Whooooo boy. What a couple of weeks this has been for the Carlos Correa camp. In one of the weirdest baseball free agency stories in recent memory, the former All-Star shortstop has been in limbo for weeks now due to a pair of questionable physical exams. Back on December 13th, Correa agreed in principle to a 13 year, $350mil contract with the San Francisco Giants, but the deal fell through a week later after the Giants saw something on the shortstop’s physical that made them balk at the commitment. In swept the New York Mets and billionaire owner Steve Cohen, who spent the middle of the night between Dec. 21st and 22nd agreeing with Correa and agent Scott Boras on a 12 year, $315mil contract. That was a nightmare scenario for Philadelphia Phillies fans like you and I, who all should have been hoping that Carlos Correa would end up very far away from the NL East, especially with the already stacked Mets being the destination. And then, shockingly, the physical that the Mets conducted on Correa also caused a major hold up in contract talks. Over the course of weeks, the saga dragged on with neither side making many comments about what specifically the holdup is (though it’s believed to be related to an ankle injury Correa suffered in the 2014 season), and then yesterday, we finally got the news that we had been waiting for.
The Mets had been hopeful that they would work something out with Carlos Correa to pair him on the left side of their infield with Francisco Lindor. Fortunately for the Phillies, though, the deliberations just went on too long for their rivals up in the Big Apple. Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins, who had rostered Correa this past season and were initially interested in re-signing him earlier in the 2022 season, finally got their man, agreeing to a 6 year, $200mil contract. Now, of course, the physical still has to be passed satisfactorily by Correa in order for THAT deal to go final, and that’s no sure thing, but the Phillies have already got the news that they needed to hear. Carlos Correa is not going to be in the NL East for the next decade plus, and regardless of his health level, that is a good thing for the Phillies. Correa is a career .279 hitter who has routinely put up 20+ home runs from the shortstop position while also playing exceptional defense, and also has a championship pedigree. I don’t care how injured/not injured his ankle actually is, I do not want the prospect of that type of player hanging over the Phillies’ heads during this championship window.
I’m not sure whether or not Correa ends up in Minnesota, or somewhere else entirely, but the Philadelphia Phillies clearly are in the midst of a championship window. It could be as tight as 3-4 years when the JT Realmuto-Zack Wheeler-Aaron Nola-Kyle Schwarber-Nick Castellanos core ends their current contracts. Despite the Phillies being incredibly talented right now, there are still 2 major threats just in the NL East to their chances for success in the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets. The worse those 2 teams are, the more open the window is for the Phillies, which is what we are all unequivocally rooting for. It’s not a major victory, and we shouldn’t be throwing any parades yet, but anything that takes away from a division rival is a win for Philadelphia. With the Twins stealing Correa away, or rather the Correa deal just flat out falling through with the Mets, the Phillies just got another nice offseason win.