Fort Myers, Florida. The twins made a shocking move early in the morning on Saturday, agreeing to sign superstar Carlos Correa in a huge deal.
One of baseball’s largest agents will receive a three-year, $105.3 million deal with opt-out after 2022 and 2023 to become a free agent again.
His average annual salary of $35.1 million would make him the fourth highest paid player in MLB and the highest paid player. He will also be the highest-paid player in the history of the Twins when the deal is announced, pending a physical examination.
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 with his agent, Scott Borras, seemed to come together quickly and a bit unexpectedly, as many believed the twins were more in the market for a short-lived free agent Trevor Story.
Jorge Polanco, the second baseman, was not surprised.
“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.”
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.
His addition means Polanco can focus on second base, as he played the majority of last season with great success, when he hit his career highs with 33 home runs and 98 RBI.
Polanco can now be sure of his place in the team – although he will still be able to fill it up in short order if necessary – and said he “can’t wait” for Correa to arrive in spring training so they can start working together.
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 him for so long, though, 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.”
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.
“Yes, we’ll be good,” Polanco said. “We’ll be good, really good.”