Carlos Correa Finalizing Six-Year, $200 Million Deal with Minnesota Twins

Carlos Correa will be twinning again.

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop is finalizing a six-year, $200 million contract with the Minnesota Twins, pending a physical, according to ESPN.

Carlos CorreaThe announcement comes after weeks of discussion to salvage a deal with the New York Mets broke down, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

The stunning turn caps a whirlwind month for Correa, who agreed to a 13-year, $350 million contract with the San Francisco Giants on December 13.

After the Giants raised concerns about Correa’s surgically repaired right leg, he pivoted quickly to the Mets, who offered him a 12-year, $315 million contract.

The Mets flagged his physical as well, and efforts to amend the deal fell apart, leading Correa back to Minnesota, where he signed after a topsy-turvy offseason last year, too.

The agreement includes a vesting option for four years and $70 million and will become official if Correa passes a medical review, which is currently taking place.

The focus will be on his lower right leg, which he broke in 2014 during a minor league game, and a source said the Twins expect to be comfortable with it. Correa has not spent time on the injured list for a right leg ailment in his eight-year Major League Baseball career, but Giants and Mets medical personnel were concerned about how the leg would age.

Correa is among the game’s best shortstops and entered the winter in hopes of securing the mega-contract that eluded him last offseason, when he settled for a three-year, $105.3 million deal with the Twins that included an opt-out after the first season.

Correa hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and high-level defense, leaving the Twins hopeful he would consider returning after he filed for free agency.

Minnesota never intended to play in the $300 million-plus neighborhood, and after Aaron Judge returned to the New York Yankees, the Giants, in search of a franchise player, blew past that number for Correa, leaving the Twins to try to salvage their winter by signing outfielder Joey Gallo and catcher Christian Vazquez.

All the while, they lurked as the fallback plan for Correa, thrilled to potentially add him to a lineup that also includes MLB All-StarByron Buxton and Luis Arraez in addition to top prospect Royce LewisJose MirandaJorge PolancoMax KeplerNick GordonAlex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach.

Should Correa pass his physical — the Twins are more familiar with his medical situation than any other team and earlier in the winter considered a 10-year, $285 million deal, which is around what the current deal would wind up at if the option vests — Minnesota will enter 2023 with strong hopes of winning the AL Central.

Omar Minaya to Serve as Adviser to Baseball Operations for New York Yankees

Omar Minaya is heading to the New York Yankees corporate office…

The 64-year-old Dominican baseball executive, a former New York Mets general manager, is joining the team as an adviser to baseball operations.

Omar MinayaThe move to hire Minaya comes two days after the Yankees brought former San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean into the front office as an executive assistant to general manager Brian Cashman.

Minaya is a native of Queens and started scouting after the conclusion of his minor league career.

He worked for the Texas Rangers before moving to the Mets, the Montreal Expos, back to the Mets, and the San Diego Padres before returning to the Mets for a third time.

He was the general manager of the Expos from 2002 through 2004 and the Mets from 2005 through 2010.

The veteran baseball executive most recently worked with Major League Baseball as a consultant for domestic and international amateur scouting initiatives. Among his most notable accomplishments was helping discover Sammy Sosa and Ivan Rodriguez as a scout for the Rangers.

The Yankees’ front office has received criticism in recent years for leaning too hard on analytics, and adding Sabean and Minaya brings in two executives with successful scouting backgrounds.

Arizona Diamondbacks Sign Evan Longoria to One-Year Deal

Evan Longoria has landed a diamond deal…

The Arizona Diamondbacks have signed the 37-year-old half-Mexican American baseball player, a three-time MLB All-Star third baseman, to a one-year deal.

Evan Longoria,The team announced the signing on Thursday.

Longoria is a 15-year veteran, spending his first 10 seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays and the past five with the San Francisco Giants.

Longoria — a three-time Gold Glove winner — brings some experience to what’s expected to be a young lineup in 2023.

He also adds right-handed power to a team that already has a lot of left-handed hitting. He has 331 career homers.

Longoria has battled injuries over the past few seasons but has been productive when healthy.

He hit .244 with 14 homers and 42 RBIs in 89 games last season.

To make room for Longoria on the 40-man roster, the D-backs designated right-handed pitcher Edwin Uceta for assignment.

Chicago White Sox Acquire Gregory Santos from San Francisco Giants

Gregory Santos is heading to the Windy City.

The Chicago White Sox have acquired the 23-year-old Dominican professional baseball relief pitcher from the San Francisco Giants for minor league pitcher Kade McClure on Thursday.

