Late-night stunner: Mets, Carlos Correa agree to 12-year, $315 million contract
One week after reportedly signing with the San Francisco Giants, the superstar shortstop makes a shocking pivot.
This is not a fever dream — this is reality.
As you wake up this morning, the news is rolling in… while you were sleeping, the Mets and shortstop Carlos Correa reportedly agreed to a 12-year, $315 million contract.
The news was first broken by Jon Heyman of the New York Post/MLB Network at nearly 3 o’clock in the morning.
“My team is good. But it isn’t that much better than last year,” Mets owner and CEO Steve Cohen said to Heyman last week. “If you want a team that’s good, this is what it costs. What are you going to do?”
There is no other way to say it — this news comes as an absolute shocker whose waves will ripple across the league. It was just one week ago when the Mets got into the Correa sweepstakes late in the game and ultimately lost out, as the Giants had reportedly signed Correa to a 13-year mega-deal. That was that, the Mets made a final hour charge but came up short, and that was okay. It was still a great start to the offseason. Never did I think that we would be waking up to this reality.
Correa was supposed to be introduced in a press conference as a Giant yesterday, but after a reported health flag in his physical earlier in the week came up, San Francisco cryptically postponed it (I think they can probably cancel that thing now). This apparently re-opened the door just enough for Steve Cohen to come barreling through it armed with a checkbook and a will to win we have never quite seen from a Mets owner before.
What an absolute 180-degree switch from the Wilpon days. When the sheer shock of this signing begins to dissipate, it will be seen as a seismic shift in not only the NL East but the entire league. The Mets and their owner have made an absolute statement this offseason, take their payroll to heights no one has ever seen before in order to put a sure fire winner on the field of play.
“I made a commitment to the fans,” Cohen explained. “If it means I have to spend money to fulfill that commitment, so be it.”
The Mets won 101 games last year but couldn’t hold onto the division or make a run in October, and that wasn’t enough for this front office. In the last few weeks alone, New York has now acquired Carlos Correa, Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, David Robertson, José Quintana and Brooks Raley while re-signing Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Díaz and Adam Ottavino. So much for that “the Mets haven’t gotten any better” narrative being spun over the last few weeks.
As for Correa himself, he provides a legitimate star bat for a lineup that was really one power hitter away from being whole. Just last season, Correa, 28, hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs, 24 doubles, 64 RBI, 70 runs scored, a 140 wRC+ and a 4.4 fWAR. Also of note, Correa is a career .272/.344/.505/.849 hitter in the postseason. This is the absolute bat that this lineup needed to add protection to Francisco Lindor and Pete Alonso.
Correa is also expected to shift to third base with the Mets, with Lindor manning shortstop for the next decade after being acquired in the 2020-21 offseason. Correa moved over to third for Lindor once before as teammates during the 2017 World Baseball Classic for Puerto Rico, and will now do so for the next 12 years in Queens.
With this acquisition, the Mets payroll is at a place no one has ever seen before, likely leading to a few trades to be made before this offseason. Look no further than Eduardo Escobar, who just lost his starting job, and James McCann. Maybe Carlos Carrasco, too. At some point going forward, the question of Correa’s medicals that opened the door for the Mets to sign him in the first place will need to be answered — but today is not the day for that.
This is a day for celebration. Mets fans have long deserved a franchise that went “all in” and did whatever it takes to win, regardless of the cost. Well here we are. This ain’t the Wilpons anymore. Carlos Correa is a New York Met, and this team is all in.
THIS METS FAN NOT TOTALLY ON BOARD WITH CORREA SIGNING
I awoke on Wednesday to the news that overnight the deal between the Giants and Carlos Correa was held up due to some medical issues (not the player's back which had been a chronic issue for him). And further that a long call between Mets' owner Steve Cohen and the Correa camp resulted in the player agreeing to a huge long-term deal with the Mets.
You'd think that adding an all-star caliber player to an already impressive lineup would really get me juiced as it apparently has had that effect on Mets fans in general.
But actually I wish this signing did not happen even though I'd likely sing a different tune if the Mets take the 2023 World Series.
My reasoning is that Correa will now morph from a wonderful shortstop to play thirdbase. I'm sure he'll be well above average defensively there and, assuming good health, will probably put up an OPS north of 800 and a WAR of 3 or more
My reservations include the fact that this signing probably shuts the door on some of the Mets' top prospects. I have been optimistic about the futures of Brett Baty and Mark Vientos. Baty has a great hit tool and could well become a much better than average thirdbaseman - even if his defense is a bit suspect.
Vientos could be the righthanded power bat the team needs at 3B or more likely DH. Many think he could deliver 30 or more HRs per season were he to get regular at bats.
The Correa signing blocks the path for these prospects and also puts Eduardo Escobar on the outs. EE is not the "special" player that Correa is but still is a legit major leaguer. Between him and the prospects I thought the position was in good hands.
Then there is the question of overkill.
When George Steinbrenner owned the Yankees I, as a Mets fan, would not have wanted him as my team's owner. But I would have wanted someone somewhat like him for the gig. I wanted the Mets to flex the muscle of a big market team. I didn't want penny pinching which was what the Wilpon ownership brought to the table.
Steve Cohen, up til now, has been a Godsend for the franchise and has made few missteps. But his recent purchases of every shiny thing out there seems bad for baseball overall.
Franchises like the LA Dodgers can attest to the fact that the biggest payrolls and lineups that include oodles of All-Stars still don't necessarily win World Series. I am hoping that the Mets will be able to accomplish the goal in the next year or two but also think they could have done so without the addition of Carlos Correa.
Hmm. Not sure if I “ love this transaction. Escobar was finally coming unto his own and he was becoming a fan favorite. He showed heart and a whole lotta team spirit. I hate to see that be broken.