The Houston Astros have reportedly offered shortstop Carlos Correa a contract worth $160 million over five years, according to Mark Berman, the sports director of FOX 26.
Correa, 27 years old, would seem unlikely to accept that offer. Rather, he's expected to enter the winter as one of the top free agents available. CBS Sports ranked Correa at No. 1. His eventual contract may not match the extension New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor signed in the spring (10 years, $341 million), but the Astros' reported offer falls short on that target by half.
Astros owner Jim Crane suggested they would make Correa an offer during Friday's press conference to announce manager Dusty Baker's return. "We're going to give him something we think fits into our formula and hope it fits into his formula," he said, per MLB.com's Brian McTaggart.
The Astros' "formula" had produced an offer back in the spring that checked in around $125 million. Correa openly scoffed at that attempt. "We didn't get close at all," he told reporters then, including Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle. "They made it very clear to me: we don't believe in big contracts. We don't believe in long contracts."
Given that Correa just had a monster season, hitting .279/.366/.485 (131 OPS+) with 26 home runs and 7.3 Wins Above Replacement, it's hard to envision him electing to settle for a shorter-term deal before testing the open waters -- especially when large-market teams like the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies are expected to pursue new shortstops of their own.
The Astros have demonstrated an appetite for allowing star players to leave through free agency in recent winters. George Springer departed to the Toronto Blue Jays prior to this season, while Gerrit Cole was allowed to leave for the Yankees the winter before last. Correa would seem to be next.