NEW YORK– Carlos Correa set a record: $865 million, a span of 28 days and with two teams the Giants and Mets where he never signed on the dotted line. Scott Boras, the super agent, was in command.
Wednesday the Minnesota Twins made it official, Correa returned to the team where this all started when he decided to opt out of a lucrative contract. Then again, Correa said Wednesday his heart was always in Minnesota with the Twins.
Excuse Me? That’s Boras speaking and not Correa, because all along this bizarre free agent period of time it was assumed the Mets had the best deal on the table. Correa and Boras jumped at an opportunity of playing baseball in New York, manning the infield with Francisco Lindor.
Looked good when this all started. Ended on the wrong side of the field for the Mets, though, Correa will look at this and realize it’s about the money and it always is with baseball economics.
So Mets fans are dismayed. I was excited to see Correa in a Mets uniform at Citi Field, as was a fan base for a team starving for their first World Series title since 1986. We don’t get to see Correa in New York and the Twins said Wednesday, he was their piece to get them back to the postseason.
The Mets did all they could to secure this deal. The past few weeks they tried to rework the initial numbers and years, this after the same results of a physical the Giants medical team saw as a warning sign.
“Doctors have differences of opinion,” Correa said Wednesday at his re-introductory press conference with the Twins. “I had a lot of doctors tell me that I was fine, some doctors that said it wasn’t so fine.”
Well the Mets doctors said the ankle, or was it the leg, was not fine. I can’t speculate but the severity of an ankle injury or leg, surgery or not, does have ramifications later on in years. The Mets would not take the risk of a long term deal, $12-years, $315 million.
The Mets released a 13-word statement: “We were unable to reach an agreement. We wish Carlos all the best.”
So the enthusiasm that was, is gone. Reports from sources are telling me some of the Mets are disappointed this did not work out. Steve Cohen, the owner and richest one in baseball, remembered he said get Carlos Correa. He said it will put them at the top.
Correa in the Mets lineup was needed and at all cost. Because Steve Cohen has the money, resources as they say, the Mets made their pitch. And 20 days after, when it seemed Carlos Correa was going to be that piece to put them on top, he was back in Minnesota.
Perhaps this was the wrong decision. Perhaps it was right, and one can never know what the future holds. Simple, though, the Mets did not want to take a risk with all the contract revisions in their quest to secure Correa.
Looked all good with the Carlos Correa name in the lineup. Looked good with Francisco Lindor, Pete Alonso, Starling Marte, and NL batting champion Jeff McNeil. And it looked good for a Mets fans base seeing their owner throwing a record amount of money all over the place.
But without Correa, and with the spending spree, the Mets are still a favorite to play deep in October. Remember, as I previously stated, with or without Correa, the Mets won 101 games last season.
An investment that could have worked for both parties, but the risk was a proper decision to KO the deal. And Steve Cohen is not one to shy away from taking a risk, or spending money this offseason with a spending spree of $477.1 million that projected the Mets as a World Series team.
One high ranking NL executive informed me they had hesitations at exploring at making an offer to Correa, and two physicals were the obstacle. Regardless, the Mets will soon get over this drama as will their rabid base of fans.
Now and without a Correa mega contract, Cohen and the Mets will remain over that salary threshold but there is room to do more and probably at lower cost. In other words, and informed from sources with or without Correa, there’s more to be done.
Now that continued offseason movement will continue with a possible lower tier free agent or the old fashioned trade. No secret the Mets are still in the hunt, and more now for a potent bat to upgrade the designated hitter spot in their lineup that was a failure last season.
Not a loss for the Mets. Correa moves on in what became the strangest free agent headline and speculation I can recall. Not worth the risk for Steve Cohen and the Mets.
They will win without Carlos Correa. That’s the good thing.
Rich Mancuso is co-editor and senior writer @Latinosports.com Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso. Watch “Sports With Rich” with Rich and co-host Robert Rizzo Tuesday evening live 8pmET on the SLG Network and YouTube
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