Is this a game of chicken between Scott Boras and the Mets?
One side is threatening to walk away, the other says multiple teams are involved in negotiations
Carlos Correa Watch: Day 18 🚨
On December 21st, the Mets and Carlos Correa reportedly agreed to a 12-year, $315 million contract. However, after undergoing a physical later that week, the Mets raised similar concerns to that of the Giants over Correa’s leg. San Francisco had originally agreed with Correa on a 13-year, $350 million contract the week prior.
In 2014, Correa broke his fibula and sustained ligament damage close to his ankle, requiring surgery to remedy. Correa has never missed any time due to the injury in the major leagues. Correa has missed only 42 of a possible 384 games since the start of the 2020 season, much of which came in 2022 after being placed on the COVID-19 injured list midyear.
Both Mets owner and CEO Steve Cohen and Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, are on record discussing the contract, with both instances taking place before Correa took a physical with the Mets.
If the deal gets completed, Correa will join the Mets as their new regular third baseman…
Keep up with the latest on Carlos Correa’s free agency on this page here.
January 6 - SNY, Athletic, Daily News
The Mets have grown frustrated in their talks with Scott Boras, and are considering walking away entirely from the negotiation
Despite the frustration, the Mets still would still like to work through their issues in the negotiation
The Twins are still interested in signing Correa, but believe their only shot at him is if his deal with the Mets falls apart
January 5 - SNY, New York Post, Links
Scott Boras is in contact with at least one other team for Correa, including the Twins who originally offered a 10-year, $285 million contract for him to return to Minnesota
Many of the conversations and dialogue taking place between the Mets and Carlos Correa’s camp are between lawyers, but they are progressing towards a resolution
The two sides could finalize their revised contract by the end of the week
The basic terms of the deal - 12 years, $315 million - are unlikely to change much
The Mets are intent on reducing their risk in the deal which would include language that protects them against an injury to his surgically repaired leg/ankle, which could make a part of the $315 million less than fully guaranteed
January 4 - SNY
The Mets’ deal with Correa is “going to get done,” per Britt Ghiroli
The Mets are expected to work out a deal with SS/3B Carlos Correa, which could come together by the end of the week
New York is expected to continue to be active in the trade market once the Correa deal is renegotiated
January 2 - New York Post
Talks are expected to resume again between the Mets and Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, following a lull over the holidays
There is still a good chance both sides come to an agreement
January 1 - Associated Press, SF Chronicle
The Giants are among the teams that have checked back in with Scott Boras on Correa, but they will not pivot back to a new deal even if the Mets fail to complete their deal with him
December 29 - Daily News, New York Post
Mets owner and CEO Steve Cohen is upset with the leak about the team being concerned with Correa’s physical, and has made sure there’s only a small circle in the know about what’s currently happening
Other teams are being told that for now, it’s, “only a Mets game” with Correa. “I’d be surprised if he’s not [a Met],” one person said.
Both the Mets and Giants likely see post-traumatic arthritis in Correa’s ankle
December 28 - New York Post, SI, MLB Network
There are no other teams currently involved in Correa’s free agency (MLB Hot Stove said on-air by Jon Morosi)
The deal is seen at 51-49 at getting done
The issue with Correa’s leg won’t necessarily impact him over the next 3-5 years, rather towards the second half of the contract
The injury/surgery on Correa’s leg is at risk of becoming arthritic with time
That Correa hasn’t had any problems at all with his surgically repaired leg/ligament - aside from minor impact last season - suggests his leg is holding up well
December 27 - SNY
The Mets and representatives for Correa were working again on Tuesday to come to a revised agreement, but no details on progress have been offered to the public at this time
December 26 - New York Post
Correa is committed to finalizing this deal with the Mets, although he isn’t open to restructuring the length and financial terms of the contract
It is unclear whether or not discussions have resumed following a break on Christmas
There is a, “55 percent” chance a deal will be completed between Correa and the Mets
The Mets were well aware of the findings from the Giants’ doctors after he took his physical with the Giants
Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, and the Mets could try to work language into the contract which would protect the club financially if Correa were to miss an extended period of time due to an injury specific to his fibula
December 25 - New York Post
The two sides are trying to work through the issues found on Correa’s medicals
The Mets and Correa’s camp remain optimistic a deal can be completed
The two sides were discussing the MRI results compared to the functionality of the joint along with Correa’s recent history of dependability
Other teams have checked in on Correa since his deal with the Mets hit a snag, but both sides are, “motivated” to work through the issues
December 24 - Mets share similar concerns as the Giants did over Carlos Correa's physical
December 21 - Mets and Carlos Correa agree to 12-year, $315 contract
Stories to read 🔗
An assessment on the state of affairs between the Mets and Correa
Mets and Correa/Boras have every reason to make this deal go through
Logic must prevail between the Mets and Carlos Correa… ✍🏻
For nearly two weeks, there wasn’t a peep from either side of the Carlos Correa negotiation. After Mets owner and CEO Steve Cohen went on the record with the New York Post confirming the club’s agreement with Correa, and Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, went on record to not only confirm the same but also discuss the issues the Giants found with Correa’s ankle, both sides went silent.
