Mets sign 27 international free agents, an original Met passes away, and a logical conclusion to the Carlos Correa matter
While Scott Boras his doing is job as the primary advocate for Carlos Correa, his comments lacked certain context
What’s Up with the Mets? 🍎
The Mets signed 27 international free agents, headlined by C Daiverson Gutierrez, who ranks 27th on MLB.com’s top 50 international list (official release)
The Mets will introduce Omar Narváez and re-introduce Adam Ottavino during a conference call with reporters today at 1:30 PM ET
Original Met Frank Thomas passed away at the age of 93 (Jay Horwitz)
27 days until pitchers and catchers report to Port St. Lucie! ⚾️ 🌴
Closing the door on Carlos Correa with logic and pragmatism… ✍🏻
I don’t know about you, but I think this is the worst part of the baseball calendar, which is funny because it’s right before what’s arguably the best part of the baseball calendar.
It’s mid-January. It’s cold, it’s gray and teams are beginning to shift their focus away from their roster as they lean into the meat of their planning for spring training, which thankfully is now less than a moon cycle away from us .
Barely, but I’ll take anything I can get which puts us closer to those first pitches being thrown off a mound with the uniform on.
But still, this is always the most boring part of the year in baseball. Sure, we get distracted this year with playoff football in New York, quality Knicks and Nets teams (for a change at MSG), and all three hockey teams in the metropolitan area have proven themselves relevant as well.
If you’re a sports junkie, you’re most certainly getting your fill during these dreary days in New York.
But it’s this time of year which always reminds me of that scene in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner is looking out at his empty field in the dead of winter with snow falling, waiting for something to happen.
At least the Mets (or someone involved with them) gives us something to talk about on a daily basis. It doesn’t seem to matter who owns the team either - they always have a story for us to read.
And on this day, it’s Scott Boras, the super-agent who should someday be inducted as the first player agent into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, for his comments about how the Mets handled this dragged out, poke-your-eyeballs-out negotiation with his client, Carlos Correa.
Mr. Boras recently chatted with USA Today’s Bob Nightengale about all of this, which of course is his right and certainly his job as chief advocate for his client.
“I don’t understand the Mets,’’ is the first quote from Mr. Boras in Mr. Nightengale’s column.
Let’s just say at a minimum this one line alone is designed and intended to shift the balance of opinion towards the player and away from the club.
Again, Mr. Boras is doing everything he is supposed to as Correa’s agent and free-speaking mouth piece. I always tell everyone I speak to about Mr. Boras that everyone should have someone like him negotiating on their behalf.
He goes on, of course.
“I gave them all of the information. We had them talk to four doctors. They knew the issue the Giants had. And yet, they still call the same doctor the Giants used for his opinion. There was no new information. So why negotiate a contract if you were going to rely on the same doctor?
“It was different with the Giants because a doctor had an opinion they didn’t know about. But the Mets had notice of this. They knew the opinion of the Giants. So why did you negotiate when you know this thing in advance?"
That doctor is Dr. Robert Anderson, a leading foot and ankle surgeon in the United States. He has been practicing since 1989 and served as the team orthopedist for the Carolina Panthers for almost two decades.
I think his opinion might carry some weight.
Now look - I don’t think the Mets are completely innocent here. I agree to an extent with Mr. Boras about engaging into negotiations with his client knowing full well his client essentially failed a physical with the Giants the same day they agreed to this deal.
But I also think Mr. Boras’s comments lack certain context and obviously contain only one angle.
Seriously - does anyone really think the Mets consulted only Dr. Anderson on the matter? They were entering into a 12-year, $315 million agreement with Correa, a lifetime mega-deal for a player who anyone will admit sustained a major injury to his ankle and fibula, that which required surgery to insert a plate and screws to put it back together.
Correa came to New York for another physical, this time for the Mets at the Hospital for Special Surgery. The whole practice is overseen by Dr. David Altchek, a doctor who himself has saved the careers of countless athletes at all levels of all sports in a hospital with one of the best and most renowned foot and ankle specialties in the world.
Now, I don’t ever pretend to be a doctor. The sight of blood from a paper cut makes me dizzy. Nor do I pretend to know exactly what was said during the consults with team physicians or outside opinions on the matter with Correa. But wouldn’t one surmise there are doctors in that practice who might have agreed with Dr. Anderson’s opinion on Correa’s leg?
The point is, the Mets (and I am sure the Giants) didn’t arrive at their conclusions leaning on the opinion of a single doctor, as well established as he is. We are talking about $300 million plus and more than a decade in a contract agreement here with two clubs.
Don’t you think that it would be kind of stupid for a professional sports franchise to lean on just one medical opinion for any player?
And remember this - Correa failed to get a long-term deal after the 2021 season and settled for a three-year contract with the Twins as a result. In addition, it’s not as if Correa was able to get the same reported ten-year, $285 million contract the Twins had originally offered him at the beginning of his free agency this winter.
I don’t think anyone has to know a single thing about the negotiation to not be able to apply simple logic to the entire affair.
Here’s the part I don’t understand, which perhaps will one day be revealed. And I am sure Mets GM Billy Eppler will be peppered with questions about Correa and this issue in particular today during his chat with reporters.
A six-year deal for Correa is entirely different than a 12-year deal. The wear and tear on his ankle at age 34 would be different than in subsequent years. That’s not to say it will or will not be a problem - if I could predict the future, I wouldn’t be playing lotto scratch-offs all the time. But the risk in a six-year commitment is way, way, WAY different than that in a 10 or 12 year commitment. I certainly understood why the Mets wouldn’t guarantee the second half of the contract given the circumstances. And again, it’s not as if the Twins are guaranteeing the back half of their deal, either.
But the Mets have followed a path of high-dollar, shorter-term deals over the past two years with players who are far older than Correa. So, why did the Mets essentially cut the original terms of the deal in half and not at least attempt to incentivize the latter portion of the guarantee?
That’s not meant to serve as a criticism to the club. I get the risk assessment part of all of this. But that’s the part that gives Mr. Boras the ammo for his argument from my seat.
The Mets could be right and Correa’s leg could be a ticking time bomb. He could be a shell of the player he is right now in a very short period of time, perhaps before the six guaranteed years is up. Even for the Mets and all of their financial might, that would be a difficult road to navigate. The only thing the Mets had to lose was the PR game as I said when this fiasco began. After all, they were a 100-win roster without Correa and have the ability to self-correct with an acquisition at any moment. They had little reason to overpay and take on what they felt was uncomfortable risk.
It was the player who had the most to lose, which is exactly what transpired. That’s just a fact. Mr. Boras knows that as well as anyone.
But they could be wrong too. So could the Giants. Nobody really knows. All either club could do was assess the information at hand - from everyone - and make a decision. The fan in me truly wishes the Mets could’ve made this work, and I am as disappointed as anyone this ended the way it did. I truly hope the clubs are wrong not because I want to be able to point the finger at someone but because as a fan, all great players should remain great.
And Correa is indeed a great player.
Hot Stove 🔥
The Royals would like to bring Zack Greinke back on an incentive-laden deal (Athletic)
The Red Sox are interested in both Jurickson Profar and Elvis Andrus (USA Today)
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