Opinion

In one of the most dramatic offseason twists in recent baseball memory, Carlos Correa will now be the New York Mets, not the San Francisco Giants, when spring training begins in seven weeks.

A week ago today, Correa agreed to a 13-year deal worth $360 million to join the Giants after their failed pursuit of Aaron Judge. But on Tuesday, the Giants postponed a press conference they had planned to introduce Correa. And on Wednesday morning, Mets billionaire owner Steve Cohen agreed to pay Correa $315 million over 12 years, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Associated Press He reported on Tuesday The Giants canceled Correa’s press conference on medical issues, and a person familiar with Correa’s condition said the Giants backed off on the difference in doctors’ opinions — though the details of those opinions and the exact medical issues involved were not immediately available. Correa’s deal with the Mets is pending a physical, and New York’s front office isn’t exactly done. It is known to be seen in another way Regarding medical issues, either. But if this deal goes through, they’ll add a second premiership shortstop to a lineup that boasts Francisco Lindor.

It wasn’t immediately known where Correa expects to play in Queens at 4:30 a.m. on the East Coast, though it appears safe to bet on third place — at least for now. Correa and Lindor, two of the best shortstops ever to hail from Puerto Rico, seem to share a mutual respect that goes beyond knowing each other and, at least on the surface. Now they seem to share a city, a uniform and a super-rich boss who has pledged more than $650 million to the organization over the next decade.

Correa’s deal will pay him about $26 million a year, roughly what that massive contract would have paid him annually, though it’s not guaranteed. That Giants deal made Correa the highest-paid shortstop in baseball history by total guaranteed money. When all the dust settles, the Mets’ deal could make him one of the highest-paid third basemen in baseball history.

But especially for Major League Baseball as a whole, that $26 million will push the Mets’ 2023 payroll annually. Somewhere around 380 million dollars for competitive tax purposes. That number is not only unheard of, but even by New York baseball standards, it comes to over $90 million in tax dollars when all is said and done. If Cohen quits now, he’ll spend nearly half a billion dollars on the New York Mets in 2023 — or approx. The Pittsburgh Pirates have posted on their entire roster since 2016.. The New York Yankees are currently expected to have the next highest opening day salary and tax bill He cut 290 million dollars for 2023 As of Wednesday morning, their estimated tax bill is less than $30 million.

Ironically, New York Mets ace Max Scherzer and the leadership of the Major League Baseball Players Association urged Cohen not to support a collective bargaining agreement that they said was designed to prevent him from spending freely nine months ago. . That agreement, Finally, his colleagues approvedan unprecedented fourth-tier competitive balance rate was known as the “Cohen tax.”

Previous collective bargaining agreements included only three tax thresholds, with progressively higher penalties for exceeding them. By implementing the fourth, Cohen’s more conservative peers hoped to protect no one from what some called “runaway money,” which could theoretically force everyone to spend more to keep up. Cohen’s cap for this year is set at around $290 million. He literally blew it.

If the deal becomes official, and one can forgive a few more reminders of the way Correa’s Giants ownership has been resolved, the Mets will have the most star-studded lineup in a loaded division with many. of The National League champion Phillies added Trea Turner., Taijuan Walker and more to their previously confirmed October staff. The 2021 World Series champion Atlanta Braves traded for one of the best catchers available before letting go. Dansby Swanson walks to the Chicago Cubs.

But just in the past week, the Mets introduced Justin Verlander and Japanese starter Kodai Senga to join Max Scherzer in the veteran rotation. They locked up old friends Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimon for more than $100 million each. Their lineup features Stalling Marte, Mark Canha, and Eduardo Escobar from a team close to Atlanta for the National League East title in 2022, the aggressive Pete Alonso, poor batting competition Jeff McNeil, and the Patriots. Correa, who debuted in the big leagues at age 20, has hit at least 20 homers in six of his eight big league seasons.

Free-agent deals like these always seem to come out before physicals are done, the common understanding among executives, agents and players is that for elite athletes at this level—especially non-playable players—physical activity is routine. But it’s worth noting again that Correa has yet to pass a Mets physical, even though his former team, the Minnesota Twins, offered him a franchise-record contract as recently as a week ago.

Back then, Correa seemed destined to become the brightest star in San Francisco since Buster Posey, maybe even Barry Bonds. At the time, the heavily-discussed California native seemed like a player who would minimize the Giants’ injury by chasing Judge. On Tuesday, the Giants got to introduce that star to a renewed fan base. On Wednesday, the Yankees will announce a umpire during a morning press conference, one of which is still scheduled for Wednesday morning.

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