The third time was indeed the charm for Carlos Correa, who, after failing his physicals with the Mets and Giants, was officially cleared by the Twins’ medical staff Wednesday, ending one of the wildest free-agent sagas in recent memory. Correa’s eventful offseason, having two deals fall through before finally finding a home in Minnesota, was almost without precedent, a month-long caper rife with cliffhangers and red herrings galore.
While Correa ultimately cost himself millions, settling for a contract only half as long as what the Mets offered weeks earlier, most would agree $200 million is, all things considered, a pretty nice consolation prize, particularly for a player with known medical concerns. Though Correa’s improbable return to Minnesota has no doubt been one of the more compelling offseason storylines, Lewin Diaz might be having an even more chaotic winter, with the little-known first baseman designated for assignment five times by four different teams—the Marlins, Pirates, Braves and Orioles (twice)—all since mid-November.
Even for a fringe big-leaguer struggling to get his career off the ground, it’s been an unusually hectic two-month span for Diaz, bouncing around the league like a hot potato with little in the way of job security. For instance, Diaz’s recent stint with Baltimore, which abruptly ended with Wednesday’s acquisition of Darwinzon Hernandez, lasted all of six days, which, remarkably, was longer than the five days he spent as a Brave earlier this offseason. A 26-year-old from the Dominican Republic, Diaz’s existence as an MLB nomad, wandering from city to city in search of even the smallest breadcrumb of opportunity, is a stark reminder of how the vast majority of ballplayers live, fighting and clawing for every last scrap in pursuit of an elusive dream that may never come to fruition.
Based on his recent track record, Diaz should catch on somewhere, providing organizational depth as a left-handed bat with plus power, or, at worst, making the spring training rounds as a non-roster invitee. Even if his game hasn’t translated to the majors just yet (.181 average with 13 homers and 99 strikeouts in 343 MLB plate appearances), there’s still time for Diaz to carve out his niche, whether it’s for another organization or one of the four he’s already been with this offseason.