Correa and Astros will agree; sources peg coming deal at close to $5M

Shortstop Carlos Correa, the No. 1 overall pick in Monday's draft, is already progressing toward a deal with the Astros, sources tell

Furthermore, those sources suggest the deal is expected to be for close to $5 million.

One person familiar with the talks said Correa would not have OK'ed something for precisely $4 million and another person estimated the coming deal at between $4.5 million and $5 million.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a phone interview that Correa and his parents are coming to Houston Thursday, when he and agent Paul Kinzer are expected to work toward finalizing the deal. "I don't expect any difficulties,'' Luhnow said. "We hope to have a quick signing and get him onto the field, which is where he wants to be.''

"It is going to be worked out,'' one other person familiar with the negotiations said, flat out.

Correa, a big hitter with a bigger ceiling, was wearing an Astros uniform top when he departed the draft site Monday night. Tuesday there was a big celebration in Puerto Rico.

No pre-draft deals are allowed anymore by the new rules, but teams are allowed to gauge signability before making the pick. It was imperative that the team with the first overall selection have a clear understanding about its ability to sign the pick because the slot was assigned a value of $7.2 million, and a failure to sign the player would mean a loss of the ability to spend that $7.2 million allotment. So it's no surprise that the Astros and Correa will soon have a deal.

The Astros were believed to have considered Stanford pitcher Mark Appel, who went No. 8 to the Pirates, and Georgia prep outfielder Byron Buxton, who went No. 2 to the Twins. But while reports have surfaced to suggest the Astros talked money with other players, Luhnow said Correa was their choice, irrespective of finances, and that he spent a good part of Monday talking to Correa's camp.

"No signabiility issues were discussed with other players under consideration for our first pick except for our eventual choice,'' Luhnow said. "That includes their families and any advisers.''

Luhnow said the reason they zeroed in on Correa was "the potential for a middle-of-the-order bat who plays a premium position.'' Luhnow said they see 30-homer potential in Correa, making him "too hard to pass up.''

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