In a shocking development, Carlos Correa Agreed to join Mets on 12-year, $315MM deal Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports. Correa previously agreed to a 13-year, $350MM contract with the Giants. reports It emerged yesterday that an undisclosed issue with Korea’s medical led to the postponement of Giants’ debut press conference for the short film. The 28-year-old is represented by the Correa Boras Corporation, and his contract with the Mets will become official once he passes his physical.
As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle TweetsThe “The Giants flagged something [Correa’s] The body and doctors disagree.” Although back pain has sent the former All-Star to the injured list several times in his career, Slusser also said yesterday that Correa had no back problems.
Whatever issue the Giants take with Correa’s health, the issue isn’t enough to keep the Mets from adding another high-priced star to an already loaded roster (and payroll). Mets owner Steve Cohen said Last week The team tried to make a late bid of around $300MM to land Correa, but agent Scott Boras rejected that offer as negotiations with the Giants had already reached an advanced stage.
After the deal fell through with San Francisco, that late effort by Cohen was all Boras needed to get his client another mega-deal quickly. As Cohen told Heyman, “We picked up where we were before and it worked” Four or five hours of additional negotiations ensued.
Correa’s new deal with New York is one year shorter and slightly below average annual value ($26.25MM with the Mets compared to $26.92MM with the Giants). It is the 10th largest contract in baseball history by total value, while the $350MM deal with San Francisco is the fourth largest in history.
However, this deal goes beyond MLBTR Prediction A nine-year, $288MM deal for Korea. Such as the structure of the original Giants contract and other contracts signed Xander Bogaerts And Tree Turner This winter alone, the long stretch allows the team to spread the luxury-tax hit over several years while the player gets his money and added protection. Mead used a version of this strategy in signing Brandon Nimmo An eight-year, $162MM deal, as Nimmo’s tax number is $20.25MM. Correa now joins Nimmo Francisco Lindor With Mets players signed beyond the 2029 season, the Mets’ spending this winter varies widely in length.
The Mets’ total spending numbers continue to falter. Assuming Correa’s contract pays him $26.25MM in each year of the contract, Amazon’s salary will now climb past $377MM for 2023. It already has the fourth and highest tier ($293MM) of competitive reserve tax penalties, higher than New York’s. Taxes 90% of every dollar spent beyond the $293MM threshold. This added approximately $23.62MM to the Mets’ tax bill, making their luxury tax number more than $386MM.
Straub, Nimmo, Justin Verlander, Edwin Diaz, Basket Senga, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Adam PiccoloAnd Omar Narvaez New York represents a stellar roster of free agents signed and re-signed this offseason alone, to say nothing of their previous big splashes since Cohen bought the team two years ago. Needless to say, Cohen has set new standards for spending, as the owner is immediately unfazed by his desire to make the Mets as competitive as possible. The result was a 101-win season in 2022, but the Amazins never made it past the first round of the expanded playoffs, losing to the Padres in three games in the wild-card series.
Korea Signature”Really makes a big difference,” Cohen said. “I felt like our pitching was in good shape. We needed one more hitter. It puts us on top.”
In fact, most of the Mets’ focus has been on a rotation full of free agents and rebuilding the bullpen. With Diaz and Ottavino re-signed, there were plenty of holes to fill after Jacob deGrom, Chris Bassit, Taijuan Walker, Seth Lugo, Joely Rodriguez, Trevor Williams, Trevor May and Michael Givens were signed elsewhere. Nimmo was the biggest pending free agent on the position player side, and Narvaez should help bolster the catching corps, but Cohen and GM Billy Eppler aren’t going to restrict their offense.
To this end, one of the best shortstops in baseball in Korea will no longer be a shortstop, as Korea will now shift to third base in deference to Linder. Correa won the Platinum Glove, Gold Glove and Fielding Bible Award for his work at shortstop in 2021, and his professional experience at third base includes one game with the Astros’ Double-A in 2015. That said, Lindor is a great fielder in his own right, and the above-average outs and UZR/150 general metrics make his glove more desirable at shortstop than Correa’s during their careers. There’s not much doubt that Correa can translate well to the hot corner, improving the Mets’ defense and the impact he brings to the lineup.
With Correa now the new third baseman, Eduardo Escobar was suddenly out of a starting job. Escobar was one of New York’s biggest signings in the 2021-22 offseason even 13 months ago, as he signed a two-year, $20MM deal. Escobar was decent in his first year in Queens, hitting .240/.295/.430 with 20 homers in 542 plate appearances over a 106 wRC+.
However, “being decent if decent” isn’t enough for a team intent on winning, so Escobar can now join Luis Guillorme as infield depth. The Mets could explore trading Escobar (and the remaining $10MM on his contract) to a team in need of a reliable, experienced infielder, or New York could keep Escobar as a backup option in case of an injury. Correa or starting second baseman Jeff McNeil.
Looking up and down the depth chart, Brett Petty is the third baseman with the best prospect, as is Mark Vientos (ranked by MLB Pipeline as the seventh-best minor leaguer in New York’s farm system). Petty has gotten some time as an outfielder and could now be considered a replacement for Canha in left field, while Viandos is probably destined to leave third base anyway, with first base likely to be his final spot in the field. However, with Correa now locked in at the hot corner, the Mets are more likely to trade any of these prospects for other upgrades.
Today’s news marks the latest twist in Correa’s controversial career, which won a World Series championship with his participation on the 2017 Astros team that was later overshadowed by a sign-theft scandal. Correa’s time in Houston ended when he signed a three-year, $105.3MM deal with the Twins last winter, though the shorter-than-expected deal was designed to allow for a quicker return to free agency. Correa had opt-out clauses after the 2022 and 2023 campaigns, and he used that first opt-out to re-enter the market for a season not interrupted by a lockout.
Correa hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 homers in 590 plate appearances in Minnesota with a 140 wRC+ in his loan season, the third-highest of his eight MLB seasons. Coming off a strong platform year and still young as most free agents hit the open market, Correa had every expectation of finally landing the expensive long-term deal he initially wanted last year.
A lot more to come…