After the Minnesota Twins shipped Isaiah Kiner-Falefa and Josh Donaldson to the Yankees, most people expected they would be in the market for a big-name free agent shortstop. It was just supposed to be Trevor Story. But in the early hours of Saturday morning, the team agreed to a three-year contract with Carlos Correa.
Shortstop Carlos Correa and the Minnesota Twins are in agreement on a three-year, $105.3 million contract that includes opt-outs after the first two seasons, sources confirm to ESPN. First with the deal was @MarkBermanFox26.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 19, 2022
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Just 27-years-old and entering the prime of his career, Correa is coming off a strong season, hitting .279 with 26 home runs, 104 runs, and 92 RBIs for the Astros. He showcased a more patient approach, which lead to more contact and also to better quality of contact. His barrel rate jumped up to 9.4% and he also nearly doubled his rate of barrels hit over 100 mph.
The Twins are banking on another level for Correa, which could be there. He came close to unlocking that in the first half of the season, hitting 16 home runs in 82 games, but in the second half of the season, we saw his launch angle decrease to 10.9-degrees and his pull rate fall to just over 32%, which led to more live drives and fewer home runs. Of course, he will also be moving to a slightly worse home park for hitters, which could hurt his power numbers.
Lastly, the ability to opt-out of his contract after one year is an intriguing addition given recent news.
As agents have noted: Given the offers Carlos Correa got before the lockout, his previous agency would be in position to claim a majority of whatever he gets in a multi-year deal. If Correa signs for for one year now, new agent Scott Boras gets all $ of a new deal next winter.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) March 14, 2022
The deal with the Twins, although being for three years, could easily become a one-year deal that allows Correa to sign a big contract next winter as the Buster Olney tweet above discusses. That contract could even be a return back to Houston. Regardless, for now, Correa will hit in the middle of a Twins lineup that includes Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, and upcoming young talents like Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach. It should make for an interesting battle in the NL Central.