With the 12-year agreement between the Mets and Carlos Correa still in limbo, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports that the Twins have not only jumped back into the mix for Correa but have emerged as a legitimate candidate to re-sign him (Twitter linkwith audio, via MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM). SNY’s Andy Martino, meanwhile, writes that the Mets have grown “very frustrated” with the state of negotiations and have even contemplated walking away from the deal. Talks between the Mets and Correa aren’t dead, Martino emphasizes, but it’s nevertheless a pessimistic turn in what has become a wild, unparalleled free-agent saga for Correa.
The latest wave of drama comes on the heels of an evening report from the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, which indicated Correa and agent Scott Boras had engaged at least one other team as recently as yesterday afternoon. Heyman, too, noted that Minnesota had been in touch with Correa’s camp in recent weeks.
The Twins and Correa have “some momentum,” per Bowden, who adds that Minnesota appears more willing to take on some risk regarding Correa’s medical than either the Giants or the Mets. The Twins’ most recent offer to Correa was a reported 10-year, $285MM pact, although that came before the Giants blew them out of the water with a 13-year, $350MM bid. It’s unclear whether Minnesota has made any changes to that offer.
That Giants agreement feels like ancient history, as San Francisco canceled Correa’s introductory press conference after his physical gave the team some trepidation. There’s no indication that the Giants entirely halted their efforts to sign Correa, but while they were determining their next steps, the Mets swooped in and agreed to terms with Correa on a 12-year, $315MM pact. Shortly thereafter, however, the Mets raised their own concerns regarding Correa’s physical. That was almost two weeks ago. A deal has not yet been finalized.
At issue for both the Giants and the Mets appears to be a nearly decade-old leg injury and corresponding concerns about how that may impact the All-Star infielder down the road. Back in 2014, while playing in the Astros’ minor league system, a then-19-year-old Correa suffered a fractured fibula while sliding into third base. The injury required surgery, and a metal plate was inserted into Correa’s leg.
The exact concern regarding the long-term stability of Correa’s leg isn’t clear, but both the Giants and Mets have at least been concerned enough to pump the brakes on their reported agreements. The Mets have reportedly discussed adding a clause that would alter the terms of the deal in the event of a serious leg injury to Correa. It’s not known whether they’ve also sought to reduce either the length or total guarantee of the agreement.
Correa, of course, spent the 2022 season in Minnesota, where he slashed .291/.366/.467 over 590 plate appearances. That came under the terms of a three-year, $105.1MM contract between the two parties that was struck last March, but Correa triggered the first of two opt-out clauses in the contract following the season, in hopes of securing the long-term deal that eluded him in his last trip through free agency.
While it’s easy to assume the Twins have a full grasp of Correa’s medical situation themselves, The Athletic’s Dan Hayes reported in late December that the team did not conduct an extensive examination of Correa during the course of the season. That’s to be expected, but it’s particularly noteworthy given that Correa had a late-September injury scare with the leg in question, in which he remained down on the field for several moments after being thrown out on a slide into second base. Correa limped off the field, and although he remained in the game, he acknowledged after the contest that he had briefly felt numbness and vibration in that surgically repaired leg.
That incident occurred on Sept. 20, and Correa did not miss any time in the subsequent, final weeks of the season. If there were any lingering issues, they weren’t made apparent through his performance on the field. Correa batted .346/.393/.481 with a homer and four doubles in 56 plate appearances since Sept. 20 through the season’s end.