Carlos Correa’s current contract is a three-year deal for $105.3 million. The deal is noteworthy for a couple of reasons. First, the opt-out comes after year one, in which Correa could look for another payday on the open market with a different group of shortstop competition. The other level of intrigue comes from the $35.1 annual amount, which checks in $100,000 more than Anthony Rendon’s deal. That $100,000 put him above the other Scott Boras client and made Correa the highest-paid infielder in Major League history.
Of course, the expectation has always been that Correa would opt out with Minnesota and look for a bigger payday. He did indicate there was interest in a long-term deal with the Twins though, and the second ACL tear for Royce Lewis could clear the way for a stable need at shortstop. Assuming both sides are interested in finding a workable future, the one-up of this contract may also come into play.
Rendon’s deal was signed with the third basemen at the age of 30. He was paid $245 million for seven years. It’s been a colossal disaster in that he’s played just 155 games over his first three seasons with the Angels. Correa will be just 28 years old next season, a notably younger age than that of Rendon. It would hardly be shocking if the desire was for any extension to be something in the neighborhood of 10 years.
Minnesota has not previously gone long term with pitchers under this regime, but they have shown an inclination to spend. Getting the Twins to hand out a ten-year deal to Correa seems unlikely from both a term and financial perspective. Knowing that a deal of that size would be something like $350 million probably takes it off the table. If Correa was open to a seven-year pact, however, this front office may find value in paying a superstar at an integral position something like $250 million.
If Correa was open to a $35.5 million annual number, he’d be at $248.5 million over the life of the deal. Maybe that’s not enough of a step up from what Rendon got given the two years of age to his credit, but that’s probably a ballpark worth hypothesizing about.
No matter what the eventual number winds up being, it’s hard to wrap your mind around the Twins being the team to dole out that cash. On the flip side, this is a player they will have gotten to know for a full season, and has been lauded for his leadership and ability throughout the organization. With no surefire answer at the shortstop position for 2023, the alternative is likely a much lesser stopgap option.
This core of Twins talent is exciting and seems to mesh well together. Putting Lewis and Correa on the same side of the infield for the next handful of years is something everyone in Twins Territory could get behind. Like Buxton before him, Correa would be in a place providing Minnesota sole negotiating opportunity. They aren’t going to get the discount afforded them by their other superstar, but this one stays on the field and should be worth every penny as well.
Some deadline additions and a postseason run could continue to help Minnesota make its case as a compelling suitor for Correa. So far they've put the right feet forward. The next one will be to present the bag.