After roller-coaster ride through free agency, Carlos Correa thrilled to be back with Twins
Correa agreed to a 6-year, $200 million deal — which can grow to $270 million over 10 years — with the Twins.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Shortly after Carlos Correa struck a deal with the San Francisco Giants in December, Minnesota Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey shared a goodbye phone call with the star shortstop.
It was emotional. It was heartfelt. And what Falvey took away from it, though Correa had accepted an offer from another team, was just how much of his heart Correa had invested in the Twins during his 2022 season in Minnesota.
In the following days, Falvey would describe finding out Correa was headed elsewhere as a “gut punch.” He talked of how the Twins needed to get up the next day and discuss moving forward without the player whom they had hoped would be a pillar of their team for years to come.
That was less than a month ago. What followed was perhaps the craziest journey through free agency anyone has ever had — Correa joked it was “probably the hardest job” his agent, Scott Boras, has ever had — an emotional ride that wound up with Correa right back where he started.
Twice, the Twins thought Correa was headed elsewhere. That, manager Rocco Baldelli said, just added to the excitement when Correa agreed to a 6-year, $200 million deal — which can grow to $270 million over 10 years — with the Twins. The deal, which was officially signed Wednesday and is the largest contract in team history, is for six guaranteed years but the team has club options for additional seasons, which could also vest based on plate appearances and performance.
“Sometimes in baseball, as in life and everywhere else, fate and destiny come back together and there’s an opportunity that you don’t always expect,” Falvey said. “The journeys are not always linear.”
Correa’s path back to Minnesota certainly wasn’t.
Call it destiny. Call it fate. Call it luck. Call it persistence. Call it whatever you’d like. But on Wednesday at Target Field, the Twins were celebrating the return of one of their leaders, one who will now be a lineup staple through his prime.
Correa, 28, had previously agreed to a 13-year, $350 deal with the San Francisco Giants — $65 million more than the Twins had offered at the time — and then a 12-year, $315 million deal with the New York Mets. Both deals fell apart after the teams raised concern about his right ankle.
Correa fractured his fibula and suffered ligament damage in his right leg as a minor leaguer in 2014, leading to the insertion of a metal plate during surgery. Correa has yet to miss time for that injury since the initial incident, and so when he first heard word that the Giants were concerned about his ankle, he described it as “shocking.”
“One thing I learned throughout the whole process is that doctors have differences of opinions,” Correa said. “I had a lot of doctors tell me that I was fine. I had some doctors that said it wasn’t so fine. It was shocking to me because since I had the surgery, I never missed a game. I’ve never got treatment on my ankle. My ankle’s never hurt.”
While Correa described the whole experience as an “emotional rollercoaster,” his 1-year-old son Kylo provided plenty of distraction at a press conference Wednesday, and he focused his attention on the things that were within his control — taking care of his body, for example — while letting Boras take care of the rest.
Initially, that meant securing Correa another contract overnight with the Mets after the Giants had balked. Eventually, it meant turning away from the Mets and turning back toward the team that knew Correa best.
Boras said he spoke with the Twins’ medical director and director of high performance Christopher Camp five times, sharing Correa’s magnetic resonance imaging exam results with him. While he was negotiating with the Mets, Boras said he wanted to make sure that Camp had all of Correa’s medical information because the Twins were on the short list of teams that Correa and his wife, Daniella, had given him.
Falvey estimated he and Boras talked every day for the past 10 days or so, checking in with each other on where things stood. Over the weekend, when he was out sledding with his kids, Falvey heard from Boras once again. He then got on a call with team president Dave St. Peter and executive chair Joe Pohlad, and on Monday, the two sides had made headway on a creative deal to bring Correa back.
While Boras was handling his negotiations, Correa remained in touch with his Twins teammates and staff members, Baldelli included. During the course of the offseason, he said he spoke with Byron Buxton nearly every day. He checked in with Jose Miranda frequently, as well. He FaceTimed with his teammates during the Twins’ brand refresh.
His heart, he said, was still in Minnesota.
“The whole free agency thing, it’s a complicated process, a lot of things happen along the way,” Correa said. “But at the end of the day, all that matters is that I’m here. I’m going to represent this city and this organization … I’m going to give it my all, and me and my family are going to be very dedicated for this city, and that’s going to be for a long time. We’re very happy.”
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