All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa and agent Scott Boras on Wednesday said that the familiarity cultivated with the Minnesota Twins last season ultimately led to a reunion after agreements with two other teams fell apart this offseason.
The Twins on Wednesday signed off on Correa's medicals, and he signed off on a guaranteed six-year deal to return to the club. The six-year deal is worth $200 million, sources told ESPN, but can max out at $270 million over 10 seasons if he can remain on the field.
The completed contract with the Twins ended a monthslong saga that included the San Francisco Giants and New York Mets balking at long-term agreements with Correa because of concerns about a 2014 surgery on his lower right leg.
"I had a lot of doctors tell me I was fine," Correa said during a Wednesday's news conference to announce the deal. "I had some doctors that said it wasn't so fine. It was shocking to me because since I had this surgery, I've never missed a game. I never got treatment on my ankle. My ankle has never hurt."
San Francisco agreed to a 13-year, $350 million contract with Correa on Dec. 13 before that deal fell apart and the Mets swooped in with a 12-year, $315 million agreement on Dec. 21. That deal, however, also eventually was scuttled because of a flagged physical.
"We were unable to reach an agreement," the Mets said in a statement Wednesday. "We wish Carlos all the best."
Correa hadn't missed any time because of the 2014 surgery, but that didn't stop the Giants or Mets from wanting to rework their agreed-to deals based on their doctors' opinions about his right ankle.
"We're not here to fault exterior physicians and their opinions, but I will say that medicine, particularly in sport, orthopedic functionality and clinical exam on a day-to-day basis is far more important than an MRI," Boras said.
The Twins' ability to watch and treat Correa in 2022 was "paramount," Boras said.
"It gave us a clarity that most organizations did not enjoy -- where they did not have the information and the depth of understanding of how Carlos was and what his true medical status was," Boras said.
Added Correa: "It was a lot of challenges thrown at us throughout the whole process. But at the end of the day, [Boras] got me to a place where I'm happy, where I feel right at home."
He's Home. pic.twitter.com/P2sMnJFOY9— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) January 11, 2023
The Twins stayed in touch with Boras, despite agreements with other teams -- an agreement isn't final until a player passes his physical -- and ultimately found common ground. "Other teams went through their process," Twins president Derek Falvey said. "We tried to come up with a creative solution that would work for us and ultimately for Carlos and find that overlap, and we did that."
Correa can earn an additional $70 million over four additional years if he reaches 575 plate appearances in 2028, the final season of his guaranteed six-year deal.
The contract came down to the opinion of doctors who had been around Correa as opposed to those assessing his medicals after the physical, Boras said.
"This scenario is about a large separation in the orthopedic community about functional fitness and clinical exam versus looking at an MRI," Boras said. "It's a dramatic chasm between how some doctors feel and how other doctors feel about the longevity of a player's performance."
Correa, 28, is among the game's best shortstops. He hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs while playing high-level defense in his first season with the Twins in 2022. He played in 136 games, missing time only because of an injured finger and a bout with COVID-19.
He rejoins a team that finished third in the AL Central but is loaded with young talent, including AL batting champion Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton. Minnesota have also added catcher Christian Vazquez and left fielder Joey Gallo via free agency this winter.