After Carlos Correa’s $340 million contract with the San Francisco Giants fell through, many saw it as San Francisco being overly cautious. Correa has been mostly healthy the last few years, and just put together one of his best overall seasons. Now, with his $315 million contract with the New York Mets in question, maybe the Giants had a point.
It’s one thing if the Giants were hesitant to give out a contract more than double their previous franchise record, but Steve Cohen and the Mets have been throwing around money with reckless abandon. Two different teams separately confirming an underlying issue is certainly a cause for concern for the star shortstop.
What is the Injury Stopping These Deals?
Before going any further, it’s important to note that this section is speculation. Neither team has released the exact injury preventing them from completing the agreed-upon contracts, but that hasn’t stopped the media or Twitter from speculating anyway.
It’s widely believed that the injury in question is a fractured right tibia that occurred in 2014 when Correa was a minor leaguer in the Astros system. Correa had surgery to repair the break and had a plate inserted to help stabilize the leg. He has never appeared on the Injured List with a right leg injury since then but did mention something concerning after a game on September 20 this season.
In that game, Correa went down after an awkward slide. He stayed on the ground for a while but didn’t end up missing any time with the injury. Afterward, he gave the following quote to reporters:
“He just hit my plate. I had surgery and he hit it. Just kind of felt numb. Vibrating. So I was just waiting for it to calm down. It was a little scary, but when I moved I knew it was good.”
Since Correa was feeling fine later, the Twins never conducted an in-depth physical with him as a result. However, it’s possible the slide jostled something in his surgically repaired leg that created a longer-term concern.
Should the Twins Still Sign Carlos Correa?
The simple answer: I don’t know. Without knowing the full extent and severity of what happened, the Twins probably don’t know either. That’s likely why they asked Boras for more information on the injury when the first Giants deal fell through, rather than just blindly increasing their offer.
For the Twins to determine if they even want to stick with their original 10-year, $285 million offer, let alone offer a potential increase, they’ll have to conduct their own rigorous examination and weigh the risk factors of the potential deal. For the Twins, having a $25-$30 million dollar per year player unavailable for long stretches would be difficult to overcome. That being said, Minnesota doesn’t get many chances to sign players of this caliber, and it appears the Twins may (somehow) have a third chance to retain Correa. And the reality is that the Twins were always going to have to make uncomfortable guarantees to sign him.
Correa could be open to another deal similar to the one he signed with the Twins last offseason — three years, high AAV, with opt-outs after each season. However, he likely wants to settle his future and determine where he’ll be for the remainder of his career.
Whatever happens, Carlos Correa once again finds himself in an unenviable situation. If he can’t renegotiate with the Mets, the Twins may be gifted an unlikely third chance to re-sign one of the best shortstops in baseball.