After Carlos Correa’s $340 million contract with the San Francisco Giants fell through, many saw it as SF being overly cautious. Correa had been mostly healthy the last few years, and just together one of his best seasons while playing for the Minnesota Twins. Now, with his $315 million contract with the New York Mets in question, maybe it turns out the Giants had a point.
Mets concerned with Carlos Correa’s physical. Story with @DanHayesMLB: https://t.co/pHleqBg0ho— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 24, 2022
After all, 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 following through on the agreed contracts, but that hasn’t stopped the media or Twitter from speculating anyway.
It is widely believed that the injury in question is a fractured right tibia that occurred back 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 that time, but did mention something concerning in a game this last year on September 20.
Correa went down after an awkward slide. He stayed on the ground for a while, but didn’t miss 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 good later, the Twins never conducted an in-depth physical with Correa following the injury. However, it’s entirely possible that the injury jostled something in the 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.
In order 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 lengthy periods of times would be difficult to overcome. That being said, the Twins don’t get many chances to sign players of this caliber, and it appears like Minnesota 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 in order to rebuild his value — 3 years, high AAV, with opt-outs after each season. However, it’s more likely that he wants to settle on his future and determine where he wants to 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 have their third chance to re-sign one of the best shortstops in baseball.