Carlos Correa must have felt like he invested with Bernie Madoff the way his financial portfolio crashed over the past month – but finally on the third try, he has found a team who will accept him for who he is, past ankle surgery and all.
Correa reached a six-year, $200 million agreement to return to the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday with no opt outs, two persons with direct knowledge of the agreement told USA TODAY Sports.
They spoke on the condition of anonymity since the deal is not official.
The agreement comes less than a month after reaching a 13-year, $350 million deal with the San Francisco Giants and 20 days after pivoting to a 12-year, $315 million deal with the New York Mets.
The contract resolution cost Correa a guaranteed $150 million, but he could certainly hit the free-agent market again.
The deal, of course, is contingent on Correa passing a physical but the Twins say they have no concerns with his 2014 ankle surgery after playing for them last season, and passing the physical.
And just like that, life came full circle for Correa.
The Mets, according to two officials, backed out of their original deal for the same reason the Giants passed: They were afraid that his 2014 ankle surgery would create a problem in the years to come.
The Mets informed agent Scott Boras that they still wanted Correa, but would no longer guarantee the full $315 million without protection.
The Mets wound up lowering their offer to a guaranteed six years, $157.5 million, which would rise to $210 million over eight years and $315 million over the 12 years if the ankle did not require lengthy injured list stints. Correa would also be required to take an annual physical.
Correa, a person close to him divulged, was furious. He did not want to budge at all. The longer the negotiations dragged on, the more Correa dug in.
Boras reached out to the Twins in recent days to see if they still were interested. The only difference is that their original 10-year, $280 million contract was off the table. They refused to guarantee it all considering they might be bidding against themselves.
The Twins wound up guaranteeing the $200 million through 2028, with four years and $70 million in vesting options.
His contract for 2029 will vest if he makes 502 plate appearances in 2028 – and the same for each year after that. He will be paid $20 million in 2030, $15 million in 2031 and $10 million in 2032 with each year also vesting if Correa wins a Silver Slugger, finishes in the top five of AL MVP voting or wins ALCS or World Series MVP.
The Twins are ecstatic with the deal after raving about his clubhouse leadership and performance (.291/.366/.467, 22 homers) last season in the first year of his three-year, $105.3 million deal. Correa opted out believing he could land a deal in excess of $300 million.
The deal, while it pales in comparison to the original overall guarantee, pays Correa an average annual salary of $33.34 million, second among shortstops to Francisco Lindor of the Mets. The Mets’ guarantee would have paid him an annual average salary of $26.5 million.
Correa stuck to his principles, and so did Mets owner Steve Cohen.
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