Thinking About: Carlos Correa
by Ethan Semendinger
January 6, 2022
Carlos Correa is still not a New York Met. He's also definitely not going to be a San Francisco Giant. Maybe the Yankees should step in?
Disclaimer: I have no plan in mind for this post. It's likely to be a complete amalgamation of my thoughts about this situation with Carlos Correa, so wherever it takes me it takes me.
Carlos Correa came into the 2021-2022 offseason as the #1 shortstop target according to pundits across the game. Though he had earned a poor reputation as a personality in how he handled himself to the media in the aftermath of the Houston Astros cheating scandal coming to life, the abilities he showcased on the field spoke for themselves. If we took the person and the background away from Correa and looked at him as just a baseball player, it's hard to find a player better than him for shortstop.
However, Correa's market never materialized in the way that he was hoping. For reasons that seemed to be mostly about how Correa was looking for more money than teams were willing to put down on him, he never signed the mega contract people expected. It was during this free agency period that Correa switched agents to Scott Boras- which happened too late for Correa- and he ended up signing a 3 Year/$105 Million deal with the Minnesota Twins. He took that deal because it had an option after year 1, or the 2022 season.
And then, in a move that shocked absolutely nobody, and after the 2022 season, Correa opted out of the remaining 2 years on his contract.
In 2022, Carlos Correa hit to a .291/.366/.467/.834 quadruple slash (140 OPS+) along with 152 hits, 22 home runs, 47 extra-base hits, 64 RBI's, and 61 walks to 121 strikeouts. (He didn't steal a single base, but was caught once.) He also played in 136 games.
Carlos Correa then came into the 2022-2023 offseason as one of the top premier free agents on the board. (Aaron Judge, after his record-setting year, took the #1 spot/cake amongst most.) His image was being repaired after spending a season essentially out of the limelight in Minnesota and he showcased yet again why he's one of the games best players. (Sorry to any Minnesota Twins fans reading this, but it's fair to say that the press around Correa died down a lot during his year there.) There were concerns about his ability to stay on the field (he had 7 IL trips in 8 years at the MLB level), but for the most part it was expected that teams would ignore this given his talents and numbers.
And then the patience paid off. Carlos Correa was going to become a member of the San Francisco Giants on a 13 Year/$350 Million contract. The American League was free of him (for the most part) and we could all rest easy here in New York that one of the "public enemies" (along with Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve) was going to be gone far away.
And then the deal fell through. The Giants' front office said that they found something in Correa's medicals that they didn't like. Team doctors (or so I believe) disagreed with the front office and said that the concern shouldn't be the case. It looked like the front office was trying to weasel their way out of a deal that was being mocked for being a little too long and a little too costly.
How much fun was that time? Carlos Correa was getting revenge served to him on a silver platter. Yankees fans were rejoicing in how the team brought back Judge a few weeks earlier and how they stole him- or at least his brother "Arson Judge"- from the Giants. And now a hated player was going to lose, and a team that was trying to meddle in getting rid of a local superstar was also going to lose. It was the ultimate win-win.
The Giants were not dead-set on giving up on signing Correa though. The optics looked bad, but they said they were looking to renegotiate.
Then Carlos Correa quickly moved on. The New York Mets were calling his name to the tune of a 12 Year/$315 Million contract, and they really wanted him. So much so that even with the reports flying around that his medicals were bad, the Mets still offered him over $300 Million.
A much better deal than the San Francisco Giants were going to be on the record for, the New York Mets, through new owner Steve Cohen, were building the modern juggernaut. Their own star shortstop, Francisco Lindor, was apparently a huge proponent of bringing in Carlos Correa and they made the deal. They were going to their money up to win. To win big. And to win now.
And then the medical report did not come back as the New York Mets had hoped. They too were getting cold feet on the deal they put out there yet through the braggadocious nature of their owner making comments on a pending deal, the situation got a lot more sticky. There are some reports that came out that the Mets and Steve Cohen could find themselves in the middle of some trouble with how they were talking. They were also the second team to be weary of Correa to the point of needing to renegotiate with him on their supposed contract.
And that was over two weeks ago.
Carlos Correa is still technically a free agent. Reports today came out that a new team has entered the fray to sign him (though, this could just be smokescreens from Boras' camp to keep his price high) while other reports claim that the two are still working on a deal (which may be a smokescreen from the Mets to keep other teams at bay to get themselves a better deal in negotiations).
The Mets should be incredibly thankful that they were not overreactive and that they have not traded away Eduardo Escobar yet.
So, where does that bring us? Outside of it being after work on a Friday afternoon (Yay! It's the weekend! I have some fun plans this weekend, how about you?), it brings us to an interesting time for an interesting question:
Who is going to get Carlos Correa?
It also brings us to this questions:
Should it be the Yankees?
And, if money were not an obstacle, maybe it would be the right move to make.
Like I said, it is hard to do better than Carlos Correa as the shortstop for your team in 2023. Though he's likely to miss some games (that's his MO), he's going to provide tremendous value on the field. He's a clutch player. He has a flare for the dramatic, and he doesn't care what people have to say. He knows he's great and he can back that up on the field too.
The Yankees also don't have a solid answer at shortstop in 2023. IKF could very likely be back. Oswald Peraza may not produce as a rookie. Anthony Volpe may need another year in the minor leagues. Gleyber Torres is not the answer.
Carlos Correa would also likely opt out again after the first year on any deal he got in order to try this whole rodeo again. Carlos Correa would also work his butt off to produce to incredibly great numbers to make sure that he got the $300+ Million payday that may now twice go by him.
Imagine a Yankees line-up with a player of Carlos Correa's abilities at shortstop. You can't deny it would be many levels of magnitude better.
I could be convinced to do it. I wouldn't want to do it. I think the Yankee fanbase would riot in the streets if this happened...and then after he won them a comeback game in April would fully embrace him.
New York fans have a strange way of loving to hate their players. Carlos Correa would be the perfect player to live in that role. I have a strange feeling that he'd embrace it. I have a strange feeling that he'd be great if he was a Yankee.
Trust me, I'd want to say "No. No. No." to the idea of Carlos Correa. I'm happy the Yankees haven't really been linked to be getting involved. But, at the same point, I kind of wish they would get involved. Don't let Steve Cohen be the guy who builds powerhouse teams. That's the Yankees' job.
Take the star player from under his nose. Show the little brother who is boss.
(But, also, please don't bring Carlos Correa to the Yankees.)
(But, please do.)