|Citi Field. Photo by Jason Schott.|
The Mets' pursuit of shortstop Carlos Correa, whom they announced they were signing on December 21 before issues with his physical arose, ended on Tuesday when he decided to re-sign with the Minnesota Twins on a six-year, $200 million contract.
On Wednesday morning, the Mets released a statement that might be the best press release ever on the matter:
"We were unable to reach an agreement. We wish Carlos all the best."
There is no other text in the message and the quote is not attributed to anybody, so Mets fans are left to guess who gave this pointed reaction.
One would think it is Mets Owner Steve Cohen, who continues to emulate the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, whose missives at the end of seasons were highly-anticipated thanks to "Mike and the Mad Dog."
The message was, essentially, that they wasted enough time on him, so there's no need to elaborate on the press release.
Correa originally agreed to a contract with the San Francisco Giants in early December, but that was broken on Tuesday, December 20 when they didn't like what they saw on Correa's physical, specifically his ankle.
The Mets swooped in within hours, so their fans woke up the next morning to the news that they signed the star shortstop to a 12-year, $315 million deal, as his previously agreed upon contract with the Giants fell through.
Just three days later, on Christmas Eve, in what wasn't much of a shocker, it was reported the Mets had the same issues with his physical that the Giants did.
The deal remained in limbo for the next 17 days until Correa begrudgingly went back to the Twins.
Correa was ones of four coveted shortstops on the market this offseason, along with Xander Bogaerts, who left Boston for San Diego; Trea Turner, who left the Dodgers for Philadelphia; and Dansby Swanson, the long-time Braves shortstop who joined the Chicago Cubs. He is the only one of the four to return to his incumbent team, though it wasn't for lack of trying.
There are two sides to Correa - he has been one of the best hitters in baseball since he debuted with the Houston Astros seven years ago, a time he led them to a lot of deep playoff runs and a World Series title in 2017, while also being one of the ringleaders of the sign-stealing scheme that the Astros did in that championship season.
Correa played for Houston from 2015, when he won the American League Rookie of the Year through the 2021 season, a time in which they reached the World Series three times, winning the lone title in '17. He then left for a three-year contract with the Minnesota Twins before the 2022 season, which he opted out of after one year.
In eight Major League seasons, Correa is a .279 hitter, and he has a .357 on-base percentage, along with an average of 28 home runs and 101 RBI per season. In his last season in Houston, in 2021, he hit .279 with 26 home runs and 92 RBI in 148 games, and then in 2022 in Minnesota, he had a better average, .291, but only hit 22 home runs and had 64 RBI in 136 games in what was a disappointing year for the Twins, who missed the playoffs.
Since Francisco Lindor, who highly lobbied Mets owner Steve Cohen, to bring in Correa, already plays shortstop, the assumption was that Correa would have shifted over to third base.
There is some relief that they don't have to work a new, controversial player into a new position while they already have Eduardo Escobar, who had a solid first season in New York and a massive September, and highly-touted prospect Brett Baty, who homered in his first Major League at-bat last August, ready to go next season.
The Correa deal also felt like overkill in what has been a massive spending spree by the Mets, starting with ace starting pitcher Justin Verlander (two years and $86 million) and center fielder Brandon Nimmo (eight years, $162 million), and closer Edwin Diaz (
Every deal the Mets made until the Correa move felt logical, like Verlander would replace the departed Jacob deGrom, and they retained Nimmo, whose also their leadoff hitter, and Diaz, arguably the best closer in the league last season, while also adding reliever David Robertson and Japanese sensation Kodai Senga to the starting rotation.
With the Correa saga over, the Mets can now focus on filling out the rest of their roster, including the bullpen, with spring training just five weeks away.