Carlos Correa opting out, could Detroit Tigers swoop in and sign him?
The Detroit Tigers get a second chance to sign Carlos Correa
Rarely in any sport besides golf do you get a mulligan, but the Detroit Tigers are going to get one this offseason. Carlos Correa is reportedly opting out of his deal with the Minnesota Twins, giving the Detroit Tigers another chance to right the wrongs of last offseason.
Correa was rumored to come to Detroit for what seemed like the entirety of last offseason up until the Tigers signed Javier Baez. There was even that leaked photo of him and A.J. Hinch having breakfast together.
But the word was Chris Ilitch didn’t want to sign a $300 million contract, so the Tigers were left with Baez. There were a couple of different rumored offers, such as 10 years/$275 million and 8 years/$275 million, with the latter honestly seeming like a very fair offer in terms of AAV, but Correa declined them both, as he was seeking a larger deal.
He ended up signing with the Twins on a three-year, $105 million deal with opt-outs after every year, meaning he was never really committed to the Twins long-term. He is now reportedly exercising that first opt-out, which most people saw coming a mile away.
After a slow start, Correa ended up having a very good season in 2022, slashing .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs, a 140 wRC+ and a 4.4 fWAR, which was the third-highest of his career. For comparison’s sake, Baez slashed .238/.278/.393 with 17 homers, a 90 wRC+ and a 2.0 fWAR in 2022.
After Ilitch falied to pony up for Correa the first time around, he has been given a second chance to do so. But will he actually do it?
It’s honestly hard to tell. It’s easy to just say “no, he’s too cheap,” but then again, he did hire an actual president of baseball operations in Scott Harris, as opposed to just hiring a GM. This could be a situtation where Ilitch is going completely hands-off and just signs the checks, but we don’t know that for sure.
We also don’t know whether Harris feels like now is the time to spend that kind of money on one free agent. The Detroit Tigers are far from one player away from being a World Series contender. It may seem to wise to allocate that money to address multiple needs.
Now, if the Tigers were actually able to pull off a deal with Correa, I don’t think anyone would complain. It would force the Tigers to move Baez to second base, which most people feel like is best anyway, and it would give them a much-needed star player.
The “Correa to Detroit” rumors will no doubt start again this offseason. Whether those rumors actually come to fruition, we’ll just have to wait and see.