Before a highly anticipated Game 2 of the ALDS between the Mariners and Astros, Carlos Correa was not in the Houston dugout preparing to take the field. Instead, he was sitting in a studio as a guest analyst after his Twins failed to make the postseason.
It was a bit puzzling when Correa chose to sign with middling Minnesota on a three-year, $105.3 million contract in March — but an announcement he made this week would seem to fill in some critical context.
The 28-year-old shortstop told Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día that he will invoke the opt-out clause in his contract, making him a free agent this upcoming offseason.
“With the year that I have had, my health and my being at the best moment of my career at 28, that is the right decision,” said Correa.
Correa’s contract and subsequent opt-out begins to make a lot more sense with the power of hindsight.
- During the lockout, Correa hired Scott Boras as his new agent, and signed the new contract with Minnesota about two months later.
- The Twins paid Correa $35.1M to play the one season — the fourth-highest AAV in league history.
- Correa had a solid 2022 season, recording an .833 OPS with 22 home runs and a 4.4 WAR — fourth among American League shortstops.
Ultimately, it’s possible that Correa and Boras did not see a deal they liked when the star player was the No. 1 free agent on the market last offseason.
The short length of the Minnesota contract, its high annual payout, and the presence of opt-outs gave them flexibility to test the market again if it wasn’t working out.
For the Twins, the consistently average franchise will have to regroup after finishing last in the AL Central with one of the most coveted shortstops in the game — though they may have a chance to get him back.
“I have a good relationship with Minnesota,” Correa said to the newspaper. “I am very interested in being able to return.”