The Detroit Tigers ended up avoiding drama by not signing Correa

Feb 12, 2022; Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES; Free agent shortstop Carlos Correa in attendance during UFC 271 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 12, 2022; Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES; Free agent shortstop Carlos Correa in attendance during UFC 271 at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /

Some late night hot stove action as the Detroit Tigers AL Central rival the Minnesota Twins have been reported to sign shortstop Carlos Correa.

As reported by Mark Berman of Fox 26 down in Houston around 2am, the Minnesota Twins signed shortstop Carlos Correa to a three-year deal. Jeff Passan of ESPN summed it up pretty well for anyone who likes baseball with one word.

With his annual salary of $35.1 million dollars per season, this will make him the highest average paid infielder in MLB history.  It was reported by Buster Olney of ESPN back in December that Correa turned down the Tigers offer of 10-years, $275 million dollars. The story resurfaced again last week in an article by Jim Bowden of the Athletic.

The news of Correa heading to a Tigers division rival to some of the fan base is a tough pill to swallow, but let’s look at the contract objectively for a moment.

Carlos Correa can be a free agent again next season.

The three-year deal includes opt outs for the first two years of his contract. Since Tigers fans are going to compare him to the signing of shortstop Javier Báez, Javier’s deal calls for an opt-out after two. This is how the contract breaks down according to Evan Petzold’s article from back in December.

  1. $20 million in year one
  2. $22 million in year two
  3. $25 million in year three
  4. $25 million in year four
  5. $24 million in year five
  6. $24 million in year five

It was clear that Correa wanted to be one of the highest paid player in the game. It was reported that Houston offered him a five-year deal worth $160 million but he turned it down. The Cubs were reported to have an interest in Correa but no numbers were thrown out there.

The Twins have been busy since the lockout ended as they make a series of trades. They traded 3rd basemen Josh Donaldson to the Yankees, which could explain why they could sign Correa as Twins were able to move $21 million dollars to New York. In exchange, the Twins acquired catcher Gary Sanchez and third baseman Gio Urshela. They also picked up pitcher Sonny Gray from the Reds and signed Dylan Bundy right before the lockout began.

Minnesota may not be done either adding. It was reported earlier in the week that they and the Tigers were trying to acquire one of the two starting pitchers left in Oakland with either lefty Sean Manaea or right-hander Frankie Montas.

Moving on

With the recent signings of Andrew Chafin and last night in former Twins starter Michael Pineda, the Tigers added a bullpen arm and a starter to round out the pitching staff. While the starting pitching market was rather thin, Pineda at one-year, $5 million dollars is perfectly acceptable.

Avila stated this week “we’re going to careful” about trading prospects and after hearing the rumors about Detroit being interested in either Oakland starter, perhaps they just thought their asking price was too much.

With bringing back both Wily Peralta and Drew Hutchinson on minor league deals and veteran right-hander Chase Anderson, the Tigers appeared to have the pitching depth in place as far as starters go.

For all the “frustration” Tigers fans may have experienced this off-season not getting Correa, Detroit has had a busy off-season. The trade for Tucker Barnhart, signing Eduardo Rodriguez, Baez, Pineda and Chafin complete one of the  more active off-seasons the Tigers have had in quite sometime.

If they did not sign Baez and were waiting on Correa to make a decision and say he still did not come to Detroit, the fanbase would be even more upset because Detroit would of came up empty handed. Does Correa have better numbers? Yes, but for the fans to act like Baez is some sort of runner up is just ludricrous, considering where this team was a few seasons ago.  But the “what if” games will continue throughout the season as there will be people trying to compare numbers throughout the season.

They made an offer to Correa, and he said no. With the way the Tigers finished the season after a bad start, it gave Tigers fans plenty to get excited about. Detroit’s youthful talent was on display  already in game one of spring training. Let’s see how it plays out in 2022.