Shortstop Carlos Correa and the San Francisco Giants are in agreement on a 13-year, $350 million contract, a record-long deal that is the richest ever for the position and gives the team a franchise-type player around which it plans to build, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.
The free agent path of Correa, 28, was far less circuitous than last year, when he entered the market in hopes of landing a $300 million-plus deal but wound up signing a shorter-term contract with the Minnesota Twins that included an opt-out after the first season. This offseason, Correa found a market that lavished $300 million on Trea Turner and $280 million on Xander Bogaerts far more to his liking, and he wound up with the second-biggest deal, behind Aaron Judge's nine-year, $360 million contract with the New York Yankees.
The 13 years ties Bryce Harper's $330 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies in March 2019, and like Harper, Correa received a full no-trade clause and a contract without any opt-outs, sources said.
The $350 million exceeds the $341 million shortstop Francisco Lindor received from the New York Mets and the $340 million for shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. with the San Diego Padres. And in the history of baseball, only Mike Trout's $426.5 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels, Mookie Betts' $365 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Judge's exceed it in value.
About a year after turning down a five-year, $160 million contract with the Houston Astros, with whom Correa blossomed into a star, he landed more than twice that on the heels of a single season spent with the Twins, with whom he made $35.1 million before opting out of the final two years of his deal. In his one season with Minnesota, Correa looked like his vintage self, hitting .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs in 136 games. While he didn't match his Platinum Glove-winning 2021 campaign, Correa is regarded as one of the game's best defensive shortstops, posting his fourth season with 5.0-plus wins above replacement, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
The Giants paid him like a superstar, as the combination of Correa's position, age and productivity -- regular season and postseason -- convinced them to make him among the highest-earning players in baseball. Before Correa, the last player the Giants signed to a $100 million-plus contract was pitcher Johnny Cueto, who received a six-year, $130 million deal in December 2015.
At baseball's winter meetings, the Giants had hoped to strike a deal for Judge, the reigning American League MVP. But the Yankees upped their offer to $40 million per year, and Judge agreed to stay in New York. With Turner and Bogaerts off the board too, the opportunity to sign a foundational player had dwindled to Correa and former Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Since the retirement of catcher Buster Posey following the 2021 season, the Giants had sought a star to be the start of something new, looking beyond the glory years of the early 2010s, when San Francisco won three World Series, and before that, when Barry Bonds dazzled sellout crowds nightly. Correa has the poise and ability to be just that.
Excellence was predestined after he went to the Astros with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 draft. He shot through the organization and debuted at 20 years old in 2015, winning AL Rookie of the Year. By his second season, Correa was one of the best players in baseball. And in 2017, he helped the Astros win their first World Series title, hitting five home runs and driving in 14 runs in 18 postseason games.
The Astros reached the AL Championship Series in 2018 and the World Series in 2019, with Correa a foundational player for their success. But the revelation in November 2019 that Houston had used a sign-stealing scheme during their championship season sullied the title and landed especially hard on Correa, who was outspoken in his defense of the team.
Correa's excellence continued unabated. He was among the best players in the 2020 postseason and again played well in 2021, pushing his career postseason line to .272/.344/.505 with 18 home runs and 59 RBIs in 79 games. With shortstop prospect Jeremy Pena primed to reach the big leagues, though, Houston moved on from Correa, whose free agent market never materialized after an early dalliance with the Detroit Tigers and led to him signing a three-year, $105.3 million contract with the Twins.
With Minnesota, Correa quickly became a clubhouse leader, and over his final 120 games, he hit .307/.381/.496 with 21 home runs. The Twins hoped he would return but recognized his market would be unlikely to break the same way it did following 2021.
Over his eight-year career, Correa has compiled nearly 40 rWAR -- only Trout, Betts, Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Manny Machado have more in the same stretch -- and a career line of .279/.357/.479 with 155 home runs and 553 RBIs in 888 games. His 12.6 defensive WAR rank fourth, behind Andrelton Simmons, Kevin Kiermaier and Arenado.
Just how long Correa stays at shortstop is a question multiple executives posited during his free agency. The outs above average metric placed him in the bottom 20% of shortstops last season, while defensive runs saved pegged him as slightly above average. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Correa is among the game's biggest players at shortstop, where he has played all 881 of his career games in the field.
Regardless of where Correa's glove winds up, his bat will determine whether the megadeal is a success. And in the short term, it will help determine whether Correa again reaches the postseason -- this time with a Giants team that won the National League West in 2021 but finished 81-81 this year -- or, for the first time in his career, misses it in consecutive seasons.