Time for Mets, Carlos Correa to strike deal and put drama behind them

One week after Steve Cohen’s late-night sweet talk with a prominent agent — it wasn’t Jake from State Farm — led to the Mets reaching contractual agreement with All-Star infielder, the suspense level is still high.

The drama isn’t about what Cohen’s next acquisition might be, but whether we’ll actually see Carlos Correa wearing a Mets uniform in 2023.

Tuesday was another day of silence, from both the Mets and Correa’s camp (headed by Scott Boras) as the two sides try to find resolution to the sticking point that prevented Correa from finalizing his deal with the Giants last week. Following a physical exam there is obvious concern by the Mets that Correa’s right leg, which contains a plate near the ankle, isn’t up to withstanding the rigors that would come with trying to fulfill a 12-year contract worth $315 million.

It’s dicey. Correa is only 28 years and has the potential to elevate a Mets lineup that was fifth in MLB in scoring last season, but appeared overmatched in the most important games, both against the Braves near the regular season’s conclusion and in the wild-card round of the playoffs against the Padres. The flip side is the risk of a breakdown at some point that could leave the Mets paying for a player who isn’t physically capable of performing.

It behooves both sides to find a solution that turns the engagement into marriage. Breaking up shouldn’t be an option.

Correa wants to get paid and win. He isn’t going to find a better opportunity than with the Mets, who are in the process of an overhaul under Cohen that has escalated the payroll beyond $350 million, more than doubling the amount the team was spending on salaries only three years ago under the Wilpon/Katz ownership.

Also, if Correa were to leave, where would he turn after agreeing to terms with two teams this offseason and finalizing a deal with neither? Correa seems to understand the Mets are his best option and isn’t looking to negotiate elsewhere, but if he sticks to the idea that the length of contract and dollars remain the same this could take a while.

Likewise, the Mets are trying to win the World Series next season, when Justin Verlander will be 40 years old and Max Scherzer turns 39. Correa joining a lineup that already includes Pete Alonso, Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo and Jeff McNeil increases those odds. And if the Mets were to win a World Series or two relatively soon, whatever the back end of Correa’s contract resembles in relation to productivity would be easier to reconcile. It should be noted that Correa hasn’t spent any time on the IL with right leg issues since sustaining the injury in the minor leagues in 2014.

If this were earlier in the winter, the Mets could just move in a different direction. But with the larger-ticket items already removed from the board it’s probably Correa or stick with some combination of Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme for next season as Brett Baty attempts to show he is ready. That is a solid option, but given your choice with a swashbuckling owner who doesn’t seem to care about cost, Correa should be the starting third baseman.

This is where the relationship Cohen and Boras have developed over the last two winters can benefit the team and player. Cohen and Boras seem to genuinely like each other and play well together. It’s a perfect fit, with the owner’s unmatched wealth in the sport and the agent’s unrivaled stable of clients. Now these titans need to bring Correa and the Mets together.

On Monday, a source with knowledge of the situation told me there was a 55 percent chance the Mets and Correa would finalize a deal. That was a numerical way of saying, it’s more likely to occur than not, but hardly a slam dunk.

As ecstatic as Mets fans were when they awoke last Wednesday to discover Correa had reached agreement with the team in the middle of the night, the roar would only increase with a finalized deal.

Cohen can announce it as the ball is dropping on Times Square on Saturday night.

Time to get 55 percent to 100.

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