Carlo CorreaAccording to a report by The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Dan Hayes, the physical altercation with the Mets “raised concern.” According to the report, concern centers on Correa’s surgically repaired right lower leg. Correa has agreed to a 12-year, $315 million deal with the Mets just days after a 13-year, $350 million deal with the Giants fell through over physical concerns.
While it’s heartbreaking to hear given the events of the past week, it’s still unclear what that means for the status of the deal. Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that the two parties are currently trying to resolve the issue.
Mets owner Steve Cohen has already touched on the deal and told Heyman earlier this week “We needed something else, and this is it.” That’s especially important because, according to The Athletic’s report, going into the deal could make it more difficult to back out of the agreement, although there’s nothing to suggest the Mets intend to do so.
It was an intriguing turn of events at Correa’s free agency over the past week. In general, reported agreements subject to physical scrutiny have gone official without issue, but Correa’s has now caught a snag on two separate occasions in the space of a week. He’s also one of the top free agents this winter and had agreed deals worth over $300 million. Correa had agreed to a long-term contract with the Giants on Dec. 13, but that lapsed Monday after the Giants reportedly asked for more time to deal with medical care after finding something that gave them a brought a break. However, agent Scott Boras quickly turned his back on the Mets, who quickly agreed to their own long-term deal for $35 million less than the original Giants agreement.
Boras also tried to get back involved with the Twins after the deal with the Giants fell through. According to The Athletic’s report, they had offered him a ten-year, $285 million deal, but prior to that deal they would have placed a greater emphasis on a physical deal than the deal he signed with Minnesota in early 2022 given its long-term nature of the proposal. The report also adds that after Correa became available again, the Twins were unwilling to change their original proposal and wanted the issues raised in the player’s physical condition with the Giants investigated.
The Giants have remained silent on the matter. HIPAA laws prevent them from providing clear answers about the exact nature of the injury, but baseball operations president Farhan Zaidi issued a statement: “Although we are prohibited from disclosing confidential medical information, as Scott Boras publicly stated, there has been disagreement over the results of Carlos’ physical exam. We wish Carlos the best.”
The Correa camp has denied any cause for concern. Ahead of his physical with the Mets, Boras said, “tHThere is nothing about him that currently poses a medical problem,” over MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo. He added that the Giants were trying to a “crystal ball” to try to predict Correa’s long-term health (via Laura Albanese from Newsday).
Various reports have cited Correa’s right leg as a source of concern for both the Giants and the Mets. In 2014, a teenager Correa fractured his right fibula and suffered minor ligament damage while playing in High-A in the Astros organization. This injury required arthroscopic surgery to repair. Correa has missed time for thumb, back and rib problems in the big leagues, but the right leg has never put him on the injury list in his eight seasons in the big league.
It’s worth remembering that the Mets pulled out of a one-player deal just a few years ago. They were drafted in 2021 Kumar Rockers 10th overall and agreed to a $6 million signing bonus before abandoning the deal after worrying about something they saw in the physical. Of course, withdrawing from a $6 million deal for a draft pick and a $315 million contract for an All-Star are two different things, and Cohen’s comments certainly give confidence that a deal of some form is yet to come can come about.
It’s the latest twist in a turbulent time for Correa on the open market. He was the top free agent after leaving the Astros last year, but after the long-term deal he wanted didn’t materialize, he took a three-year, $105.1 million contract with opt-out terms at the Twins. After making $35.1 million last season and having another strong season, he dropped out and went to the open market for the second winter in a row. The long-term mega deal he had been aiming for finally seemed to be a reality when it was reported that the Giants had agreed to a 13-year, $350 million pact. That deal fell through, but Correa quickly landed a $300 million deal with the Mets. While there’s every chance that a deal with New York can still go through, at least some doubts hang over it now.