The Giants may end up vindicated in the Carlos Correa saga.
Days after the Giants backed out of a 13-year, $350 million deal with the star shortstop due to concerns over his medicals, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes reported the Mets are second-guessing their 12-year, $315 million offer to Correa following a physical.
Reports around the Giants indicate they were concerned about an ankle injury he suffered in 2014, rather than the back injury that hindered him in 2018. While the Giants were largely panned for that report, if these reports bear out history may smile kindly on the Giants not offering a megadeal for Correa.
Correa had surgery for the 2014 injury, which was suffered in the minor leagues. As for why this hasn’t cropped up in the past, it stands to reason the physicals conducted are different for a 13- or 12-year deal than for the three-year deal with an opt-out the Twins offered last season.
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Why Carlos Correa’s Mets physical caused concern
The Mets have reportedly flagged the surgically repaired leg of Correa, which came as the result of an injury he suffered in 2014.
This aligns with reports the Giants balked on their contract offer to Correa because of the ankle injury, which San Francisco was roundly mocked for at the time.
Correa has played more than 130 games in each of the last two seasons, but the boom of 10-plus-year contracts to shortstops has arguably affected Correa the most. He clearly is seeking a long-term home, but teams appear to be nervous to give him one.
There are actions the Mets can take, of course, to try to keep Correa on a long-term deal. Rosenthal mentions the possibility of the Mets including offsetting language that would throttle Correa’s guaranteed money in the event of missed time with the pre-existing leg injury, but agent Scott Boras isn’t known to be friendly to teams reneging on player-friendly language.
It may behoove Correa, however, to get this deal done as soon as possible. The fact he took a year and $35 million off his contract to go to the Mets the same day the Giants backed out could easily be treated as a red flag, not to mention the incumbent Twins’ refusal to budge from their 10-year, $285 million offer.
Despite Correa’s leg holding up throughout his career, something is clearly scaring these teams. Perhaps it’s simply the prospect of paying a player who has had significant surgery until he’s 40. But the reality is, that’s the precedent the shortstop market has set.