The long national nightmare is over. Carlos Correa has passed a physical and signed a contract. It is with the Minnesota Twins. It is for $200M over 6 years, with up to an additional 4 years and $70M in vesting options.
To recap, last month, he/his agent agreed to a 13 year, $350M deal with the SF Giants. MRI findings on the right lower leg resulted in the Giants being concerned about how long the leg would hold up and wanted to renegotiate the deal…despite Correa losing no playing time due to the leg since recovering from an injury to it while a minor leaguer. Scott Boras did not want to do that and pivoted to an offer made by the NY Mets, for 11 years and $315M. The Mets also became concerned about the right lower leg and wanted to renegotiate…specifically wanting to make much of the money not guaranteed but subject to annual physicals regardless of lost time due to the leg. Ultimately the deal fell apart. Enter the Twins, with whom Correa played this past season. They had originally offered 10 years and $285M, but the signed deal—as written above—is for less than that.
So, who wins or loses after this month-long saga?
There’s only one clear winner: the Minnesota Twins. They really wanted Correa back; after all, he’s one of the best shortstops in the game. They could not compete with the Giants’ or Mets’ offers, however, and accepted their fate. When both deals fell apart, so did some of Correa’s leverage, and he ultimately signed for less than what the Twins originally offered. The Twins got their guy for a relative bargain.
Mixed bag: Carlos Correa. He has certainly taken his lumps—the embarrassment of twice having a deal, twice ending up taking less money, public proclamations of wanting to be in NY. However, it’s hard to really call anyone guaranteed to receive $200M a loser.
Loser: SF Giants. After not landing Aaron Judge, they centered their offseason around Correa. Losing him was an embarrassment and markedly changes their outlook for 2023. At 13 years and $350M, they may have dodged a bullet in the end.
Loser: Steve Cohen and the NY Mets. They had already committed half a billion dollars to free agents this offseason, and Cohen stated the $315M for Correa would put them “over the top.” Then, just like with the Giants, it fell apart, and they have egg on their faces. There are linger questions here though—Did they know what the Giants’ saw on their physical? If not, then why not? How does one agree to such a deal, knowing another team found something that made them balk at a deal of their own, without being certain of what that deal was? If they did know, then Correa could file a grievance through the MLBPA. Negotiations in bad faith, trying to bait and switch, could cost them more than an All Star infielder.
Loser: Scott Boras. Making two deals >$300M only to see them fall through is certainly embarrassing for him too. His client could end up making $150M less than he thought he was just a month ago. That, of course, means he makes less money too. It could potentially even sour the relationship between him and him client, or adversely affect how potential future clients look at him. Was he really above board with the Mets? Did he fully disclose Correa’s MRI findings with the Mets? That would certainly affect the odds of success of any grievance Correa might file, if he files one.