The Minnesota Twins and free-agent infielder Carlos Correa are closing in on a six-year contract worth $200 million that includes a vesting option that could push the value to $270 million, CBS Sports HQ’s Jim Bowden confirmed Tuesday. The deal is pending a physical, which has complicated Correa’s deals with the Giants and Mets that were in place earlier this offseason.
This possible resolution comes after a messy several weeks in which the Mets and Correaworth $315 million before the Mets hesitated over the shortstop’s physical. . Correa’s agreement with the Mets was preceded by his 13-year, $350 million deal with the San Francisco Giants that fell apart over similar concerns. His agent, Scott Boras, elected to move on and solicit 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 New York Post reports..
It should be noted that Correa has not required a stay on the injured list because of his right leg since undergoing the operation as a minor-league player with the Houston Astros. The matter, then, is a predictive one instead of a prescriptive one. As for Correa’s Twins physical, Jon Heyman reports that the portion of the exam concerning Correa’s ankle has already been completed, which means the deal is likely to be approved from the medical standpoint.
Here’s how the deal would break down:
Dan Hayes notes that the first $200 million is guaranteed and that option years will vest based on at-bat thresholds:
Correa, 28, entered the offseason ranked by CBS Sports as the third-best free agent available this offseason.:
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 — that way, James once reasoned, their statline looks better for longer. Correa may be evidence of the theory at work. He started slowly, homering just once in April and producing a depressed statline that lingered into the summertime, leading people to believe he was having a down year even as he picked up his play over the course of the summer. Check his Baseball-Reference page now that the leaves are falling and you’ll notice that his OPS+ was higher in 2022 than 2021, a season good enough to earn him the top spot in 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 term.
A two-time All-Star, Correa hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs across 136 games in 2022 for the Twins. For his career, he’s batted .279/.357/.479 while providing good defense at shortstop. It’s no wonder, then, how he’s accumulated nearly 40 Wins Above Replacement, putting him on what amounts to a Hall of Fame track.
Correa re-entered the free agent market after exercising an opt-out in his contract with Minnesota. As for the physical, the more brief contract span and lower total payout may make Correa’s Twins physical a bit less exacting than the ones he underwent with the Mets and Giants. However, if this offseason has taught us anything, it’s that nothing is sure with Correa’s next contract until ink is on paper.