Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is in the process of switching agents, following the advice of Alex Rodriguez and joining the powerful WME agency in spite of it not having a baseball business, sources familiar with the move told ESPN.
Correa, 24, left longtime agent Greg Genske for WME and agent Jon Rosen, who represents Rachael Ray, Bobby Flay and Al Roker as the head of WME's Branded Lifestyle Group. Rosen recently sought certification from the Major League Baseball Players Association, according to sources.
While agency businesses with celebrity cachet have cropped up in recent years -- Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports and Marc Anthony's Magnus are the two most notable -- all have hired established baseball agents to run their practices. Correa could head into the most valuable years of his career -- he will be arbitration eligible for the 2020 and 2021 seasons before reaching free agency in November 2021 -- with a relative newcomer.
WME has represented Rodriguez in business matters dating back more than a decade, and Rosen negotiated his contract as well as Matt Vasgersian's to call Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN. Correa does not yet have the profile like Rodriguez to benefit from an integrated agency; Rodriguez's crossover into the business and entertainment worlds have redefined his public persona in recent years. Rodriguez still pushed him toward WME as other baseball agencies sought him as a client, according to sources.
If healthy and productive, Correa would represent a rare free-agent prize: a young player at arguably the most valuable position in the game. In the winter of 2021, he will be 27 years old and could command well over $200 million. Other potential free-agent shortstops that bonanza winter include Cleveland's Francisco Lindor, Chicago's Javier Baez, Colorado's Trevor Story and Los Angeles' Corey Seager.
Correa's baseball talent is undeniable -- especially when he's healthy. That has proven the biggest issue, as Correa has played just 72 games this season after back-to-back years of 110 and 109 games. In his limited time this season, Correa is hitting .278/.358/.556 with 19 home runs and 56 RBIs. He has been on the injured list with a back injury since Aug. 20 and missed two months earlier this season with a broken rib he said he suffered during a massage.