MARCH 31: The Astros haven’t budged off their six-year, $120MM offer, Heyman hears (Twitter link). With no movement from the team in recent days and Correa unwilling to negotiate in-season, it seems he’ll hit free agency at the end of the year.
MARCH 30: There remains a chance that the Astros will sign Correa to an extension by the start of the season, as general manager James Click told McTaggart and other reporters, “We had some more conversations over the weekend so we’re going to keep at it.”
MARCH 25: Correa isn’t impressed by the Astros’ offer. Speaking to reporters (including Brian McTaggart of MLB.com and Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle), he called the proposal “really low” and said he’s preparing as if he will become a free agent next offseason. Correa added that he will “absolutely not” push back his April 1 deadline for extension negotiations.
MARCH 24: The Astros took care of an important piece of business Wednesday when they agreed to a five-year, $85MM contract extension with right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. He’s no longer scheduled to reach the open market next winter as a result, but shortstop Carlos Correa is one of the key Astros still on track to become a free agent then. Unfortunately for Houston, it doesn’t appear close to a new contract with Correa. The Astros offered him a six-year extension worth approximately $120MM, but “there’s no sign of traction,” Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.
If Correa agreed to that amount, it would have matched the extension fellow shortstop Xander Bogaerts signed with the Red Sox going into the 2019 season. But the deal has always looked like a team-friendly amount for Bogaerts, who was then entering his age-27 season and coming off a monster year.
There is an argument that Correa should take a large offer now, as he has battled durability issues over the past few seasons and is coming off a year in which he hit an uncharacteristically mediocre .264/.326/.383 with five home runs in 221 plate appearances. On the other hand, the former No. 1 overall pick went into last season a .277/.356/.489 hitter with 102 HRs over 2,362 trips to the plate, and he won’t turn 27 until September. Therefore, it would be understandable for Correa to bet on a rebound this year and vie for a much more lucrative contract as part of a loaded free-agent class. Along with Correa, Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Trevor Story, Javier Baez and Marcus Semien are among shortstops who are in line to become free agents after this season.