Following the San Francisco Giants’ postponement of Correa’s introductory news conference on Tuesday morning, agent Scott Boras contacted the Twins to see if they maintained an interest in the shortstop. Prior to Correa delivering them a “kick in the gut” when he chose the Giants on Dec. 13, the Twins had offered him a 10-year, $285 million deal.
When he called again on Tuesday, Boras informed the Twins they’d need to improve upon their original offer. Team sources said the Twins wouldn’t increase their bid, nor would they hold further discussions until they had a better understanding of the medical concerns that reportedly caused Correa’s deal with the Giants to fall apart.
With New York Mets owner Steve Cohen already showing interest, Boras quickly moved on from the Twins. Later that night, Correa agreed to his contract with the Mets.
Given how crestfallen the Twins were in the aftermath of Correa’s departure seven days earlier, their decision to not seriously engage Boras earlier this week represents quite the turn.
The Twins have been enamored with Correa since they signed him last March to a three-year deal worth $105.3 million, which the shortstop opted out of in November. From the outset, Correa impressed the Twins on the field and in the clubhouse. Not only did his physical skill set make them a better club by giving them a dynamic player at a key position, Correa made the Twins a more intelligent team, too.
As the rest of the team fell apart in August and September, Correa did his best to keep the Twins afloat. From Aug. 1 on, Correa produced a .900 OPS over 256 plate appearances. It was a strong finish to a campaign in which Correa batted .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs. Overall, Correa was valued at 4.9 WAR.
While their best offer wound up $65 million short of San Francisco’s original winning bid, it was the highest ever made by the Twins, and one team officials think demonstrated their desire to retain Correa.
But just a week later, with presumably another shot at Correa, the Twins pressed pause.
They wanted to re-evaluate after an Associated Press report Tuesday said Correa’s introduction was postponed when “a medical concern arose” during his physical. The Giants issued a statement on Wednesday saying they’d had a “difference of opinion over the results of Carlos’ physical examination.”
As much as the Twins hoped to retain Correa, a team source said the club hadn’t had an opportunity to thoroughly examine him since his original physical in March. The only extended examination Correa received during the season was when he was thought to have broken his finger on May 5 after getting hit by a pitch in Baltimore.
No examination was made following a Sept. 20 contest in which Correa appeared to be injured following a hard slide into second base, according to a team source. Thrown out stealing, Correa lay on the ground for an extended period before ultimately getting up on his own and limping off the field. Correa remained in the game.
That night, he told reporters he was OK after having a brief scare with his surgically-repaired lower right leg.
“He just hit my plate,” Correa said, referring to the hardware in his leg. “I had surgery and he hit it. Just kind of felt numb. Vibrating. So I was just waiting for it to calm down. It was a little scary, but when I moved I knew I was good.”
Correa appeared in 12 of the team’s next 13 games and continued to hit, batting .319/.373/.468.
While the Twins medically cleared Correa for a three-year deal in March, the team would have needed a new physical to clear the way for a 10-year deal. Perhaps concerns about Correa’s ankle in the aftermath of the Giants’ failed deal gave the Twins a reason to slow down their pursuit.
Not that they had long.
During their negotiating period Tuesday, Cohen increased his original offer of 12 years, $288 million by $27 million.
And just like that, the Twins missed out on Correa a second time.
(Top photo: Joe Robbins / Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)