HOUSTON -- The Astros reached a contract agreement with star shortstop Carlos Correa on Saturday to avoid arbitration. Correa will earn $11.7 million in 2021 in his final year before he becomes a free agent, a source told MLB.com.
“I’m happy that we were able to come to an agreement and avoid arbitration,” Correa said. “Arbitration is not a good process. I want to thank [general manager] James Click, [owner] Jim Crane and my agent, Jon Rosen, for getting the deal done. I’m ready to play and represent the Houston Astros.”
The Astros and Correa appeared headed to an arbitration hearing after Correa sought to be paid $12.5 million and the team offered $9.75 million. The settlement, which the team has not confirmed, is $575,000 above the midpoint of those two numbers: $11,125 million.
“Going through the arbitration process is necessary sometimes, and it’s there for a reason,” Click said. “But we’re all glad to have it behind us so we can focus on our top priority, which is getting out there to compete for a championship with Carlos and the rest of the team.”
Correa hit .264/.326/.383 with five homers and 25 RBIs in 58 games in the regular season last year before batting .362/.455/.766 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 13 games in an electric postseason. He was a Gold Glove finalist after making one error in 212 chances in the regular season and leading American League shortstops in defensive runs saved.
Last month, Correa, while being interviewed on the team’s offseason Hot Stove radio program “Astroline,” said he wanted to be an Astro for life. The No. 1 pick in the 2012 Draft and 2015 AL Rookie of the Year, Correa won’t turn 27 until September and will headline a group of star shortstops in next year’s free-agent market.
Correa and fellow homegrown position-player stars Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and George Springer helped form the nucleus of an Astros team that has advanced to four consecutive AL Championship Series and two World Series, including a championship in 2017. Springer signed a six-year deal with the Blue Jays last month, but Altuve and Bregman have long-term deals to remain in Houston.