Carlos Correa had agreed to a 13 year, $350M contract with the SF Giants. Done deal, right? Well, not so fast. On Monday it was reported that there was an undisclosed issue on his physical. Apparently there was a disagreement over its significance as well. Then today it was announced he would instead sign with the Mets for 12 years and $315M.
What on earth was the problem? Correa is still getting lottery money, albeit for one year less and $35M less. One presumes his agent, Scott Boras, disclosed whatever the issue on the physical with Mets owner Steve Cohen so as to ensure the same scenario doesn’t embarrassingly reoccur.
As for the Mets, they’ve now got something like $800M committed to free agents. The CBA signed this spring added a new, 4th, highest penalty threshold to the competitive balance tax (“luxury tax”). It has been informally referred to as the “Steve Cohen tax”…and he has just blown right by it, unfazed by having to pay up to another $100M. Amazing. This will certainly give the Mets a formidable batting order. It’s a certainty their fans are excited now…but at this point, this is a team that had best be contending for titles and win one or two or the spending spree will look really bad in a few years.
What about the Giants? Wow, this certainly puts a damper on their offseason maneuvering. It might work out fine for them in the long run, depending on what they do with the money they’ve saved and whatever happens with Correa in terms of his health and productivity. However, in the short run? Oof. It was expected Brandon Crawford would move from shortstop to third before the Correa flip to the Mets. So now one would expect him to stay at short. That leaves a hole at third, though. Evan Longoria is a free agent—do they bring him back? Pretty much no matter what they do, in the short run it will be a major quality drop off from Correa.
Really, what was the problem? Was it really worth torpedoing the contract or of potentially blowing the opportunity (in the short run) of keeping up with the Dodgers and Padres? Did they maybe just have buyer’s remorse? One thing is certain, the fortunes of the Mets, Giants, and Correa will be scrutinized in connection with each other for a long time.