Carlos Correa will now be a New York Met. The Mets and Correa reached a 12-year, $315 million deal late Tuesday night, according to the New York Post's Jon Heyman. Team owner Steve Cohen and Correa's agent Scott Boras ironed out the blockbuster contract over several hours while the billionaire was in Hawaii, Heyman reported.
Correa, an All-Star shortstop who played with the Minnesota Twins this past season, is expected to move to third base as the Mets have Francisco Lindor at shortstop. Correa and Lindor are close friends, and Correa played third base for Puerto Rico in the 2017 World Baseball Classic in deference to Lindor.
The monster deal pushes the Mets' competitive balance tax payroll to an estimated $388.4 million, per FanGraphs, along with an approximate $115.3 million in CBT payments. All-in, the Mets are currently projected to spend about $503.7 million on players in 2023. Cohen, benefactor of his own level of CBT penalties, obviously does not care.
The reported signing capped a wild string of events Tuesday after the San Francisco Giants, who had previously agreed to to a 13-year contract worth $350 million with Correa, delayed his introductory press conference that had been planned for earlier in the day. That press conference was postponed because of a medical concern that came to light during the physical, the Associated Press reports. The exact nature of the medical concern is unknown.
"While we are prohibited from disclosing confidential medical information, as Scott Boras publicly stated, there was a difference of opinion over the results of Carlos' physical examination. We wish Carlos the best," the Giants said in a statement Wednesday.
Scott Boras, Correa's agent, told The Athletic he gave the Giants "reasonable time" to complete the contract before moving on to other teams. "Every team has a right to go through things and evaluate things. The key thing is, we gave them (the Giants) medical reports at the time. They still wanted to sign the player and negotiate with the player," Boras said.
Correa's previous contract with the Giants would have been the fourth largest in MLB history in terms of total value. Here are the 12 $300 million contracts in league history:
- Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: $426.5 million
- Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers: $365 million
- Aaron Judge, New York Yankees: $360 million
- Francisco Lindor, New York Mets: $341 million
- Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres: $340 million
- Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies: $330 million
- Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins: $325 million
- Corey Seager, Texas Rangers: $325 million
- Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees: $324 million
- Carlos Correa, New York Mets: $315 million
- Trea Turner, Philadelphia Phillies: $300 million
- Manny Machado, San Diego Padres: $300 million
Most contracts in MLB, particularly high-dollar free-agent pacts, are not finalized until the player in question passes a physical conducted by the signing team. If issues arise during that physical, then the agreement can be renegotiated, scrapped altogether, or proceed as planned. J.D. Martinez's five-year contract with the Boston Red Sox was delayed by his physical, for example.
Correa has dealt with various health issues and injuries in his career, including back and neck problems when he was with the Houston Astros, prior to his time with the Twins. This past season he missed time with COVID and also a finger injury after being hit by a pitch. Again, the nature of the issue with his Giants physical is unknown, so it may be unrelated to any prior issues.
Here's what SportsLine says about Correa's impact on the Mets:
|Wins||AL East%||Division%||LCS%||World Series%|
A two-time All-Star, Correa hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs in 136 games in 2022. He is a career .279/.357/.479 hitter who has historically played splendid defense at shortstop. It all adds up to 39.5 WAR through Correa's age 27 season. There is still work to be done, but his career to date has put him on the Hall of Fame track.
Correa, who turned 28 in September, spent 2022 with the Twins on what amounted to a one-year contract worth $35.1 million with a two-year, $70.2 million insurance policy in case his performance cratered or he suffered a catastrophic injury. Neither happened and Correa opted out of his contract after the season, and cashed in this offseason.
The Mets went 101-61 in 2022, identical to the Atlanta Braves, but the Braves won the season series 10-9 and thus held the tiebreaker, and were awarded the NL East title. New York lost to the Padres in three games in the new Wild Card Series.