This is about as wild as things get in MLB free agency. We will remember this forever.
In a stunning turn of events, not only is Carlos Correa NOT signing with the San Francisco Giants, but he wound up agreeing to a middle-of-the-night deal with the New York Mets:
The deal, as first reported by Jon Heyman at like 3am, is for 12 years and $350 million, or one year and $35 million shy of what Correa’s deal was going to be with the Giants. That deal fell through yesterday after the Giants flagged something on his pre-signing medical review, leading to a press conference cancellation and rampant speculation about what was happening. I mentioned in my write-up that maybe the Mets would try to swoop back in like they did before his original agreement, but I have to say … I didn’t actually EXPECT it to happen. Mets owner Steve Cohen cannot be stopped.
It was Cohen who worked directly with agent Scott Boras to get this deal done, according to the Post, as soon as the medical issue came up with the Giants (there was a “difference of opinion” about the issue, obviously). Correa’s deal with the Mets is also pending a medical review, though I presume whatever it was that the Giants flagged is something the Mets – or at least Cohen, specifically – is comfortable risking.
After all, it’s only money:
As for the Giants, their offseason has been one miss after another, and this one … oof. This is as bad as it gets, and is NOT something that happens very often. Clearly they must have been really bothered by whatever they saw in the medical review, and maybe in the end they will be better for having backed out of a deal that always came with huge risks just based on the size and length.
Given the way this back-up deal with the Mets was worked out, I’m thinking that Boras didn’t want to take the chance of actually putting Correa back on the market after word got out about whatever the medical issue is, because there’s just no way you could get a deal anywhere close to the Giants’ offer at that point. Getting something really close from the Mets and a true do-whatever-it-takes owner like Cohen was probably their best possible outcome. And, I mean, it’s not like it isn’t still an enormous deal!
So are you mad that the Cubs didn’t slide back in? Well, I would imagine Boras might’ve made a quick phone call to teams like the Cubs and Twins, just to make sure they didn’t want to round back up. But given that the Cubs never made a formal offer the first time around, I don’t think they were in this zip code in their evaluation of Correa’s value (right or wrong). And honestly, after something was flagged in the medical review, bad enough for the Giants to back out, well, it makes it pretty hard for me this morning to be mad that the Cubs didn’t pounce. We don’t even know what the issue is.
In other words, I doubt this is going to be a situation where I’ll be looking back in a year or two thinking, “Dang it, why did the Cubs sign Dansby Swanson before Carlos Correa’s deal was officially official?!” Instead, I’m more likely to be thinking, “Thank goodness the Cubs locked down Swanson before the Giants found out they missed out and might’ve gone wild again.”
In the meantime, Correa will have been playing third base for the Mets, alongside Francisco Lindor at shortstop, and on the most expensive MLB roster in history by a country mile.
Cohen spending a boatload on his payroll doesn’t necessarily bother me. Other billionaire owners could do the same. But I think what bothers me – at least in this frazzled state of waking up early and seeing this crazy middle-of-the-night news – is this idea that the Mets, under Cohen, just deserve to land any player they want, however luxurious or imperfectly-fitting. “We needed another bat” on our half-a-billion roster … it just hits me wrong. I’m probably too inarticulate before my coffee to put a finger on it, but I know that I already had a whole lot of antipathy for the Mets and this isn’t going to do much to shake that. I think maybe I want to see them fall flat on their faces this year? I wonder what that is about. Maybe it’s just jealousy.