Gregory SantosSantos has made five appearances over the past two years for San Francisco. The right-hander has a 4.63 ERA over 35 appearances – two starts – between Triple-A Sacramento and the Arizona Complex League Giants Black last season.

He has a 3.56 ERA over 97 appearances, including 44 starts, in six minor league seasons with the San Francisco and Boston organizations.

The 28-year-old McClure has a 4.03 ERA over 108 games and 59 starts in five minor league seasons with the White Sox.

Carlos Correa Agrees to 12-Year, $315 Million Contract with New York Mets

Carlos Correa is changing course…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop has agreed to a 12-year, $315 million contract with the New York Mets, snubbing a previous agreement with the San Francisco Giants, according to ESPN sources.

Carlos CorreaCorrea had originally agreed to terms last week with the Giants and was set to sign a historic 13-year, $350 million contract, tying Bryce Harper for the longest free agent deal in baseball history and setting up the star shortstop to become a new central figure in the Giants’ decorated history.

But the deal fell apart Tuesday over what Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, told the New York Post was a “difference of opinion” concerning Correa’s physical. The Mets swooped in, led by uber-aggressive owner Steve Cohen, who told the Post that he negotiated the new contract with Boras in Hawaii.

“We need one more thing, and this is it,” Cohen told the Post. “This was important. … This puts us over the top. This is a good team. I hope it’s a good team.”

In a statement issued Wednesday, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi wouldn’t disclose what the “difference of opinion” was concerning Correa’s physical, but he did wish the shortstop well moving forward.

“While we are prohibited from disclosing confidential medical information, as Scott Boras stated publicly, there was a difference of opinion over the results of Carlos’ physical examination,” Zaidi said in his statement. “We wish Carlos the best.”

Correa was scheduled to be officially introduced by the Giants on Tuesday, but the team announced that morning that the news conference was postponed without providing a reason. Despite the differences on Correa’s physical, sources throughout the industry who spoke to ESPN still believed the deal with the Giants would be finalized.

Boras told The Athletic on Wednesday that San Francisco had “reasonable time” to still move forward with the deal, but that the team was dragging its feet on “things in his medical record that happened decades ago.”

“We reached an agreement. We had a letter of agreement,” Boras told The Athletic. “We gave them a time frame to execute it. They advised us they still had questions. They still wanted to talk to other people, other doctors, go through it.

“I said, ‘Look, I’ve given you a reasonable time. We need to move forward on this. Give me a time frame. If you’re not going to execute, I need to go talk with other teams.”

Boras told the Post that the Mets seized the opportunity to resume negotiations with the two-time All-Star, adding another superstar player in their aggressive pursuit of a championship.

Cohen told the Post that the agreement with Correa and Boras came together quickly because the Mets had initially fallen just short of a deal last week before Correa’s pending deal with the Giants.

“We kind of picked up where we were before, and it just worked out,” Cohen told the paper.

With Correa’s deal, the Mets have committed more than $800 million to free agents this offseason, and their competitive balance tax payroll now projects to be approximately $384 million. The fourth and final threshold of the luxury tax, commonly referred to as “the Steve Cohen tax,” sits at $293 million for the 2023 season, which means the Mets could be in for a tax bill in the neighborhood of $100 million next year.

“What the heck’s the difference?” Cohen told the Post in response to the Mets’ historic spending. “If you’re going to make the move, make the move.”

The Mets already brought back center fielder Brandon Nimmo and closer Edwin Diaz on nine-figure contacts, and signed starting pitchers Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana, relievers Adam Ottavino and David Robertson, and catcher Omar Narvaez.

If Correa’s deal with the Mets is finalized — this one, like his prior agreement with the Giants, is also pending the completion of a physical — he will team up with good friend and fellow Puerto Rican Francisco Lindor, who signed a 10-year, $341 million extension in April 2021. Lindor is expected to remain at shortstop, and Correa would move to third base, a dynamic that would undoubtedly remind fans of the pairing between Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez in the Bronx.

“This really makes a big difference,” Cohen told the Post. “I felt like our pitching was in good shape. We needed one more hitter. This puts us over the top.”

Odds on the Mets to win the World Series improved from +900 to +750 by Wednesday morning, per Caesars Sportsbook. That is the third-best odds behind the Houston Astros (+400) and the Los Angeles Dodgers (+600).

Correa was one of the headliners of this year’s free agent class, alongside Aaron Judge and three other star-caliber shortstops in Trea TurnerXander Bogaerts and Dansby Swanson, the five of whom have now attained a combined $1.4 billion in total guarantees.

