Correa opts out of World Baseball Classic due to birth of child
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins announced on Monday that superstar shortstop Carlos Correa will not be on the roster of Team Puerto Rico for the upcoming World Baseball Classic in March due to the expected due date of his second child.
According to the club, the choice is entirely a family-oriented decision and not related to any health considerations, as the 28-year-old emerges from a tumultuous offseason marked by two free-agent agreements falling through due to reported long-term health concerns on the parts of multiple clubs.
Carlos and Daniella Correa are expecting their second son, Kenzo, on March 11. Team Puerto Rico is scheduled for pool play as part of Pool D from March 11-15, with the final rounds of the tournament expected to take place from March 15-21. Though Correa still hoped to find a way to represent his home island, he and the Twins eventually came to a mutual agreement that he would not play in the WBC.
“After some thoughtful discussions with Carlos about the upcoming WBC, we’ve collectively determined that it’s in his best interests to not participate in the upcoming tournament,” Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said. “This was a challenging decision for Carlos. He takes so much pride in representing his country and truly considered ways to make this work.
“Ultimately, as we looked at what his travel would be surrounding the upcoming birth of his second child -- due during the WBC tournament -- we all acknowledged that the back and forth flying combined with multiple days off from baseball activity didn’t set Carlos up for jumping into meaningful games upon his return.”
Had Correa participated in the WBC, he would likely have gone from a not fully built-up state to paternity leave away from the baseball field for several days to an extremely high-intensity championship environment back to ramping up for the regular season, where the timeline would have made for a quick turnaround. The Twins’ Grapefruit League finale is scheduled for March 28 and Opening Day in Kansas City is slated for March 30.
Correa’s withdrawal removes the possibility of one intriguing storyline that would have emerged from Team Puerto Rico’s camp, as he and longtime friend Francisco Lindor would likely have played next to each other on the left side of their national team’s infield, as they did during the 2017 WBC.
Of course, that alignment -- Lindor at shortstop, Correa at third base -- would have been a glimpse of the possible long-term future for much of the next decade in Queens had Correa’s reported offseason deal with the Mets become official instead of falling apart due to concerns regarding Correa’s physical.
Correa had been Team Puerto Rico’s most productive offensive player during the island’s run to the finals in 2017, when he led the team in homers (three), RBIs (nine) and slugging (.750) and tied for the tournament lead with 10 runs scored.
Even without Correa’s participation, Team Puerto Rico will feature heavy representation from the Twins, as the roster is still expected to include catcher Christian Vázquez, infielder José Miranda and reliever Jorge López and Emilio Pagán -- as well as a pair of former Twins fan favorites in José Berríos and Eddie Rosario.