Talks between the Twins and Carlos Correa “have begun to accelerate,” report Dan Hayes and Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. Minnesota rejoined the bidding late last week as talks between Correa’s camp and the Mets continued to drag on after New York had expressed concerns regarding his physical.
Rosenthal and Hayes reiterate that the Mets are not necessarily out of the bidding. The Athletic characterizes discussions as “fluid.” It’s the firmest indication yet, however, that Correa to the Mets no longer appears an inevitability. Minnesota seems very much back in the mix.
The Twins have maintained all offseason they hoped to retain the two-time All-Star after his season in the Twin Cities. There always seemed a strong possibility Correa would opt out of his three-year, $105.3MM pact after one season and land a more significant guarantee elsewhere. That has appeared to be the case on multiple occasions this offseason. The Twins reportedly put forth a ten-year, $285MM offer in December that fell well shy of the 13-year, $350MM pact to which Correa agreed with the Giants.
Of course, the Giants deal fell through after San Francisco’s medical professionals raised concerns about Correa’s right leg. He’d fractured his leg as a prospect back in 2014, requiring surgery that ended that season. Correa returned at the start of the next year and has never had an injured list stint related to his leg as an MLB player. Giants medical staffers raised some questions about its long-term sustainability, however, and the agreement was called off on the eve of the introductory press conference.
Correa and agent Scott Boras immediately pivoted to the Mets, agreeing to terms on a new 12-year, $315MM pact. That contract was also contingent on a physical, of course. New York’s doctors similarly took issue with Correa’s right leg, and the saga took another stunning twist.
Unlike after the collapse of the San Francisco deal, Correa’s camp didn’t immediately pivot to other teams. They negotiated exclusively with the Mets for roughly two weeks (presumably in part delayed by the holiday season). Reports suggested New York was intent on instituting some injury protection in the contract, likely via a clause that’d reduce the club’s financial hit and/or allow them to get out of a certain portion of the deal if Correa missed significant time because of a right leg injury.
Those talks seemingly hit a snag, and Boras reengaged with at least Minnesota last week. Andy Martino of SNY reported at the time that Mets brass was growing increasingly frustrated with discussions and had given some consideration to walking away from the deal entirely. There’s no indication they’ve done so, but Minnesota is again involved.
The Twins will have their own concerns regarding Correa’s physical condition, to be sure. Correa passed a physical to sign his first contract with Minnesota last spring, but it’s possible the organization will evaluate things differently if looking at a commitment nearing or topping a decade in length than they did for a three-year guarantee. Correa spent the season in Minnesota but didn’t seem to undergo a significant medical evaluation after his initial physical, aside from imaging on a bruised finger suffered in May. Hayes and Rosenthal write that Correa didn’t appear in the Minnesota training room at any point in the season after returning from his finger issue.
While that’s not all that surprising, it’s notable considering Correa had a late-September scare with his right leg. He spent some time on the ground after sliding into a base and then limped off the field. He remained in the game and didn’t miss any time, but he acknowledged after the contest he had felt some numbness and vibration in the leg, which he noted contained a metal plate that was put in during his 2014 surgery.