Carlos Correa, the top free agent shortstop on the market, is suddenly favored to head back to the Houston Astros. Here’s how that came to be.
Correa’s contract demands haven’t done him any favors on the free agent market, at least not with opposing front offices, even though he’s worth the asking price. A decade-long deal is tough to come by in this free agent environment, unless you’re Corey Seager.
The Yankees have been eliminated from Correa contention thanks to their trade for Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Chicago, meanwhile, brought in Andrelton Simmons, though they’re rumored to still be interested in Correa. Whether that would be at shortstop, second or third base remains to be seen.
Why would Carlos Correa re-sign with Astros?
Correa has always had a standing offer from the Astros, seemingly five years at his going rate, though he hasn’t been willing to accept it. MLB insider Jon Heyman suggested the Astros ‘stepped up their efforts’ on Sunday night:
“Astros have stepped up efforts to bring back Carlos Correa to the point where owner team owner Jim Crane is involved. Astros are clearly serious but other teams are still involved,” Heyman tweeted.
The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal suggested that Correa and agent Scott Boras might be interested in a short-term deal, perhaps even a one-year contract, before entering free agency again next offseason without a lockout holding him back.
"“The Astros’ best offer to Correa was five years, $160 million in November, but on Sunday night owner Jim Crane told Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston, “Our team has reached out to his agent. We’re in discussions.” Crane is highly unlikely to double his last offer to Correa or go higher. But on a shorter deal, why wouldn’t he be interested?” Rosenthal wrote."
It’s quite possible Correa could still get the long-term contract he desires. But should he not, waiting for a fresh round of shortstop openings in his age-28 offseason makes some sense. Houston could offer that fresh alternative with a straight face, considering his familiarity with the franchise.