Carlos Correa to Mets: New York's 2023 World Series odds increase 25 percent, now co-favorite for NL pennant after stealing Correa from Giants
In one of the most stunning turn of events in the history of MLB free agency, All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa has walked away from a 13-year, $350 million deal with the San Francisco Giants – the contract was never signed because of a concern during Correa's physical – and has signed with the New York Mets for 12 years and $315 million. New York is now the +350 co-favorite at DraftKings to win the NL pennant alongside the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Mets' odds of winning the 2023 World Series at BetMGM dropped from +1000 to +750, behind only the Astros (+600). The Mets are tied with the Yankees and ahead of the Dodgers (+800).
Correa was scheduled to be officially introduced by the Giants on Tuesday, but the team announced that morning the press conference was postponed without providing a reason. It was eventually was reported a medical concern came up during his physical. Still, it was expected to be all but a formality that Correa would sign the contract.
Instead, Mets owner Steve Cohen – the richest owner in MLB - reportedly swooped in and negotiated the new deal with Correa's agent Scott Boras late Tuesday in Hawaii following what Boras termed a "difference of opinion" over Correa's Giants medical. Apparently, Correa's back wasn't the issue even though back soreness has sent the former AL Rookie of the Year to the injured list on multiple occasions during his career.
The Mets weren't in on Correa originally in free agency but jumped in late before he agreed with the Giants, and Cohen admitted some regret he didn't act sooner. Essentially, the owner and Boras picked up Tuesday where they left off. Correa is good friends with Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor, a fellow Puerto Rican. Lindor will remain at his position.
Last season with the Twins, Correa hit .291 with 22 home runs, 64 RBI and 70 runs scored in 136 games with a WAR of 5.4. Correa will move to third base – a position he has never played in a regular-season game. That means the solid Eduardo Escobar (20 HR, 69 RBI last year) becomes a utility player or could be traded.
The Correa signing "really makes a big difference," Cohen said. "I felt like our pitching was in good shape. We needed one more hitter. This puts us over the top."
Here is the Mets' projected Opening Day lineup -- and don't forget they have two three-time Cy Young winners in the rotation in Max Scherzer and new addition Justin Verlander:
- CF Brandon Nimmo
- RF Starling Marte
- SS Francisco Lindor
- 1B Pete Alonso
- 3B Carlos Correa
- 2B Jeff McNeil
- LF Mark Canha
- DH Daniel Vogelbach
- C Tomas Nido (until top prospect Francisco Alvarez is ready)
Cohen has been on record saying he expected the Mets to win a World Series within the first five years of his ownership. The 2023 season would be Year 4. Cohen has put his money where his mouth is by spending more than $800 million on free agents this offseason – re-signing Nimmo, setup man Adam Ottavino and closer Edwin Diaz and adding starting pitchers Verlander, Kodai Senga and Jose Quintana, reliever David Robertson, and catcher Omar Narvaez. New York's payroll projects to be around $385 million in 2023, an MLB record, and Cohen is also looking at a luxury tax bill in the ballpark of $100 million.
"What the heck's the difference?" Cohen said. "If you're going to make the move, make the move."
New York won 101 games last season but was upset in the Wild Card round by San Diego. The Mets open the 2023 season on March 30 in Miami. MLB win totals haven't been released by the books yet, but it shouldn't be much longer.
There's no question the Giants are have come up dreadfully short this offseason after reportedly offering Aaron Judge more money than the Yankees did yet only to watch Judge return to New York and to have now missed out on Correa too. The Giants have shifted from +3000 to win the World Series to +5000, and the free-agent market is now all but bare.
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