Correa is a Gold Glove Award winner who has batted .285/.366/.476 with 48 home runs and 156 RBIs in 284 games with the Astros and the Minnesota Twins over the past two seasons.

Correa battled injuries to his thumb, back and ribs from 2017 to 2019, a three-year stretch in which he averaged just 98 games per season. But he has nonetheless accumulated 31.3 FanGraphs wins above replacement since his shortened American League Rookie of the Year campaign in 2015, 16th-highest among position players. A former No. 1 overall pick out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, Correa spent his first seven major league seasons with the Astros, evolving into one of the leaders on a star-studded team that was tarnished by the sign-stealing scandal that tainted its championship in 2017.

Unable to land the long-term deal he coveted last offseason, Correa shocked the industry by signing a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Twins, who also provided him with two opt-outs. Correa, who hired Boras as his agent at the start of 2022, exercised the first of those opt-outs after a solid 2022 season, venturing out into the free agent market once again.

Carlos Rodon Agrees to 6-Year, $162 Million Deal with New York Yankees

Carlos Rodon is the 162-million dollar man…

The 30-year-old Cuban American left-handed pitcher has agreed to a 6-year, $162 million deal with the New York Yankees, according to ESPN.

Carlos RodonRodon was the top pitcher left on the market after he opted out of a contract with the San Francisco Giants after last season. He was 14-8 with a 2.88 ERA in 2022, pitching a career-high 178 innings over 31 starts.

Rodon was the third pick in the 2014 draft by the Chicago White Sox but battled injuries during the first portion of his career before undergoing Tommy John surgery. He returned to elite form in 2021 when he compiled a 2.37 ERA over 24 starts though the White Sox were careful with him down the stretch. He never pitched more than five innings over the final two months of the season.

Even with his success that year the White Sox non-tendered Rodon that offseason leading to a two-year deal with the Giants. It included an opt-out which he chose to exercise in November.

Rodon joins holdovers Gerrit ColeNestor CortesLuis Severino and Frankie Montas in the Yankees rotation which ranked fourth overall in ERA last year. That ranking wasn’t indicative of some second-half struggles as the Yankees were eliminated in the postseason by the Houston Astros.

The signing, which was first reported by the New York Post, is the latest for agent Scott Boras who once again is having a rich off-season. Other deals for his clients include Carlos Correa ($350M), Xander Bogaerts ($280M), Brandon Nimmo ($162M), Masataka Yoshida ($90M), Taijuan Walker ($72M), Sean Manaea ($25M) and Cody Bellinger ($17.5M).

According to ESPN Stats & Information research, the deal is the second-largest contract the Yankees have ever given a pitcher in total value, exceeded only by Cole’s $324 million deal in 2019. Rodon gets $1 million more than CC Sabathia‘s $161 million deal with the Yankees in 2008.

Between Rodon and Aaron Judge, who signed a nine-year, $360 million deal to stay with the Yankees earlier this month, the team has guaranteed $522 million in contracts this offseason.

Rodon won’t have to wait long to face his former Giants team, with the Yankees set to host the San Francisco Giants on Opening Day of the 2023 season.

Rodon is 56-46 with a 3.60 ERA in 152 major league appearances over eight seasons. He has 947 strikeouts in 847 1/3 innings.

Carlos Correa Agrees to 13-Year, $350 Million Contract with San Francisco Giants

Carlos Correa has landed a Giant(s) deal…

The 28-year-old Puerto Rican professional baseball shortstop has agreed to a 13-year, $350 million contract with the San Francisco Giants.

Carlos CorreaIt’s a record-long deal that is the richest ever for the position and gives the team a franchise-type player around which it plans to build, according to ESPN.

The free agent path of Correa was far less circuitous than last year, when he entered the market in hopes of landing a $300 million-plus deal but wound up signing a shorter-term contract with the Minnesota Twins that included an opt-out after the first season.

This offseason, Correa found a market that lavished $300 million on Trea Turner and $280 million on Xander Bogaerts far more to his liking, and he wound up with the second-biggest deal, behind Aaron Judge‘s nine-year, $360 million contract with the New York Yankees.

The 13 years ties Bryce Harper‘s $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies in March 2019, and like Harper, Correa received a full no-trade clause and a contract without any opt-outs, sources said.

