Fort Myers, Florida. – Carlos Correa picked the Twins late Friday night to serve as the staging ground for the second half of his All-Star, Gold Glove, Frontier MVP career, accepting a contract that makes him the highest-paid player in franchise history for as long as he chooses to stay.
Technically, Correa’s contract runs for three years and pays him $35.1 million in each, or more than half of Jo Maor’s annual salary of $23 million, the highest salary of the twins ever.
But the twins also gave Correa the right to terminate the contract in October or 12 months later and become a free agent again, an option he will almost certainly exercise to pursue the more than $300 million deal he has been seeking this winter.
Whether Correa stays in Minnesota for seven months or a decade, the Twins and their fans will always be able to savor the late-night thrill of baseball’s best free agent as they emerge from the singles’ most successful season of his career, choosing Minnesota. Not to mention the possibility of a pinch I dream of putting him in the middle of the lineup.
“We’re going to be good,” said Jorge Polanco, after hearing that his double-playing partner was one of the top five players in the Premier League last season. “We’ll be good, really good.”
So one of baseball’s top agents secured a three-year, $105.3 million deal with his annual salary making him the fourth highest-paid player in baseball, with opt-outs after 2022 and 2023 in a business deal by twins and agent Scott Borras.
The twins won’t make the deal official until Correa passes a physical exam on Sunday. Korea has already changed the wallpaper on the verified Twitter account (@teamCJCorrea) to the target field.
Shortstop has been a glaring area of need for the twins in this off season, and it’s their biggest priority along with merchandising. The twins seem to have had a short hiatus a week ago when they replaced Texas’ Mitch Garver for Isiah Kiner-Falefa. But a day later, the twins turned Keener Valiva and Josh Donaldson into the Yankees for Gary Sanchez and Jio Urcella. This trade also eased the burden on the twins for the remaining two years of Donaldson’s contract, by about $50 million.
With some cash on hand, the Twins’ front desk has been working hard for other deals, but their phones have been pretty quiet over the past week. Correa’s deal came together so quickly and unexpectedly that many believed the twins were more in the market for a free shortstop Trevor Story agent.
“I knew they were looking for someone,” Polanco said. “And I’m glad they had a good idea in mind, a great one.” “He’s a good hitter, a good player.”
The first two places out of 12
Correa was the first pick in the 2012 draft against new teammate Byron Buxton, and became a two-time All-Star with the Houston Astros, helping them to the playoffs in six of his seven seasons. The 27-year-old won the 2017 World Championships, played in two more games, and was the MLS winner of the year in 2015.
The Puerto Rican native, who made his league debut at the age of 20, averaged 981 on the field and averaged 0.279 last season, hitting 26 home runs. He also won his first Gold Glove and had his third best WAR (Win Over Substitution) in the Grand Slams at 72, trailing only Angels bowler- DH Shohei Ohtani and Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler.
He has a career average of 0.413 at Target Field, where the Astros swept the Twins in their best three-pointer streak of 2020.
However, during their World Championship season, the Astros stole banners at home games by using a video camera on the field to see signals from the rival catcher. The MLB sanctioned the team, and Correa said, “We were wrong about everything we did in 2017. It’s not what we stand for. It’s not what we want to portray as an organization, and we were definitely wrong about all of that and we really feel sorry.”
The addition means Polanco can focus on second base, as he played most of last season with great success, when he hit his career highs with 33 home runs and 98 RBI. Luis Ariz will return to the companion role with Orchila in third and Miguel Sano at first base.
Polanco said he “can’t wait” for Correa to get into spring training so they can start working together.
Louis is still on board
One interesting aspect of Korea’s contract is his opt-out, which means he can be with the twins for only one season. The twins may only need it for so long, with potential senior Royce Lewis in the pipeline.
Before the pandemic that scrapped the minor league ball in 2020 and ruptured Lewis’ AFC Champions League before last season, Lewis was the future in short order. He played his first game since Spring 2020 on Friday, so getting the big stars this season has been in great demand.
“We needed a little pit stop,” Lewis said. “I’m not in the big league team. So I’m just here to improve myself and keep gaining some knowledge and wisdom about these guys.” “So I think it’s a great idea.
“…If I’m in the big leagues, that’s a different story. But I’m not. So they have to do what they have to do to win there.”
Correa’s salary of $35.1 million this season is behind Max Scherzer ($44.33 million), Yankees quarterback Jerett Cole ($36 million) and Angels center player Mike Trout ($35.54 million).
It’s possible that the Twins haven’t finished adding players in spring training, and could focus on another deal to get a starting bowler, although they will likely give up some potential players. They have already sent their top pick in the 2021 draft, bowler Chase Petty, to the Reds to acquire Sonny Gray, who tops the starting list this season.
With a short hiatus in place, and an improved starting rotation, the season suddenly looks more promising.
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