Usually, I’m not particularly eager to write articles that sound more objective than subjective. Still, with the recent news of Carlos Correa signing with the Minnesota Twins for three years, $103.5 million, I want to share the thoughts swirling around in my head since I heard the news.
This whole offseason, lockout and all, has been crazy! Teams like the Texas Rangers made the moves before the lockout to sign Marcus Semien and Corey Seager. The Colorado Rockies, a team that traded away Nolan Arenado a year ago, and $50 million to the St. Louis Cardinals only to sign Kris Bryant to a seven-year, $182 million contract days ago. I still do not understand that logic.
The Atlanta Braves were unwilling to re-sign Freddie Freeman, only to trade for Matt Olson for virtually the same deal Freeman was looking for, just one less year. Freeman is losing money, looking at Freeman’s deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but I digress.
During this whole saga with Correa, I always had a feeling that there was a sleeper team that we were not expecting. With teams like the New York Yankees, Chicago Cubs, and even the Detroit Tigers, they were all in the market for a shortstop. The Washington Nationals even came up at one point on MLB Network Radio.
When those teams passed on Correa, I had a feeling that maybe the Astros might do something to bring him back to Houston. Recently, I was on Locked on Astros with a good friend, Htown Wheelhouse, and the news was coming out that the Astros had re-engaged in talks with Correa; things were getting intense, and we both felt that Correa back to the Astros was a lock. When things started to quiet down during the week, the sleeper team feeling came into effect.
The Minnesota Twins did not make sense at first. The Twins trading Mitch Garver to the Rangers for Ronny Henriquez and Isiah Kiner-Falefa made it seem like Twins were trying to get some money off the books and headed for a rebuild. Then the Twins traded Josh Donaldson (and his entire contract) and Kiner-Falefa to the Yankees for catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Gio Urshela. Those moves within themselves screamed, REBUILD!
With all of that happening this week, and then we hear that Correa has signed with the Twins, it leaves a lot of Astros fans wondering why the Astros could not make the same type to deal. With no teams wanting to offer Correa a long-term deal, a short-term deal seemed right up the Astros alley. I always believed that the AAV for Correa would be around $35 million, more than what Francisco Lindor and Seager received. What we had not considered were the opt-outs.
When Correa switched agents and went with Scott Boras, the king of opt-outs, we knew that Correa coming back to the Astros would prove to be more difficult. We all know that Correa was injury-prone earlier in his career, but the Twins are taking on more risk when looking at Correa’s deal. Had the Astros done the same value, we might be talking about where Correa would land next offseason, depending on if he has a good season. If Correa has another all-star season and wins another Gold Glove and Platinum Award, Correa can opt-out with the Twins and explore free agency again.
This would almost put the Astros in a situation that they do not want to be in. With Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker entering arbitration this offseason, the Astros will consider this. Letting Correa go to the Twins was the right move to make, as it pains me to say. As much as we all want to be mad at the Astros, I know we have to look at what the Astros have coming up through the minor league system.
There is a lot of talent in this organization, and it starts with Jeremy Pena. The “front-runner” at shortstop is the future for the Astros. We cannot expect him to do the things that Correa did for the last seven years, and there will be some growing pains along the way, but we have to give Pena a shot. As Astros fans, we have come to expect a postseason appearance every season, a division title, and a shot at the World Series. All of this can still be achieved, but with great patience.
We all know what Correa meant to the City of Houston and the Houston Astros as an organization. His swagger, confidence, and his leadership will not be forgotten. The core infield that played in almost 80 postseason games is no longer together, and we will be fine.
To Carlos Correa, thank you for the memories. Seeing you play for the Astros has filled us with memories that will last us a lifetime. I hope you did what was right for you and your family at the end of the day. That is what is more important—best of luck with the Twins.
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