scott Boras, opted to move on and seek other offers after the Giants took too long to reopen negotiations.

In subsequent negotiations with the Mets, the team’s offer was reduced to six years, $157.5 million guaranteed with annual physicals, the NNew York Post reports. Here’s a complete timeline of the Correa free agency saga.

It should be noted that Correa hasn’t demanded a stay on the injured list because of his right leg since undergoing surgery as a minor league player with the Houston Astros. So this is a predictive question instead of a prescriptive question. As for the physique of the Correa twins, Jon Heyman reporting that the part of the examination concerning Correa’s ankle has already been completed, which means that the agreement is likely to be medically approved.

Here’s how the deal would break down:

Dan Hayes notes that the first $200 million is guaranteed and option years will vest based on batting thresholds:

Correa, 28, entered the offseason ranked by CBS Sports as the third best free agent available this offseason. Here is what we wrote:

In the past we’ve referenced Bill James’ theory that it’s better for a player’s perception if they start hot rather than finish hot – in this way, James once reasoned, their statline looks better longer. Correa may be proof of the theory at work. He started off slow, making just one home run in April and producing a depressed stat line that extended into the summer, leading people to believe he had a slack year even as he resumed his game during the summer. Check out his Baseball-Reference page now that the leaves are falling and you’ll notice his OPS+ was higher in 2022 than in 2021, a season good enough to earn him the No. 1 spot on our free agent rankings last winter. Correa remains a very good player, in other words, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if this time around he gets his rate and duration.

A two-time All-Star, Correa hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs in 136 games in 2022 for the Twins. For his career, he hit .279/.357/.479 while providing good defense at shortstop. It’s no wonder he’s racked up nearly 40 wins above the replacement, putting him on what amounts to a Hall of Fame track.

Correa re-entered the free agent market after exercising an opt-out clause in his contract with Minnesota. As for physique, the shorter contract length and lower total payout may make Correa’s twin physique a little less demanding than those he endured with the Mets and Giants. However, if this offseason has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is certain with Correa’s next contract until the ink is on paper.

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