Update (Jan. 10): Carlos Correa and the Twins have agreed to a six-year deal.
The possibility of a stunning reunion between Carlos Correa and the Twins is increasing, team sources said Monday night.
With the status of the mega-deal he agreed to with the New York Mets last month unresolved, the Twins suddenly are back in the mix for the free-agent shortstop. Two club sources said Monday that talks between the Twins and Correa have begun to accelerate. A separate major-league source confirmed the development as well.
Carlos Correa’s free-agency saga: Everything you need to know
Talks are fluid, and the Mets are not necessarily out of the bidding. But 19 days have passed since the Mets reached agreement with Correa on a 12-year, $315 million contract, pending a physical. The Mets, like the San Francisco Giants before them, grew concerned over the condition of Correa’s right ankle during their medical review. As the parties continue to negotiate contract language, Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, reached out to other teams, including the Twins.
In November, Correa opted out of the three-year, $105.3 million contract he signed with the Twins in March 2022. Still, the club hadn’t been shy about wanting to retain Correa, who batted .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs, 64 RBIs and produced 4.9 Wins Above Replacement last season.
- Carlos Correa being introduced by the Twins alongside president of baseball operations Derek Falvey in March 2022. (Brace Hemmelgarn / Getty Images)
Minnesota’s original efforts, which included a 10-year, $285 million offer, failed when Correa agreed to a 13-year, $350 million contract with the Giants on Dec. 14. A week after signing with San Francisco, the accord fell apart over a difference of opinions about Correa’s physical exam. The Mets’ deal quickly stalled for the same reason.
Despite those concerns, Boras and the Mets have tried to find a path to get the two-time All-Star shortstop to New York. Correa originally was so thrilled to hear the Mets signed him last month that he tackled Boras onto a hotel bed during a celebration.
The Twins, however, have remained in constant contact with Boras, sources said, creating a potential landing spot if Correa’s deal with the Mets falls apart.
All along, the Twins expected Correa and the Mets to finalize their agreement, but Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey kept his club prepared just in case.
While sources said the Twins always knew a big-market club could “blow them out of the water” on a larger deal, the team made it clear it was very interested in bringing Correa back and was open to being creative with potential for opt outs and other protections in a deal.
Last March, Boras lauded the Twins’ front office for its creativity when the two sides hammered out the original contract for Correa in a span of 14 hours. The Twins also gained experience putting together incentive-laden deals after completing a seven-year, $100 million extension for oft-injured center fielder Byron Buxton in December 2021, a contract that includes up to $10 million in annual performance bonuses based on staying on the field.
While the Twins would definitely want to conduct their own physical with Correa, the team already has a sense of his overall condition after conducting a thorough exam last March.
Even though the Twins performed an exit exam on Correa in October, those are often limited to areas of concern that arose during a player’s regular-season visits to the trainer’s room. Aside from an incident in May when Correa thought he broke his finger, team sources indicated the shortstop never set foot in the trainer’s room, not even after he writhed in pain on the ground after a hard slide into second base in a Sept. 20 contest at Kansas City.
After that game, Correa acknowledged he had a metal plate inserted in his right leg, the result of an injury that occurred when he was in the minor leagues in 2014.
“He just hit my plate,” Correa said, referring to the hardware in his leg. “I had surgery and he hit it. Just kind of felt numb. Vibrating. So I was just waiting for it to calm down. It was a little scary, but when I moved I knew I was good.”
Aside from the finger, which cost him 12 games, and a late-May bout with COVID-19, which resulted in eight games missed, Correa was quite durable for the Twins. He appeared in 136 of the remaining 142 games and was a fixture in the lineup for a Twins team that suffered injury after injury throughout the season.
The Twins loved what Correa brought to them in their one season together, a mix of swagger and baseball savvy. And now, in yet another stunning turn, they are in position to bring the Correa saga full circle, back to Minnesota.
(Top photo: Carmen Mandato / Getty Images)