In a move that stunned the baseball world in the wee hours of the morning Wednesday, the New York Mets reportedly swooped in to agree to a 12-year, $315 million contract with Carlos Correa after concerns arose in San Francisco over his medicals.
Correa had originally agreed to a 13-year, $350 million deal with the Giants last week and was set for his introductory press conference yesterday when it was delayed by an unknown issue Giants doctors noticed during his physical, per the San Francisco Chronicle.
First of all, wow. So much to sift through.
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The Mets plan to play Correa, one of baseball's best defensive shortstops, at third base. Starting shortstop Francisco Lindor was just signed himself to a 10-year, $341 million extension in April 2021.
The Mets have spent like crazy under owner Steve Cohen and it has continued in full effect this offseason. They've signed Justin Verlander, Correa, Brandon Nimmo, Edwin Diaz, Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, Adam Ottavino and Omar Narvaez. Their payroll is up to an estimated $377 million, about $105 million above the Yankees, the team with the next-highest payroll.
Cohen is set to pay a 90% tax on every dollar the Mets are above the final luxury tax threshold of $293 million, but as he told reporters this week, he's been dealing with big numbers for a long time. The team's tax bill alone is in the vicinity of $100 million.
The Mets are desperate to win and don't currently have a farm system ready to graduate difference-makers to the majors. They're coming off of a season in which they won 101 games and led the division nearly the entire way only to finish in second place to the Braves and have a quick playoff exit against the Padres. They then watched the Phillies advance all the way to Game 6 of the World Series. Cohen is doing what he feels it takes.
Here is the Mets' projected opening-day lineup:
1. Brandon Nimmo, CF
2. Carlos Correa, 3B
3. Francisco Lindor, SS
4. Pete Alonso, 1B
5. Starling Marte, RF
6. Jeff McNeil, 2B
7. Dan Vogelbach, DH
8. Mark Canha, LF
9. Omar Narvaez, C
Eduardo Escobar now becomes a trade candidate or baseball's most expensive utilityman.
The Mets' rotation consists of Max Scherzer, Verlander, Kodai Senga, Carlos Carrasco and Jose Quintana. Diaz, Robertson and Adam Ottavino make up the back of the bullpen.
Gone from last year's team are Jacob deGrom (Rangers), Chris Bassitt (Blue Jays), Taijuan Walker (Phillies), Seth Lugo (Padres), Mychal Givens (Orioles), Trevor Williams (Nationals) and Trevor May (Athletics).
Lugo, Ottavino and Givens would have been good fits on the Phillies' pitching staff. The Phils still need bullpen help, namely one more reliable back-end reliever to go with Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, recently signed Matt Strahm, Connor Brogdon and Andrew Bellatti.