In a wild turnaround overnight, Carlos Correa agreed to a $315 million, 12-year contract with the free-spending New York Mets after he resolved his pending deal with the San Francisco Giants due to a physical issue.
The agreement with the Mets was confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal was subject to a successful physical process. The details were first reported by the New York Post.
“We need something else, and this is it,” Mets owner Steve Cohen told the newspaper from Hawaii. “This puts us over the top.”
An All-Star shortstop, Correa will play third base for the Mets, with friend Francisco Lindor left at shortstop.
“It really makes a big difference,” Cohen told the paper. “I felt like our show was in good shape. We needed another hitter.”
The addition of Corea would boost the Mets’ fancy tax payroll next year into the $385 million range, putting them on track to pay a record tax of around $110 million — more than double the current high of $44 million set by the 2015 Los Angeles Dodgers. Estimates will change if Korea’s deal contains deferred funds or if New York trades players.
Correa would cost the Mets $49.88 million next year in salary and taxes, if there were no money deferred in the deal.
The Giants postponed a news conference Tuesday to introduce Corea after a medical concern emerged during his physical, according to two people with direct knowledge of the situation.
Korea and the Giants agreed on December 13 to a $350 million, 13-year deal, subject to a successful physical deal, a person said. Correa was placed on the injured list seven times during his eight-year career.
A person confirmed that Tuesday’s conference to welcome Korea had been put on hold because both sides were awaiting test results. Another person said that there was a medical problem reported during Correa’s physical therapy.
Media availability was scheduled for 11 am local time at Oracle Park, but was canceled about three hours early. Giants did not provide an explanation as to why.
The Post reported that New York was in talks with Corea and was still hounding him before he agreed to sign with the Giants.
“We picked where we were before and it just worked,” Cohen told the paper.
Major League Baseball and the players union instituted a new, fourth luxury tax limit last winter, dubbed the “Cohen tax” because it was aimed at Cohen. The added limit starts at $293 million in 2023, and the Mets will pay at a 90% rate because they will owe tax for the second year in a row.
New York won 101 regular season games last season, the second-most in its history, and lost to San Diego in the wild card playoff round.
279 career batting average with 155 homers and 553 RBI in eight big league seasons. He was also an excellent postseason performer, with 18 home runs and 59 RBI in 79 games.
The only knock on Correa’s resume is durability. He played at least 150 matches in a season only once due to various injuries.
Correa was a free agent a year ago after leaving the Houston Astros, and reached a $105.3 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. This agreement gave the two-time All-Star the right to withdraw after one year and $35.1 million to hit the market again.
The 28-year-old Correa has completed his deal and is back on the free agent market.
Corea hit . 291 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in his only season with Minnesota.
Selected by Houston with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft, he played a key role in the Astros’ rise from the bottom of the AL West to the franchise’s first World Title in 2017.
The Astros tournament was tainted by a sign-stealing scheme, and Korea has been booed in some cities since the scandal came to light.
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