Why Red Sox fans should be rooting for Carlos Correa’s Mets deal to go through
Regardless of how it turns out, Carlos Correa’s offseason will go down as one of the biggest free agency debacles in Major League Baseball history.
After agreeing to a 13-year, $350M contract with the San Francisco Giants that would’ve made him one of the highest-paid players in MLB history, the signing process came to an abrupt halt last week. Hours before the scheduled introductory presser where he’d done a Giants jersey and cap for the first time, the Giants sent out a brief, terse message informing the media that the presser was postponed. Hours later, news broke that Correa was taking a 12-year, $315M deal with the New York Mets, instead.
The Giants were concerned with Correa’s physical; in particular, the broken bone in his leg that he’d had surgically repaired in 2014. At first, the assumption was that they were really freaked out by the long-term commitment, but then the Mets’ physical vindicated their hesitance. Nearly a week later, Correa remains in limbo.
Why should Red Sox fans care? In addition to the obvious benefit of Correa going to the National League, ensuring the Sox would only see him for a few games each year, signing Correa would likely keep them from targeting a very important Red Sox player. The Mets already have Francisco Lindor playing shortstop, so Correa would play third. Who else plays third, hits even more home runs, is two years younger, and going to be a free agent in the very near future?
Mets could target Red Sox star Rafael Devers if Carlos Correa deal falls through
Devers is in his final year of salary arbitration, so he’ll become a free agent following the upcoming season. He was already being discussed as a $300M player last summer, and now that spending has gone the way of Vesuvius, he’ll easily blow past that number on the open market.
Mets owner Steve Cohen is the richest man in the game, and unlike several of his fellow billionaires, has already proven that money is no object. Between their actual payroll and the tax they’re set to pay for overages, the Mets will spend close to half a billion dollars this year alone.
It really puts the Red Sox’ hesitance to pay out $300M over a decade into perspective.
The Sox haven’t locked in a player long-term since David Price in 2015, and he was a free agent who was gone by 2020. The last homegrown star to receive a hefty extension was Dustin Pedroia in 2013.
Since 2014, the Sox have lost Jon Lester, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts.
Of course, Correa actually signing on the dotted line with the Mets won’t guarantee Devers stays in Boston; the Sox have to finally grit their teeth and show him the money. But it would take a serious candidate out of the mix, and that’s a small comfort.