5 takeaways from stunning Correa news

December 21st, 2022

Uh, whoa. Like the rest of you, I woke up Wednesday morning to a December surprise unlike any in recent baseball memory. Carlos Correa, who had agreed to a 13-year deal with the Giants before a physical that reportedly raised some red flags, is now apparently going to be … a New York Met?

Mets owner Steve Cohen, who said in a middle-of-the-night interview from Hawaii that the Mets “picked up where we were before and it just worked out,” pounced on the confusion and grabbed the All-Star shortstop to play third base, stunning the baseball world. (Assuming, of course, his Mets physical works out.)

Is your head still spinning? Ours is. Here are five immediate takeaways from the deal.

1. The Mets are not messing around.

Seriously, look at what the Mets have done this offseason.

Putting aside the money for a second -- I make it sound so easy, don’t I? -- but the Mets’ lineup, which actually did feel a hitter or two short 24 hours ago, now is one of the best in baseball. That Brandon Nimmo/Francisco Lindor/Correa/Pete Alonso/Jeff McNeil fivesome is relentless. Defensively, the left side of that infield is fantastic and, for what it’s worth, locked in through 2031. And let’s not forget that the Mets were already really good: They won 101 games last year after all. 

They just added arguably the best position player on the market (Correa) and the best starting pitcher on the market (Verlander). Considering how old this team is right now -- the 28-year-old Correa is projected to be their second-youngest lineup regular after Alonso -- there may be no team in baseball more built to win in 2023 than the Mets.

2. The Giants are back without a superstar.

One of the main reasons the Giants signing Correa made so much sense in the first place is that they have a team that’s full of supporting characters meant to surround a superstar. Correa was supposed to be that superstar (or Aaron Judge, who was rumored to be headed to San Francisco for about five minutes during the Winter Meetings). Now the Giants’ best hitter is … Mitch Haniger? Joc Pederson? 

We can’t speak to what exactly was in Correa’s medicals that concerned the Giants so much -- or what may potentially show up when the Mets do their own physical -- but this roster looks like it has a Correa-shaped hole in the middle of it.

And there’s no one left on the market to possibly fill that hole. The Giants are chasing the wooly mammoth that is the Dodgers and the forever-flooring-it runaway train that is the Padres. They look to be far behind both of them right now, and it’s not clear how they could possibly catch up in the short term.

3. If you didn’t get a shortstop this go-around, the store is closed moving forward.

The Mets and Padres are essentially hoarding shortstops. Between Lindor, Correa, Xander Bogaerts and Fernando Tatis Jr., the two teams combined might have four of the best 10 shortstops in baseball. Over the next two seasons, the most notable shortstop set to become a free agent is Willy Adames, and that isn’t until after the 2024 campaign. If you are left without a shortstop right now, you aren’t getting one. Hope you’ve got one in your system!

4. Seriously, Steve Cohen is pretty hilarious.

For all the talk about Cohen being the new George Steinbrenner, it’s difficult to imagine The Boss giving as affable and devil-may-care an interview as Cohen did to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman overnight. There’s Cohen, just chilling in Hawaii, saying things like, “This is a good team. I hope it’s a good team!” and “I hope the fans show up.” You might question Cohen’s strategy, but every fan wants their team’s owner to be desperate to win, and Cohen clearly checks that box.

5. This has been the best offseason in years.

What a way to cap all this off, right? Justin Verlander, Jacob deGrom, Aaron Judge, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, Dansby Swanson, Willson Contreras and now Correa signing a huge deal … twice! This offseason, the first real “normal” one since before the pandemic, has been chock full of twists and turns ever since the World Series ended. But it ultimately saved its wildest swerve for the end. What a blast.