Carlos Correa and the New York Mets remain at an impasse.
Last week, the Mets became the second organization to raise an issue with the All-Star shortstop's medical evaluation. At issue is a 2014 surgery to repair a fractured fibula. The Mets haven't backed out yet and Correa does not want to rework the 12-year, $315 million pact the two sides agreed to. While the 28-year-old is standing firm, he doesn't have the leverage he thinks he does.
The San Francisco Giants and Correa walked away from each other after agreeing to a 13-year, $350 million deal. The Giants were concerned about the same leg injury and wanted to renegotiate the contract. It makes sense that both the Giants and Mets would have issues giving a 10-plus year contract to someone with potential leg issues. Much of Correa's value comes from his oustanding defense. I'm not saying anything profound, but you need both legs to play defense in Major League Baseball.
So what now? Will Mets billionaire owner Steve Cohen just bite the bullet and keep the agreed upon deal? Will Correa and his agent Scott Boras relent and rework the deal? At this point, I could see this going either way. But I'd much prefer to be the Mets than Correa.
Here's the thing: this late in free agency there are very few teams willing to drop $300 million on anyone. Let alone a guy two teams have had concerns about. MLB teams have already spent money filling out their rosters and few have the kind of cash left in their projected budgets to dump $30 million on top of the stack.
The Giants could re-engage but it feels like those bridges were burned after the first deal fell through. The Detroit Tigers have Correa's former manager A.J. Hinch and definitely need a boost at short. But I don't see Detroit shelling out anything close to a 10-year, $300 million deal. The Boston Red Sox lost Xander Bogaerts but don't seem in a spending mood. Neither do the Los Angeles Dodgers after losing Trea Turner. There aren't a lot of landing spots left. It looks like the only way he ends up elsewhere is if a team swoops in like the Minnesota Twins did last offseason, and offers him a short, high-dollar deal that he can opt-out of after one season.
The most likely scenario here is a re-worked deal with the Mets. Either they shorten it to something like six year and $180 million with some opt-outs available for Correa, or They bring down the value. A 10-year, $250 million deal could be acceptable to the Mets, provided there's some cover for a leg injury.
Right now both sides are dug in and absolutely no news has surfaced. It is a true stalemate for the time being. Correa is still technically a free agent and nothing is happening. But that can't last forever.
Eventually someone will blink, and Correa isn't in as powerful a position as he seems to think he is.