The upcoming free-agent class lost an elite shortstop when Francisco Lindor and the Mets agreed to a whopping 10-year, $341MM contract on Wednesday. But it doesn’t appear the Astros’ Carlos Correa will join Lindor in forgoing a trip to the open market next winter. The Astros made somewhat of an effort to extend Correa, but the two sides “didn’t get close at all,” Correa told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com and other reporters on Thursday. Unless Correa unexpectedly lifts his Opening Day deadline for negotiations, it looks as if he could be going into his last season in Houston.
The Astros made Correa a six-year, $120MM offer and then followed with a five-year, $125MM proposal, according to the former All-Star and AL Rookie of the Year (via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle). But Correa doesn’t believe the Astros were ever all that serious about extending him, as he said (per McTaggart): “There were not really any negotiations. The way I feel is it’s another year with the Houston Astros and I’m going to go out there and do my best and try to bring a championship to the city.” Correa added that Houston “made it clear to me they don’t believe in long contracts, they don’t believe in big contracts.”
The Astros have handed out “long” and “big” deals in the past to the likes of second baseman Jose Altuve and third baseman Alex Bregman, and they did give right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. a five-year, $85MM extension last week. As of now, though, it doesn’t seem Correa will join them in sticking around for the long haul.
Going forward, odds are against Correa’s contract approaching Lindor’s, but as an immensely talented 26-year-old, the former No. 1 overall pick should earn a significant payday if he stays healthy and rebounds from his so-so 2020 performance. Correa did miss a good amount of time with various injuries in each season from 2017-19, though his production has mostly been excellent since he debuted in 2015. So far, Correa has batted .276/.353/.480 (127 wRC+) with 107 home runs and 19.4 fWAR in 2,583 plate appearances. Barring any in-season extensions, Correa, Corey Seager, Trevor Story and Javier Baez will battle to earn the largest deal among free-agent shortstops over the winter.