The San Francisco Giants and New York Mets each backed out of megadeals agreed to in principle with star infielder Carlos Correa this offseason.
We continue to get an idea of what may have caused both teams to balk at the idea of signing Correa to a deal in excess of a decade.
Jon Heyman of The New York Post wrote Friday that "one doctor suggested that Correa has the worst ankle he's seen." We don't know the identity of said doctor, but presumably he works for either the Giants or Mets given that he's had the chance to examine Correa. And while both of those teams now have a vested interest in explaining to their respective fanbases why they backed out on signing the former No. 1 overall pick, it's not as though either team wanted to find something they deemed to be so damning in his physical that they couldn't proceed with signing one of the better players in the sport currently.
The Giants initially agreed to a 13-year/$350 million deal with Correa on Dec. 15, seemingly reeling in a big fish after failing to lure Aaron Judge away from the New York Yankees. But the Giants paused finalizing the contract after Correa underwent a physical with the team, opening the door for the Mets to swoop in and offer him a 12-year/$315 million pact on Dec. 21. Ultimately, though, the Mets ended up having the same concerns as the Giants, and that deal fell through, much to the chagrin of Scott Boras, who represents Correa.
By Jan. 11, Correa and the Twins were able to finalize a six-year/$200 million deal, which includes vesting options for four additional seasons. On one hand, the deal would have been massively disappointing for Correa at the outset of the offseason. On the other hand, a rival executive told Heyman that it was a "Houdini" act by Boras to even get that good of a deal for Correa after medical concerns had caused two teams to walk away.
While Correa has never gone on the injured list at the Major League level for anything related to the fractured right fibula that he sustained back in 2014, the two-time All-Star did have a scare last September when he felt temporary numbness and vibration after the plate in his lower right leg was hit attempting to steal a base:
After winning the American League's Platinum Glove Award in 2021, Correa became a free agent, but had to settle for a three-year/$105.3 million deal with the Twins. Granted, that deal included opt outs after each season, which Correa would go on to exercise after his first year with the Twins. But having to settle for a short-term deal was a pretty shocking development for Correa, who had finished fifth in AL MVP Award voting the past season, and was only 26 years old.
A year later, though, Correa's disappointing first trip into free agency makes a bit more sense. And concerns about how his right ankle will hold up as he ages may be the reason that the Houston Astros were willing to turn the page on Correa before anyone knew that his successor, Jeremy Peña, was going to turn out to be the 2022 World Series MVP.