The Houston Astros seem willing to pass on Carlos Correa, but that could be a giant mistake in the long run.
Correa wants more than the 10 years, $325 million that his shortstop counterpart Corey Seager earned with the Texas Rangers. In the state of Texas, the taxes are far less of a factor in these contracts, so Correa should still be willing to listen to what Houston has to say despite their ignorance to his dealings thus far.
The 27-year-old shortstop has been connected to the likes of the New York Yankees, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs and even Detroit Tigers at one point. The idea that Houston owner Jim Crane cannot afford to bring Correa back is a fallacy.
Can Astros afford to bring back Carlos Correa?
The Astros can’t afford not to.
He’s the leader of their franchise, and came up the ranks in Houston as a top prospect. He’s embraced the role of a villain since Houston’s sign-stealing scandal, and without him the Astros don’t have the same impact player in the infield. Needless to say, the majority of the top free agent shortstops are off the market right now, setting up for a Correa reunion post-lockout if the Astros are open to it.
At the end of the day, the money is what would stop Crane from cashing in on Correa. Despite being just 27, Correa wants close to a decade-long contract. Come the end of those ten years, it’s safe to say Correa would not be the same player he is right now.
Shortstops typically do not age well defensively. Despite Correa being the best defensive shortstop in all of baseball at the moment, in his late-30’s, he could be trending towards a permanent move to third base or second base. At that point, he will not be worth the $30 million-plus Crane would have to pay him.
But in the end, Correa is worth such a contract due to the productivity of his prime years. Correa still has at least five years left of peak performance.
Safe to say, Crane would make back his money and more.