The $350 million exceeds the $341 million shortstop Francisco Lindor received from the New York Mets and the $340 million for shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. with the San Diego Padres. And in the history of baseball, only Mike Trout‘s $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles AngelsMookie Betts $365 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Judge’s exceed it in value.

About a year after turning down a five-year, $160 million contract with the Houston Astros, with whom Correa blossomed into a star, he landed more than twice that on the heels of a single season spent with the Twins, with whom he made $35.1 million before opting out of the final two years of his deal.

In his one season with Minnesota, Correa looked like his vintage self, hitting .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in 136 games.

While he didn’t match his Platinum Glove-winning 2021 campaign, Correa is regarded as one of the game’s best defensive shortstops, posting his fourth season with 5.0-plus wins above replacement, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

The Giants paid him like a superstar, as the combination of Correa’s position, age and productivity — regular season and postseason — convinced them to make him among the highest-earning players in baseball.

Before Correa, the last player the Giants signed to a $100 million-plus contract was pitcher Johnny Cueto, who received a six-year, $130 million deal in December 2015.

At baseball’s winter meetings, the Giants had hoped to strike a deal for Judge, the reigning American League MVP. But the Yankees upped their offer to $40 million per year, and Judge agreed to stay in New York. With Turner and Bogaerts off the board too, the opportunity to sign a foundational player had dwindled to Correa and former Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Since the retirement of catcher Buster Posey following the 2021 season, the Giants had sought a star to be the start of something new, looking beyond the glory years of the early 2010s, when San Francisco won three World Series, and before that, when Barry Bonds dazzled sellout crowds nightly. Correa has the poise and ability to be just that.

Excellence was predestined after he went to the Astros with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. He shot through the organization and debuted at 20 years old in 2015, winning AL Rookie of the Year. By his second season, Correa was one of the best players in baseball. And in 2017, he helped the Astros win their first World Series title, hitting five home runs and driving in 14 runs in 18 postseason games.

The Astros reached the AL Championship Series in 2018 and the World Series in 2019, with Correa a foundational player for their success. But the revelation in November 2019 that Houston had used a sign-stealing scheme during their championship season sullied the title and landed especially hard on Correa, who was outspoken in his defense of the team.

Correa’s excellence continued unabated. He was among the best players in the 2020 postseason and again played well in 2021, pushing his career postseason line to .272/.344/.505 with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs in 79 games. With shortstop prospect Jeremy Pena primed to reach the big leagues, though, Houston moved on from Correa, whose free agent market never materialized after an early dalliance with the Detroit Tigers and led to him signing a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Twins.

With Minnesota, Correa quickly became a clubhouse leader, and over his final 120 games, he hit .307/.381/.496 with 21 home runs. The Twins hoped he would return but recognized his market would be unlikely to break the same way it did following 2021.

Over his eight-year career, Correa has compiled nearly 40 rWAR — only Trout, Betts, Nolan ArenadoPaul Goldschmidt and Manny Machado have more in the same stretch — and a career line of .279/.357/.479 with 155 home runs and 553 RBIs in 888 games. His 12.6 defensive WAR rank fourth, behind Andrelton SimmonsKevin Kiermaier and Arenado.

Just how long Correa stays at shortstop is a question multiple executives posited during his free agency. The outs above average metric placed him in the bottom 20% of shortstops last season, while defensive runs saved pegged him as slightly above average. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Correa is among the game’s biggest players at shortstop, where he has played all 881 of his career games in the field.

Regardless of where Correa’s glove winds up, his bat will determine whether the megadeal is a success. And in the short term, it will help determine whether Correa again reaches the postseason — this time with a Giants team that won the National League West in 2021 but finished 81-81 this year — or, for the first time in his career, misses it in consecutive seasons.

Carlos Beltran Among 14 Newcomers on MLB Hall of Fame Ballot

Carlos Beltran is in the running for a special place in Major League Baseball history…

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican former professional baseball player is among 14 newcomers on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America‘s MLB Hall of Fame ballot.

Carlos BeltranBeltran played as an outfielder from 1998 to 2017 for the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Texas Rangers.

Beltrán was the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 1999 while with the Royals. He was named to nine MLB All-Star Games and won three Gold Glove Awards and two Silver Slugger Awards.

Beltrán was the fifth player to reach both 400 home runs and 300 stolen bases and just the fourth switch hitter with 400 home runs. He has the highest success rate in stealing bases (88.3%) of any major league player with 300 or more career attempts. He also joined the 30–30 club in 2004. In 2013, Beltrán was named the recipient of the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. He retired after the 2017 season, winning a World Series title with the Astros.

