Twins on Carlos Correa: ‘What he offers, we want and need’
The Twins have made re-signing the shortstop their priority, recently meeting with Correa and his agent, Scott Boras, in southern California.
SAN DIEGO — The top-end of the shortstop market has started to move, the first domino finally falling on Monday as baseball’s Winter Meetings get into full swing.
Former Dodgers star Trea Turner agreed to a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, reportedly worth $300 million over 11 years, leaving Carlos Correa atop a talented shortstop class that also includes Xander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson.
The Twins have made re-signing the shortstop their priority, recently meeting with Correa and his agent, Scott Boras, in Southern California, and sharing what manager Rocco Baldelli called “a very nice dinner.”
“He’s a guy that we obviously want and care a lot about and think can be an enormous factor for us for a long time playing shortstop,” Baldelli said. “ … We think we’ve positioned ourselves well to be one of the highest priority options for him, so we feel good about that. We just have to let things play out and be comfortable doing that.”
Correa opted out of the final two years of his three-year, $105.3 million deal last month, and the Twins have made it clear that they’re interested in a reunion. Before the season ended, Correa gushed about the organization and expressed his desire for a long-term pact.
Inking him to one, though, would require the Twins to dole out a contract that would far exceed anything they’ve given out in team history, and president of baseball operations Derek Falvey has said the Twins are being creative in their discussions.
“We’re not averse to trying something a little different, trying to be open-minded to something that would look different, that would create different ways,” Falvey said Monday. “ … There’s short, there’s long — there’s different ways to structure contracts. There’s upside built into them and things like that. We’re hoping to have that kind of dialogue to see if we can find overlap in value.”
Correa, who hit .291 with a 140 OPS+ and posted a team-high 5.4 bWAR (Wins Above Replacement per Baseball Reference) last season, has reportedly drawn interest from a handful of other teams, including the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants All also have been linked to superstar Aaron Judge. Should the Giants sign Judge, that would likely take them out of the mix for Correa, but Correa could be waiting until Judge signs to fully assess his opportunities.
While the Twins’ preference is to retain the 28-year-old, they also have shown interest in Bogaerts and are planning for other scenarios. The addition of infielder Kyle Farmer, acquired in November via trade with Cincinnati, gives them the ability to be a little more flexible, Falvey said, and gives them another option in case they fall short in their bid for Correa.
Royce Lewis, once more clearly an heir apparent, is not expected to be ready until the middle of next season after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament for the second time while playing center field last season.
“We know we need to have all avenues open, and that includes signing some of the best free agents available,” Baldelli said. “(Correa’s) certainly at the very top of the list and there are some other very good guys out there, too. But we need to stay nimble and ready. Adding a shortstop like him is very important. And it’s one of the highest priorities that we have this offseason.”
Falvey spoke of continued dialogue with others — the Twins are vetting their B, C and D options in case they can’t strike a match with Correa. Plan B often becomes Plan A. Plan C becomes Plan B, he said.
But the Twins’ hope in this case is that they don’t have to pivot off of Plan A.
“We know what he offers. And what he offers, we want and need and we want him here,” Baldelli said. “I think we’ve made that clear.”
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