It appears the Giants aren’t alone in having enough questions about Carlos Correa’s health history to hit pause before finalizing a massive contract with the star shortstop.
We’ll just have to wait and see if the Mets ultimately follow through.
Correa’s recent physical exam for the Mets has “raised concerns”, according to a report Saturday morning from Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
According to the report, the Mets may have issues with Correa’s surgically repaired lower right leg. That would be the same issue that reportedly caused the Giants to back away from the $350 million, 13-year deal they had agreed to with Correa on Dec. 13. That set off a chain of events that included a hasty cancellation of Correa’s introductory news conference with the Giants on Tuesday morning and the door opening for the Mets to reach an agreement on a $315 million, 12-year deal with the former Houston Astros star.
It also opened the Giants up to massive criticism and fan backlash for failing to complete the deal in an offseason that already had seen them finish runner-up to Yankees star Aaron Judge.
The Giants’ only public comment on the collapse of the Correa deal was a statement from Farhan Zaidi, the team’s president of baseball operations, who on Tuesday said. “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. We wish Carlos the best.”
Boras, Correa’s agent, on Wednesday told reporters in New York that the Giants were still interested in working something out as of Tuesday morning.
“I said, ‘How much time do you need?’ They set the time, they told me that they needed — 1 o’clock they would let us know,” Boras said. “Then we received notice from them that they wanted to continue to talk and that they needed more time. But at that point in time, I told them I had to have a decision whether they were going to honor their letter of agreement that we had reached. And they said at that point in time they needed more information, they needed more discussion. They wanted to continue to talk but at this time they couldn’t go forward. And then I advised them that I had to pursue alternative measures on behalf of Carlos with other teams.”
During that session with reporters, Boras also said of Correa’s health, “There is no current issue with Carlos’ health whatsoever. There’s been a lot of discussion about backs and ankles. There’s nothing about him that is currently any form of medical issue. All the conjecture and evaluation of him has been about physicians using their crystal ball for years to come.”
Minnesota apparently had no concerns about Correa’s health last winter, when the Twins signed him to a $105.3 million, three-year contract (which he opted out of this winter to become a free agent again). This offseason when they offered him $285 million over 10 years to stay.
Correa, 28, has played at least 136 games each of the past two seasons, and his most significant health issue since he arrived in the majors was back injuries that sidelined him for parts of the 2018 and 2019 seasons.
If it is the leg that again raised a red flag, that’s an injury he suffered while he was a Houston Astros prospect and playing at the High-A level in June 2014. He suffered a fractured right fibula when a spike was caught while sliding into third base, ending his season. He was in the majors less than a year later and won the AL Rookie of the Year award.
Correa took his physical for the Giants on Monday. According to the New York Post’s Jon Heyman, the Mets sent a private plane to take Correa from his home in Houston to New York for the physical. The physical, according to Boras, was completed on Thursday.
The Mets and Correa obviously could work things out — fewer years and some sort of provision about the leg seem most likely — but now it’s another waiting game to see where the No. 2 target in this winter’s free agent market ultimately lands. Another potential twist would be Correa returning to the Twins.
The Giants moved on from Correa by reportedly reaching deals this week with outfielder Michael Conforto on a $36 million, two-year deal, and left-handed reliever Taylor Rogers on a $33 million, three-year contract. The team also added outfielder Mitch Haniger and pitchers Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling earlier in the month.
The absence of Correa on the Giants roster also clears the way for Brandon Crawford to remain at shortstop, the only position he has ever played during his star-studded 12 seasons with the team.
Crawford was slated to move to third base, which he reportedly was ready and willing to do. But this week, Crawford in a text exchange with the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea said he has mixed emotions about how things played out.
“We would’ve been a better team with a player of his caliber no matter what my role would’ve been,” Crawford texted. He added, “No reason to speculate on what that would’ve been at this point. Personally, yes, I’m happy I will remain at shortstop partly because that’s the only position I’ve played at the big-league level, but also because I still feel like I can do it very well.
“We’ve also added some other pieces these last few weeks that I am confident will help us compete in 2023 and beyond. We’re a better team today than we were a month ago.”
This content was originally published here.