MINNEAPOLIS (BVM) — With most MLB teams in the offseason, front offices and players alike have decisions to make. But one player has already made a decision regarding his future.
What this means for Minnesota
Although it’s alarming for the Twins to have a superstar opt out of a deal, it isn’t the end of the world just yet. Correa has expressed interest in returning, which would keep the Twins in postseason contention for years to come.
“I have a good relationship with Minnesota. I am very interested in being able to return,” Correa told the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nueva Dia. “I have been in this business for a long time, and I know that things do not always go the way one wants them to.”
However, if he decides to leave, it could trigger a rebuild for the franchise. And that could prove to be devastating for a team that has made it to the postseason three times in six years.
Nonetheless, Correa may not have the season most baseball fans are used to seeing him produce. But with a .323/.402/.498 (.900 OPS), one can see how Correa is worth well over the $105.3 million contract he signed prior to this season. With those numbers and a hunger to win, there are still a handful of teams in and out of the playoffs that could make a run for one of the sport’s brightest stars.
Here are some potential landing spots for Correa.
With the Twins, Correa earned an average annual value (AAV) of $35.1 million (fourth largest in MLB). The largest free agent contract the Cubs have given in franchise history was to Jason Heyward who earned an eight-year, $184 million deal ($23 million AAV), which Chicago is still paying for. But heading into the 2023 season, the Cubs are gearing up to spend some money. And who better to spend it on than Correa? If the Cubs are willing to give Correa $35+ million AAV, the benefits could far outweigh the costs.
For many, it wouldn’t have been hard to see how Correa’s decision to join the Twins was a bit surprising. He was a superstar and champion in Houston after all. But in a way, joining the Twins seemed to show that Correa was willing to take a shot on himself. He proved that by batting .291 and having a .366 on-base percentage (career highs). Along with taking a chance on himself, Minnesota’s ability to sneak into the postseason could’ve also been a potential factor in him joining the team. However, it didn’t happen in 2022, and now he’s a free agent again. Despite not making it to the postseason, Minnesota should be a team to watch for as it doesn’t want to let a superstar walk away and potentially ruin its chances of competing for a championship.
“I love this team. I love this organization, Correa told Brian Murphy of MLB.com. “But at the same time, I want to make sure that my son and my family are taken care of. Hopefully, the Twins can see the player that I am, the person that I am, the passion that I have for this game, and the love that I have for this game. And we can get into some serious conversations.”
New York Mets
With new owner Steve Cohen, it looks like the Mets have become World Series contenders for the foreseeable future. A move that proved that was signing another Puerto Rican superstar, Francisco Lindor to a 10-year, $341 million contract. If Cohen is willing to spend that much on Lindor, it would make sense for one to see why Correa could get the same deal. And with the poor offensive showing in the National League wild-card round, adding Correa would help the Mets as they look to win their first championship since 1986.
New York Yankees
Since Derek Jeter retired, it wouldn’t be hard for anyone to see that the Yankees haven’t had consistent play at the shortstop position. But with the potential addition of Correa, the Yankees get just that. In eight seasons, Correa has a .981 fielding percentage and knows what it takes to win in the postseason. The Yankees can also provide security and lucrative rewards for Correa. However, with outfielder Aaron Judge having a historic year, Correa may not be the first priority for the Yankees. Despite that, one could see how Correa joining the Yankees would be a no-brainer.
Los Angeles Dodgers
In the last nine seasons, the Dodgers have won eight NL West titles. It could potentially be more if Correa decides to head west. There he’d join Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman and Justin Turner. With Correa, one could see how the Dodgers’ offense could be historically great. Along with playing with other superstars, Correa would have the potential to be the starting shortstop. The Dodgers’ current shortstop, Trea Turner, will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. That leaves the door open for Correa to join a contender in the prime of his career.
The Mariners are a team that fought their way into the playoffs. One can see how they are a young and exciting team to watch. And if Correa joined them, they’d potentially be World Series contenders, if not favorites. Especially with young superstar Julio Rodríguez and All-Star caliber pitcher Luis Castillo. Along with joining a young and upcoming team, Correa would have the opportunity to play in the same division as the Houston Astros. And if he wants to show the Astros how much they miss him, what better way to do that than by becoming a division foe?