Carlos Correa’s unprecedented free-agent journey ends with his return to the Twins

In the span of two months, Carlos Correa witnessed at least three versions of his life flash before his eyes.

A life in San Francisco. A life in New York City. A life in Minneapolis. About 31 years and $865 million between the three of them.

Yet somehow seeing these futures knit together, only to fall apart, only to reconfigure into something else entirely, did not leave the shortstop rattled.

“I focus on the things that I can control,” the even-keeled Correa said. “And some of these things, I have no control over them. So I wasn’t stressing over them too much.”

His wife apparently did that for him.

“Let me tell you, being pregnant and going through this was not easy. A lot of hormones,” said Daniella Correa, who is seven months along expecting their second son after 1-year-old Kylo. “A lot of holding back tears. The highs were highs, and the lows were lows. … But once all this process is over and done with, it’s so good to know that we’re coming back somewhere where we’re loved and appreciated .”

However chaotic the journey, the sentiment from his introductory news conference Wednesday at Target Field was the same: Correa said he is where he is meant to be. And that’s with the Twins for at least another six years, although the contract structure could keep him in Minnesota through 2032.

Although Correa initially opted out of his final two years and $70.2 million with the Twins in December and entered free agency for his second consecutive year, the Twins were never out of the running. Agent Scott Boras mentioned that the team offered Correa a contract of considerable length and money, which the Giants ended up beating with $350 million and 13 years. Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey even recalled how he and Correa shared a phone call the night that deal occurred that was emotional and heartfelt for both of them.

The Giants, though, raised concerns after Correa’s routine physical, citing an injury from 2014 when he broke his right ankle and tibia and now has a surgically implanted plate. Boras contacted the Twins in the midst of orchestrating a literally overnight pivot, but Falvey said those discussions were moving too fast. He didn’t want to make a new offer without all the information or looping in owner Joe Pohlad, who recently took his uncle Jim’s place as Twins executive chair.

So the Twins lost out again, this time to the Mets’ $315 million over 12 years. But a change in coasts did not erase the medical trepidation, with the Mets also unsure of Correa’s sustainability. This renegotiation took weeks, partly because of the holidays. But the solution ended up back in the Midwest, where this whole offseason saga began.

The Twins had stayed in touch with Boras and Correa throughout the drama, partly to continue to express their interest in re-signing him, partly just to check in if their former teammate was OK. On Monday, those chats turned more serious, with the two camps agreeing to a guaranteed six-year, $200 million deal Tuesday, with four more years and $70 million possible as well.

“Sometimes in baseball as in life and everywhere else, fate and destiny come back together, and there’s an opportunity that you don’t always expect,” Falvey said. “The journeys are not always linear. They’re circuitous sometimes. But they’re here, and they bring us back together to the place where we knew was always right for Carlos.”

The contract includes team options for 2029-32, which can each automatically vest if Correa meets certain plate appearance thresholds, wins awards or finishes in the top five of MVP voting the previous season.

Both Boras and Falvey pointed out that should Correa’s contract run the full 10 years plus his 2022 season with the Twins, the “deal” will be worth $305.1 million, which would be one of the largest in major league history.

That might be packaging this ordeal a little too neatly. And even Falvey admitted that this outcome was more a product of luck – both good and bad – than strategic planning. “Fortunate” is how Falvey described it for the Twins, who ended up with a former No. 1 pick who is one of the best leaders and players in the game for possibly a decade. “Traumatic” is how Falvey worried this was for Correa, who worked since a young age to secure this big contract only to lose it twice and eventually settle on something different from what he probably envisioned.

But Correa was adamant he didn’t consider the Twins his third choice.

He and his wife love the beautiful Minnesota summers and take their son to the zoo here. They found friends in the other players and their wives, he stayed in almost daily contact all offseason with the likes of Byron Buxton, Jose Miranda and hitting coach David Popkins. And at the celebration dinner Tuesday night, Correa spent most of the time earning his honorary assistant general manager title, detailing more players the front office could bring in and how to manage the roster in the future, even moving himself to third base a few years down the line. the line if needed.

“All that matters is that I’m here. I’m going to represent this city and this organization, and I’m going to do it the right way,” Correa said. “I’m going to play hard every single day. I’m going to be out there in the community helping as much as I can. I’m going to be dedicated to that. I’m going to give it my all, and me and my family are going to be very dedicated for this city.

“And that’s going to be for a long time. We’re very happy.”

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