On Thursday evening, it was reported by multiple outlets that Correa’s camp had begun negotiating with at least one other team besides the Mets, potentially the Twins, his former team who had originally offered him a ten-year, $285 million contract.
Then on Friday, Andy Martino of SNY reported the Mets had grown, “very frustrated” with the discussions, and were considering backing out of the whole process.
Is that the truth? Or is this a $315 million game of chicken?
My guess? Mostly chicken.
In any case, let the public perception game begin.
Look - I am sure if Correa would be willing to lower his demands to a shorter-term deal, not just the Mets would pass him on this physical, but many other teams - teams which can offer Correa the chance to play shortstop - would be interested in that as well.
But let’s just ponder this question for one second.
If there was another team out there for Correa offering at least ten years, and ten years unconditionally without some kind of medical waiver on his ankle, why would they still even be talking to the Mets right now?
If that exists for him, they’d be crazy to not take it. That includes the Twins. If that original ten year offer was still out there, why wouldn’t Boras just take it and eliminate the risk?
As for interest from other teams, specifically the Twins, yeah I’m sure there are other teams watching from afar and waiting to see what happens. If the deal with the Mets falls apart, I am pretty sure Correa will sign with another team.
But why would another team even offer a decade-long deal after the player failed two physicals over the same issue? A three, four or five year deal changes the calculus of this physical and I’m pretty sure even the Mets would pass him under those kinds of terms right now.
But those are not the terms a 28-year old star shortstop wants, especially when he sees similar players of his ilk around him getting decade-plus contracts.
Correa wants a piece of the pie and the Mets are clearly the only ones with that pie.
I write this with the caveat that things change, and this free agency is as unpredictable as there has ever been in the near-50 year history of free agency. It’s also complicated - lawyers for the Mets, lawyers from the league, lawyers from the union are all involved in structuring the careful language of whatever provisions are being built into this deal.
But this is Steve Cohen’s white whale this winter. He said it himself how much of a difference maker Correa is for his team.
And for Boras, this could be his last shot at getting Correa that piece of the pie.
So, who blinks first?
Hot Stove 🔥
The Dodgers designated Trevor Bauer for assignment following his reinstatement from the restricted list, issuing a strong statement in the process (official release)
The Rangers are interested in a trade with the Pirates for Bryan Reynolds (Athletic)
The Giants made their deal with Michael Conforto official on Friday (official release)
The Red Sox announced their one-year contract with Justin Turner (official release)
The Padres signed infielder Adam Engel and pitcher Brent Honeywell to a one-year, big league contract (Official Release)
Fernando Tatís, Jr. has been cleared to resume baseball activities following surgery - he will open the season serving an 80-game suspension for violating the league’s joint drug agreement (Athletic)
Veteran Nelson Cruz says he’s received offers to play in 2023 (audio)
Yes, chicken. The Boras camp thinks that the $ is just spare change to Cohen, who ultimately will buy what he wants. But Cohen didn’t become a 15 billionaire by being taken advantage of in business deals. He doesn’t want future targets to regard him as willing to meet any inflated price tag. And there is no looming deadline to resolve the impasse because spring training is still more than a month away.
This is Boras being Boras. I find it hard to believe there’s another team willing to sign Correa to a contract that large. And if it’s a shorter term with a higher AAV, then why hasn’t he already signed with the Mets, where he wants to be? Perhaps it’s time for the Mets to walk away and see if Boras blinks. I believe Correa needs the Mets more than the Mets need Correa.