Carlos Correa Will Opt Out of Contract After Season

Photo: Brace Hemmelgarn - @TwinsPics

Enjoy Carlos Correa while he is here, Minnesota Twins fans. In his short time as a Twin Cities resident, the platinum gold glover and perennial MVP candidate shortstop has been everything he was touted to be, and more. But his temporary residency in The Land of 10,000 Lakes won’t last much longer.

According to esteemed New York Post baseball columnist, Joel Sherman, Correa will opt out of his contract this offseason, barring a catastrophic injury.

Barring catastrophic injury, Correa will opt out of the final two years at $70.2 million owed by the Twins. That will send him right back into the market, along with Bogaerts, Turner and Dansby Swanson.Joel Sherman (New York Post)

Free Agency or Bust

After a slow start to the season, Correa’s batting average is up over .300. His OPS reflects close to his career average and his platinum glove has regularly been on display. Overall, he’s been a blessing to a young Minnesota Twins locker room void of winning experience. Correa’s confidence and charisma provides an expectation to win that is rare in any sport, especially baseball.

Unfortunately for Twins’ fans, there’s only one qualification in Carlos Correa’s automatic bid for free agency and it has nothing to do with a possible Twins extension. Sherman reports that; unless Correa endures a “catastrophic injury”, which would force him to use up one of the two insurance years on his contract, he’s a lock to enter free agency.

That was the genius in the deal that Correa and (agent) Scott Boras signed with the Twins. Even if Carlos’ career suddenly bottomed out or he suffered a grueling battle with injuries, he can still opt into the second and third years of his contract with the Minnesota Twins and collect the $100 million they guaranteed him. If not, he can (and reportedly will) choose free agency and cash in even more.

Money Talks

And that’s why Correa will be leaving town after this season. He doesn’t hate Minnesota, though it’s likely April 2022 wasn’t the favorite month of his 27-year life. In reality, this is a common sense decision. As long as Carlos Correa is healthy and continues to play well, he’s expected to guarantee himself another $200-ish million over the course of his career, than what his current contract guarantees.

The report you read from above just confirms what most of us, deep down, already knew. The Minnesota Twins organization will not offer Correa an extension capable of sowing any doubt in his plan to enter free agency this coming offseason.

What’s ironic, however, is the overarching point of Sherman’s article. Which revolves around the uncertain nature of the upcoming free agent shortstop market. As he points out, Correa and others will probably find themselves swimming in another market that’s saturated with good to great shortstop options.

Saturated Shortstop Market With Limited Buyers

Meanwhile, buyers could be limited. Most organizations are priced out of those high-end, long-term free agents. And many of the high roller teams already have younger (cheaper) options in place. So who is going to jump out of their seat to offer 8-10 year contracts worth $35-$45 million per season? Which, as Sherman points out, was the same issue that free agent shortstops, specifically Carlos Correa, dealt with last offseason.

The Astros limited their bidding to retain Correa and did not go boldly for Story because they believed in Jeremy Peña, who has honored that faith. The Yankees believed they had two near major league-ready shortstop prospects in Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe.

Consider that five of MLB.com’s top 10 prospects are shortstops: Volpe, CJ Abrams (Padres), Marco Luciano (Giants), Noelvi Marte (Mariners) and Marcelo Mayer (Red Sox) — and only Mayer is not expected to be in the majors by next year. There are another seven shortstops in the top 50, then another six in the top 75. Of course, not all of them will make it or make it at a high level. But many organizations believe they have low-cost solutions close to the majors (Witt and Pittsburgh’s O’Neil Cruz graduated from the preseason top-25 already).Joel Sherman (New York Post)

All of these market uncertainties should make Correa more susceptible to a fair extension offer by the Twins. One that would guarantee him future years, money and certainty. Instead, the New York Post is completely ruling that out as an option.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan