MLB insider predicts Carlos Correa homecoming sooner than you think

Carlos Correa left the Houston Astros for the Minnesota Twins this offseason, but an opt out in his deal could allow him to leave sooner than some think.

Correa signed a three-year deal with the Twins, but the contract goes a little deeper than that. The star shortstop is only tied to Minnesota for this coming season. Technically, he has opt outs after his first and second years with the Twins.

Basically, the Twins front office signed up for a constant state of panic.

While that’s still a wise move talent-wise, as Correa will be a force in Minnesota, it does mean he could leave at any given point in time (well, any offseason for that matter).

The Athletic’s Jim Bowden predicted this very real possibility in his latest column:

“Carlos Correa enjoys his one season in Minnesota but misses being on the big stage in October, opts out of his contract, and returns to the Astros to the delight of his former teammates.”

Ouch. That would hurt far and wide in the midwest.

Twins: Could Carlos Correa return to Houston Astros?

Correa still has ties in Houston. His teammates love and respect him, and owner Jim Crane tried his best to convince Correa to return on an affordable deal. Unfortunately for Crane, the Twins offered more at the last minute.

A Correa return likely hinges on the success of his replacement, who the Astros have been hyping up all spring.

Jeremy Peña won the starting shortstop gig a bit earlier than expected, and as a young potential star in the making, he could give the Astros a cost-effective Correa replacement. Though it’s unlikely he lives up to Correa’s standards, if he can even partially fill those shoes, Crane and Houston would have a tough decision to make.

As of Sunday, Peña was batting .412, while hitting two home runs and recording 8 RBI in seven spring training games with an OPS of 1.268. Spring training is just that — training — but we shouldn’t totally discount that the Astros scouting department is one of the best in baseball.

Only time will tell if Correa returns. The Twins should enjoy him while they can.