Astros star shortstop Carlos Correa expects to become a free agent next offseason. He knows a monster payday is in order after his tremendous postseason performance, but it seems the team knows it too because they’ve hardly tried negotiating a deal. Correa was asked about his contract situation before yesterday’s season-opener in Oakland:
“We are not close at all. There were not really any negotiations,” Correa said. “It’s another year with the Houston Astros. I’m going to go out there, give it my best and try to bring another championship to this city.”
Carlos Correa says Astros ‘didn’t get close’ with $125M contract extension offer https://t.co/Lv1gFUGlqW— CBS Sports MLB (@CBSSportsMLB) April 2, 2021
Correa reportedly turned down a six-year offer for roughly $125 million last week, and the shortstop later confirmed he declined a five-year, $125 million offer. Then he was asked about the Mets’ 12-year, $341 million agreement with switch-hitting shortstop Francisco Lindor. You can take a guess how he felt about that:
“I love it. It’s a great contract. He deserves every penny of it,” Correa said. “He pushed the market for every shortstop coming after him.”
Correa’s relationship with the team going forward
“The relationship is great. There are no hard feelings,” the 26-year-old shortstop said. “It’s a business. They made it very clear to me. They said: ‘We don’t believe in long contracts. We don’t believe in big contracts.’ So once I hit free agency I’m going to look out for a big, long contract. They made it very clear they don’t believe in that.
“I will always love this city and it will always be my second home,” Correa continued when asked about the city. “If this is my last season, I love the fans here. I know they love me back. But if it’s my last season, I’m going to try to finish it with a championship. That’s my main goal this year.”
Bassitt hits Carlos Correa on the first pitch of the at-bat…— The Baseball Newsletter (@bbletter) April 2, 2021
And the crowd in Oakland goes wild pic.twitter.com/QTzR9VXy0o
The Houston Astros ain’t lying here, either. They let ace pitcher Gerrit Cole leave for the rival New York Yankees on a nine-year, $324 million deal two years ago, so their reluctance here shouldn’t surprise anyone. It’s just hard to watch an organization lose players like this on purpose.
Part of the Astros’ strategy is to publicize the offers they make so that fans can see they tried. Then when players like Carlos Correa leave for free agency, fans will blame them for turning down the huge offers they were given. The club is basically saying, “Don’t blame us. They’re the greedy ones…not us.”
Correa batted .264 with five homers during the 2020 regular season, but the postseason is when he really performed. If he plays anywhere close to that level during his final full season in Houston, he’s looking at 10-year deals at $300 million minimum. And if that’s the case, expect a borderline MVP campaign. Correa will do whatever it takes to get paid.