Correa's agreement with Mets falls through

January 11th, 2023

Carlos Correa's months-long free agency saga took another stunning turn on Tuesday -- this time, away from Flushing.

Nearly three weeks after Correa and the Mets agreed to a 12-year, $315 million industry-shocking deal to bring the two-time All-Star to Queens a few days before Christmas, Correa signed a significantly smaller deal with the Twins to return to Minnesota instead. The contract is a six-year deal with four option years. The deal is worth $200 million guaranteed with the options pushing the total value to $270 million, per's Mark Feinsand.

The Twins officially announced the deal Wednesday after Correa passed his physical, which had been the hiccup all winter for the star shortstop, who originally agreed to a 13-year, $350 million megadeal with the Giants in mid-December. After that deal fell through due to concerns over his physical, the Mets swooped in with a megadeal of their own, coming to terms with Correa on a 12-year, $315 million pact early on the morning of Dec. 21. One day later, Correa flew to New York to undergo a physical examination. The Mets -- like the Giants -- subsequently became concerned with his medical reports. The deal had been in limbo ever since.

“We were unable to reach an agreement. We wish Carlos all the best,” the Mets said in a statement Wednesday.

The Mets were reportedly also concerned with Correa’s right ankle, which was surgically repaired while he played in the Minor Leagues in 2014. Although it caused pain for him during a slide into second base last September, the ankle injury hasn’t directly caused him to miss any time over the past eight seasons. Additionally, Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, has publicly stressed through free agency that he is not currently injured.

Correa has appeared in 89 percent of his teams' games over the past three seasons, including 136 for the Twins in 2022. He hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs, 64 RBIs and 5.4 WAR (per baseball-reference) last season, his first in Minnesota after emerging as a star for the Astros from 2015-21. Correa opted out of his three-year, $105.3 million deal with the Twins to test free agency again this winter, profiling as the second-best position player on the market behind Aaron Judge. 

The ensuing months saw Correa agree to massive deals on the West Coast, in the big Apple and now the Midwest without -- as of Tuesday afternoon at least -- putting ink to paper on any of those agreements. If he passes his physical with Minnesota, it appears one of the game’s premier free agents will end the winter back where he began. 

That’s certainly disappointing for the Mets, who saw Correa as the centerpiece of their historic offseason shopping spree. Even without Correa in the fold, owner Steve Cohen has handed out $477.1 million this winter alone to free agents, blowing past Major League Baseball’s highest Competitive Balance Tax threshold and committing more money to payroll than any team in the history of the sport. Correa had reportedly agreed to slide over to third base as part of his previous agreement, allowing the Mets to envision a long future with him and his good friend Francisco Lindor locking down the left side of the infield as franchise cornerstones. 

That dream, however, has apparently fizzled out. The question now is whether Cohen and the Mets respond with another splash, a far more difficult endeavor with the marquee free agents off the board.