How Carlos Correa’s Twins deal happened, and what it means

Carlos Correa, Braves (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)
Carlos Correa, Braves (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images) /

Carlos Correa signed with the Minnesota Twins, assuming he can pass his physical. Here’s what it means:

Free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a six-year, $200 million contract that can max out at $270 million with vesting options for four additional seasons, according to sources familiar with the deal. The deal is pending a physical.

As evidenced by his failed physicals with the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets, no deal is official until Twins team doctors sign off on his medicals. But the Twins have already examined — and passed — Correa’s right ankle, which was the primary issue for both teams, so there appears to be no hurdles preventing this deal from going through, as Jon Heyman of the New York Post said.

Minnesota were never in position to offer Correa a $300+ million contract, so after he agreed to deals with the Giants and Mets, they pivoted to Joey Gallo and Christian Vazquez. But all along they lurked behind the scenes as a fallback for Correa and maintained constant communication with his agent, Scott Boras.

Talks between the two sides heated up on Monday night and by early Tuesday morning, team officials expressed optimism that a deal would soon be reached. By agreeing to a deal, adding Correa on a contract that maxes out at 10 seasons, it puts the end to what is perhaps the most stunning free agency in baseball history.

What re-signing Carlos Correa means for the Twins

Adding Correa makes the Twins the immediate favorite to win the American League Central and further cements their status in the AL.

Minnesota loved what Correa provided last season, both on and off the field, after he signed a three-year, $105.3 million contract. One Twins source lauded his baseball acumen and, as The Athletic reported, the swagger that he brought to the clubhouse. And after he hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs, 64 RBI and a 4.9 WAR, the Twins made it clear both publicly and privately that they wanted him back.

Correa, 28, is among baseball’s best shortstops. His latest agreement with the Twins gives him the highest annual salary in a deep shortstop class that featured Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson, though less total dollars than Turner and Correa. And strengthens and deepens a lineup that includes Gallo, Vazquez, Byron Buxton, Luis Arraez, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Royce Lewis, Nick Gordon and Jose Miranda, among others.

With Correa now signed, the Twins are expected to turn their attention toward the pitching staff. With the free-agent starting pitcher market seemingly bare after Johnny Cueto signed with the Marlins, it’s possible rival teams turn their attention toward Sonny Gray, Tyler Mahle and Kenta Maeda, who are pending free agents.

If Minnesota moved any starting pitcher, they could turn their attention to Michael Wacha, the best pitcher remaining on the free-agent market. It’s just one of the many possibilities that the Twins will consider in the coming days and weeks.

But Correa has always been the Twins’ top priority. Despite all odds, and Correa agreeing to two separate $315-plus million mega deals elsewhere, they got their guy.

Next. Carlos Correa chooses the Twins. dark