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Adding a player opt-out to a player like Carlos Correa’s contract may seem business savvy. The stipulation is more likely to lead to a mountain of aggravation.
Earlier this month, this offseason’s top free-agent prize, Carlos Correa, signed a deal with the Minnesota Twins. The deal was for three years and $105 million. Correa, however, can opt out of the deal after the 2022 and 2023 seasons.
Correa could play out this season and find that he is not happy with the Twins. He could then opt-out of this deal with the Twins and look for more money elsewhere with teams that will be looking for a shortstop with skill and power.
The Twins are taking a huge gamble that Correa won’t do this at this end of the 2022 season. The team did make a trade with the New York Yankees to bring Gary Sanchez and Giovanny Urshela on board. The club has high hopes for a dynamic middle infield with the pairing of Correa with Urshela. Manager Rocco Baldelli has to love this pairing and hopes the duo will gel quickly.
Baldelli will also look to Correa for some leadership. Correa is an All-Star, won a Gold Glove in 2021, and was a member of the Houston Astros’ club that won the World Series in 2017. Baldelli and the Twins have young talent — Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Miguel Sano — and it would help to have a veteran player show a good example.
As the Astros learned, it’s not too hard for Correa to take the money and run.
Twins banking on Carlos Correa not opting out of contract immediately
The Twins will use this 2022 season to tap into their hope Correa will fall in love with the Twins, as well as Minneapolis-St. Paul. After spending his career in the Houston Astros system, it will be a completely different experience.
Pairing him with Urshela in the middle infield and having him in the lineup with Urshela, and healthy versions of Sanchez, Buxton, and Kepler could help matters. Making him a leader to this team could tap into something for Correa, as well. He was behind Jose Altuve as far as team leader on the Astros.
Correa and the Twins may come to the conclusion that all that is riding on the deal being successful may not be mutual. If Correa is not happy early in the season, the opt-out could prevent the Twins from being able to trade him for young talent. Why trade him for a top prospect when Correa could just opt-out?
While this could ultimately turn into an expensive one-year deal for Correa, it could lead to the club becoming apprehensive about making big deals and making more one-year contracts to find the shortstop the club desperately needs which could become a huge hassle.
There are many what-ifs to this situation for the Twins. The club’s gamble could very well pay off and Correa is happy with the Twins and the Twin Cities for years to come. Twins fans will be on the edge of their seats until they are certain Correa is happy. They may never know for sure.