Other players appearing on the ballot for the first time include John Lackey, Jered Weaver, R.A. Dickey, Huston Street, Francisco Rodríguez, Bronson Arroyo and Matt Cain. They’re joined by Jacoby Ellsbury, Jayson Werth, Mike Napoli, J.J. Hardy, Jhonny Peralta and Andre Ethier, the Hall and the BBWAA announced.

Holdovers include Scott Rolen, Todd Helton and Billy Wagner. Rolen received 249 of 394 votes last year (63.2%), when David Ortiz was elected with 307 votes (77.9%), 11 more than the 75% needed. Helton was on 205 ballots (52%) and Wagner 201 (51%).

Voters denied several stars tainted by steroids and scandal.

Barry Bonds (260 votes, 66%), Roger Clemens (257, 65.2%) and Curt Schilling (231, 58.6%) were dropped after their 10th appearances on the ballot last year and are among eight players who will appear on the ballot of the Hall’s contemporary baseball era committee, which meets December 4 in San Diego ahead of baseball’s winter meetings.

Other holdovers on the BBWAA ballot include Andruw Jones (163 votes last year, 41.1%), Gary Sheffield (160, 40.6%), Alex Rodriguez (135, 34.3%), Jeff Kent (129, 32.7%), Manny Ramirez (114, 28.9%), Omar Vizquel (94, 23.9%), Andy Pettitte (42, 10.7%), Jimmy Rollins (37, 9.4%), Bobby Abreu (34, 8.6%), Mark Buehrle (23, 5.8%) and Torii Hunter (21, 5.3%).

Kent, who received his highest percentage last year, will appear on the BBWAA ballot for the 10th and final time.

BBWAA members with 10 or more consecutive years of membership are eligible to vote. Ballots must be postmarked by Dec. 31 and results will be announced Jan. 24.

Any players elected will be inducted into the Hall at Cooperstown on July 23 along with anyone elected by the contemporary baseball era committee.

A-Rod, a three-time MLB MVP and 14-time MLB All-Star who hit 696 home runs, was suspended for the 2014 season for violating MLB’s drug policy and collective bargaining agreement, and Ortiz’s name was alleged to have appeared on a list of players who tested positive during 2003 survey testing.

Wilmer Flores Agrees to Lucrative Three-Season Contract with San Francisco Giants

Wilmer Flores is celebrating a Giant(s) deal…

The 31-year-old Venezuelan professional baseball utility player and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to a contract that guarantees $16.5 million over the next three seasons and could be worth up to $21.5 million.

Flores gets salaries of $6.5 million each in 2023 and 2024. The deal includes an $8.5 million club option for 2025. If the team declines, Flores has a $3.5 million player option.

He’s playing this season under a $3.5 million team option, completing a three-year deal worth $9.5 million.

Flores is hitting .235 and has matched his career high of 18 homers and set a career best with 65 RBIs. He leads the Giants in RBIs, runs (66) and games (132) and is tied for the team high with 18 doubles.

Flores has a team-high 48 homers in his three years with San Francisco, playing first, second and third.

Flores will make a $32,500 annual donation to the Giants Community Fund in each of the next two seasons, and an additional donation in 2025 if he plays under an option year.

J.D. Martinez Added to MLB All-Star Game Roster

J.D. Martinez is getting his all-star moment after all…

The 34-year-old Cuban American professional baseball player, a designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox, has been added to the MLB All-Star Game rosters, according to the league.

J.D. Martinez Martinez is part of a roster of new additions that includes Garrett Cooper, and an Francisco Giants ace Carlos Rodon.

Martinez replaces Houston Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez and becomes the third Boston Red Sox player to land on the American League roster along with Xander Bogaerts and have been added to the All-Star rosters, MLB announced Tuesday.

Cooper steps in for reigning National League MVP Bryce Harper. The Philadelphia Phillies‘ star has a fractured thumb. Cooper gives the Miami Marlins three All-Stars as he joins teammates Sandy Alcantara and Jazz Chisholm Jr. 

Rodon was one of the more notable snubs when rosters were announced, but he ends up making his second All-Star appearance by replacing Milwaukee Brewers closer Josh Hader, who has family responsibilities.

Rodon (8-5, 2.70 ERA) was selected by the league to fill in for Hader, while Martinez and Cooper were next up in voting at their positions. This is the fifth time Martinez has been an All-Star, but the first time for Cooper.

Dodger Stadium will host the MLB All-Star Game next Tuesday night at 7:30 pm ET.