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Carlos Correa and the Minnesota Twins teamed up for one of the surprise pairings of the most recent offseason when the shortstop inked a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the American League Central contender. However, Correa's stay in the Twin Cities could be a brief one. That's because Jon Heyman reports that Correa, provided he stays healthy the rest of the way, is likely to opt-out of his contract with Minnesota. Correa's current pact includes opt-outs after the 2022 and 2023 seasons that would allow him to re-enter the free agent market ahead of schedule. 

Correa in his age-27 season has put up a slash line of .264/.340/.427 (122 OPS+) with 13 home runs in 86 games. Those numbers come despite Correa's playing his home games at a ballpark, Target Field, that very much works against right-handed hitters. As well, he's been his customary plus self in the field. Throw in his relatively young age – Correa turns 28 in late September – and a decision to opt out becomes easily understandable. Perhaps an injury or stretch-drive collapse changes the thinking, and there's also the fact that the forthcoming shortstop market is likely to be crowded, what with Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts, and Dansby Swanson all slated for free agency. 

A Correa opt-out doesn't preclude a return to the Twins, but they'd likely need to offer him a substantially larger contract than his current one in order to keep him in the fold. For now, though, the focus for Correa and the Twins is on fending off the Cleveland Guardians and, to a lesser extent, the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central. With the division unlikely to yield a wild-card entrant, it's probably "division title or bust" for those three clubs. The Twins enter Friday's slate having lost three in a row and trailing the Guardians by 1 1/2 games in the standings.