The league’s biggest story over the past month has been the winding saga involving Carlos Correa’s free agency. The two-time All-Star had agreements with the Giants and Mets each fall through after the teams raised concerns about the status of his right ankle during their physical examinations. After weeks of twists and turns, Correa returned to the Twins — where he’d spent the 2022 campaign.
Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, addressed the situation in an interview with Bob Nightengale of USA Today over the weekend. The agent expressed frustration with the Mets, telling Nightengale the New York club relied upon the same doctor who had raised concerns with Correa’s ankle while consulting for the Giants. The shortstop himself said the same last week in an interview with Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. Both USA Today and Dan Martin/Jon Heyman of the New York Post each wrote over the weekend that Dr. Robert Anderson — a Wisconsin-based foot/ankle specialist who also has ample experience working with NFL players — was the orthopedist who consulted with team physicians for both San Francisco and New York.
“I don’t understand the Mets,” Boras told Nightengale. “I gave them all of the information. We had them talk to four doctors. They knew the issue the Giants had. And yet, they still call the same doctor the Giants used for his opinion. There was no new information. So why negotiate a contract if you were going to rely on the same doctor? It was different with the Giants because a doctor had an opinion they didn’t know about. But the Mets had notice of this. They knew the opinion of the Giants. So why did you negotiate when you know this thing in advance?”
Correa’s camp pivoted quickly to the Mets after the agreement with the Giants fell through. That wasn’t the case when New York expressed concerns with the physical. Boras and the Mets spent nearly two weeks in exclusive negotiations, with the team seeking drastic modification of the original 12-year, $315MM agreement.
As Heyman first reported last week, the Mets’ new proposal involved a guaranteed $157.5MM over six years, exactly slicing the initial agreement in half. The deal would’ve come with an additional six years and $157.5MM thereafter in conditional money, with Nightengale writing the Mets wanted Correa to take a physical at the conclusion of each of the final six seasons. Nightengale reports that Correa’s camp offered language that would’ve allowed the Mets to reduce their commitment in the event of a right ankle issue that cost him two months of action and a provision that would’ve allowed the team to void the deal if Correa missed 120+ days over a two-year span because of an ankle injury. Whatever the specifics under discussion, the sides clearly couldn’t settle upon a satisfactory compromise.
With talks having reached a stalemate, Boras opened up lines of communications with other teams in early January. Correa’s camp reached agreement with the Twins late last Monday on a six-year, $200MM guarantee that contains another four club/vesting options that could max the contract out at $270MM over ten years. Correa passed his physical with Minnesota, and the team made the deal official on Wednesday morning.
Neither the Giants nor the Mets have been able to offer much publicly on their reasons behind stepping away from their agreements. Officials with both clubs have noted that HIPAA privacy protections prevent them from revealing many specifics about player health. Both teams released brief statements after their deals fell through noting they were unable to come to agreements and wishing Correa the best. However, Andy Martino of SNY reported shortly before talks with the Mets collapsed that team officials had become “very frustrated” with the status of negotiations.
In the end, it all makes for little more than an historical footnote. Correa will be a Twin for at least the better part of the 2020’s, with Minnesota betting on the long-term stability of his ankle. The Giants and Mets will roll with Brandon Crawford and Francisco Lindor, respectively, at shortstop while sticking with previous in-house options around the infield.