Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi addressed reporters (including ESPN and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle) for the first time since the team’s $350MM deal with Carlos Correa fell through due to concerns raised in the physical. Correa has since agreed to a $315MM deal with the Mets, but they too are concerned by the player’s physical and that signing has not been made official.
It’s been quiet since reports emerged on Christmas Eve that the Mets had concerns over his physical, with the last report stating the teams were working through things and a deal with New York still appeared “likely”. That’s not stopped a few other teams checking in on the situation, and Zaidi confirmed that the Giants have also checked in with Correa’s agent Scott Boras.
“We’ve had some conversations. Since then, obviously, you know, we’ve been in touch with Boras on other players as well. But our understanding and, as it’s been reported, they’re focused on a deal elsewhere at this point. So I think chances of a deal with us at this point are pretty unlikely based on their position,” Zaidi said.
Correa’s deal with San Francisco falling through shocked the baseball world. The Giants had scheduled a press conference to introduce their new star, but postponed that to further investigate Correa’s physical. That set off a chain of events that came together quickly, and within 24 hours Correa had agreed to a deal with the Mets. Zaidi confirmed that the Giants and Correa’s camp had different views on the medical review, but said they maintain a strong relationship with Boras.
“I was on the phone with Scott Boras on the Monday that we did Carlos’ physical right when his plane landed in San Francisco at 5 p.m., and those conversations continued from that point, so any suggestion that this was an 11th-hour thing is just not accurate. As soon as we had information, we shared it. We have a good working relationship with Scott Boras and his agency.”
The off-season has surely been a frustrating one for the Giants organization. They came into the winter in search of a new face of the franchise, and make a strong push to sign top free agent Aaron Judge. The reigning AL MVP would turn them down to re-sign with the Yankees on a nine-year, $360MM deal. They quickly pivoted to Correa, and just six days after news broke that Judge had agreed to return to New York, reports emerged that the Giants and Correa were in agreement on a 13-year deal.
The team has still been active this winter, adding Ross Stripling and Sean Manaea to their rotation, Taylor Rogers to the bullpen and Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger to the outfield. San Francisco certainly has a stronger roster as a result of those moves, but they do lack the superstar they coveted coming into the off-season, and the free agent market no longer has any stars.
“One of the unfortunate aspects of the offseason is there’s been — and maybe this is inevitable given the players — a lot of attention paid to players that we wound up not signing rather than the players that we have signed,” Zaidi said.
One added layer to the Correa saga is what it means for long-time Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford. He’s entering the final year of his contract, and is owed $16MM in 2023. A Correa signing would have likely meant that Crawford moved to third-base, but it seems with the Correa deal off he’ll be manning short in his 13th season in San Francisco.
“I’m sure it was a frustrating and confusing period for him, but I also said we had to explore every opportunity to improve this team, including the group of shortstops that were out there, All-Star-caliber players that we all felt would really improve our team. I think Brandon was aware that adding one of these players was a possibility. It didn’t work out and he’s our shortstop now and we want and expect to be a playoff team.”