Twins Shock MLB World, Sign Carlos Correa to 3-Year; $105M Contract
The Minnesota Twins had been losing out on every free agent negotiation of the offseason, always negotiating with available players, but never landing the winning bid. Until the wee hours of Saturday morning, that is, when the Twins sent a shockwave through the Major League Baseball world by signing the most expensive dude on the market, (SS) Carlos Correa, to a — 3-year, 105.3 million ($35.1M/YR) — contract.
MLB source: Free agent shortstop Carlos Correa has reached an agreement with the Minnesota Twins (@Twins) on a three-year deal worth $105.3 million with opt outs after the first two years. Highest average annual value for an MLB infielder.— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) March 19, 2022
Correa finished 5th in MVP voting in 2021, posting a .279 BA, .850 OPS, 27 HR, 92 RBI and scoring 104 times. His 7.2 WAR was 3rd highest in the MLB. When the lockout finally ended earlier this month, Correa was the hottest commodity on the market. Now, he’ll make the most of any infielder in baseball. And the Minnesota Twins will be the team who pays him.
What is happening?
When it became clear to Carlos Correa that he wasn’t going to land a massive 10-year, $300+ million contract like his shortstop peer Corey Seager signed with the Texas Rangers pre-lockout, the 27-year-old went searching for a bridge deal that would pay him the maximum amount of money in a shorter period of time.
So after the Twins traded Josh Donaldson and Kiner-Falefa to the Yankees last week, they went big game hunting on the shortstop market. Many thought they were in on Trevor Story when, in fact, they had their sights set even higher.
After dumping Donaldson, the Minnesota Twins had a lot of money to spend this offseason, just to get back to the type of payroll numbers they’ve had in recent seasons. In one swoop of the pen, that’s no longer the case.
Correa now is the highest paid infielder at $35.1M, topping Anthony Rendon’s $35M.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 19, 2022
Yet, there are still HUGE holes in the pitching rotation and signing Correa would signal an obvious win-now mentality. It’s been reported that the Twins are in contact with the Oakland Athletics for the two front-end starters they’ve been shopping, Sean Manaea and Frankie Montas. They need to land one of those two or find another equivalent.
Let’s Talk Opt-Outs
The flexibility of this contract is what got it done for both Correa and the Minnesota Twins. They were happily willing to give Correa the ability to opt out after either year one or year two. It’s unlikely others teams wanted something that short-term or that player-empowering. But the Twins don’t care because Carlos is a valuable asset no matter which way you slice it.
Falvine will now work to finish out a roster that the Twins hope will compete in 2022. If they do and they make a playoff run, both sides could decide the $35 million investment was worth it. In that case, Correa can opt-in for another season. But even if the season goes sideways and this big splash doesn’t make for the short-term success either sides hoped for, playoff quality teams will be offering entire farm systems to land a proven playoff stallion like Carlos Correa back in a trade.
But let’s not concern ourselves with worst-case scenarios this morning. Because the Minnesota Twins just signed the best and most expensive shortstop on the market and, suddenly, the summer has hope.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan