Carlos Correa remained at the North Pole on Monday, his fate a belated gift to some as yet unknown recipient.
Neither the Mets nor the All-Star shortstop’s camp said whether discussions had resumed afterward. a supposed break on christmas sunday, after concerns were raised over Correa’s physical exam last week. Both sides reached agreement on a 12-year contract worth $315 milliondepending on Correa passing his physical.
At issue is a right ankle injury Correa suffered in the minor leagues that led the Giants to reject a 13-year contract with the shortstop worth $350 million.
There is optimism that a deal can still be completed between Correa and the Mets, with a source on Monday putting the chance at 55 percent that the two sides will find common ground. Among the possibilities is contractual language that would shield the Mets from financial liability if Correa’s pre-existing condition sidelines him for an extended period. Correa’s agent, Scott Boras, worked out a similar contract clause with JD Martinez following a five-year deal with the Red Sox for $110 million.
But the belief is that Correa, whose strong preference is to play for the Mets, is not open to restructuring the length or financial terms of the contract. At least three teams have been in contact with Correa’s camp in recent days, but Correa remains committed for now to trying to finalize his deal with the Mets.
Correa underwent arthroscopic surgery after fracturing his right fibula and suffering ligament damage sliding to third base as a minor leaguer in 2014. In his eight seasons in the majors, Correa has not been placed on the roster. injured by a right leg injury. But Correa has dealt with other woes that sidelined him in recent seasons, including back injuries that forced him to miss significant time in 2018 and 2019.
It might be up to both sides to compromise: The Mets can’t just target another big bat on the free-agent market, with those options having evaporated. And from Correa’s perspective, does he need the drama of a third contract and physical this winter? Also, what kind of influence would Correa have in the negotiations? The Twins (who had him last season) weren’t shy about offering Correa a $285 million, 10-year contract, but that was before the two marked physicals of him.
Interested parties during this delay include Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillorme, one or both of whom could be traded if Correa’s deal with the Mets is completed. Correa would play third base for the team, with his friend Francisco Lindor as shortstop.
If Correa isn’t signed, the Mets could still try to trade the Red Sox for Rafael Devers, but that’s not the preferred path for an organization looking to retain prospects and build a formidable farm system.
Correa, 28, was not on the Mets’ radar until late in his free agency. Team owner Steve Cohen told The Post’s Jon Heyman the Mets needed another bat, after adding arms in Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, José Quintana, David Robertson and Adam Ottavino, with Brandon Nimmo the only piece. Significant offense to show from an offseason that saw payroll for 2023 surpass the $350 million plateau (which doesn’t include another $75 million in penalties for exceeding the upper level of the luxury tax threshold). After the Giants delayed finalizing their deal with Correa following his physical, Boras called Cohen from a Hawaii vacation and worked out an overnight deal.