Minnesota Twins: Predicting a Carlos Correa Extension and its Impact

Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa throws to first base during the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners. (Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa throws to first base during the fifth inning against the Seattle Mariners. (Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Minnesota Twins’ biggest move this offseason was the addition of Carlos Correa, a move that saw the team add a superstar in his prime on a short term deal. It’s easily the largest free agent signing in Twins history, but the way the contract is structured, Correa could opt out at the end of the season.

This wouldn’t be a very surprising, as Correa was looking for a much longer deal than the one he agreed to with the Twins. The surprising part is that he may really want to stay, according to a new piece from Ken Rosenthal.

He didn’t get to have a Spring Training or a build up to the year and usually struggles in April, so despite his on-the-field struggles, here’s what he had to say about Minnesota and his situation:

"“I told ‘em, ‘Hey guys, I know I have the opt-outs in the contract. But I really like it here,’” Correa said. “‘I love the people here. I love the way I’m treated here. If you guys see the value I bring to this organization and what I do for other people around me and the game that I bring, I would love to have a long-term relationship here if that’s what you guys would like.’“My wife feels right at home in Minnesota. My son is growing up. We feel right at home already and it’s only been two or three weeks of the season. That’s where I’m at mentally.”"

That’s glowing praise for the Minnesota Twins and seems like genuine interest in re-upping here. Obviously, it would have to come at the right price for both sides, but an extension might be possible for both sides. This raises the question: How would a potential Correa extension impact the Minnesota Twins?

How would a potential Carlos Correa extension impact the Minnesota Twins?

Let’s start with the money. Correa will likely still opt out of his current deal at the end of the year. He turns 28 at the end of the season, and assuming he bounces back to his career averages (he should), what would an extension look like for a player of his caliber?

For this, we’re going to estimate $30 million as an estimated AAV. It probably wouldn’t be that even of a number, but we’ll stick there because it’ll be a bit of a discount for the longer deal. We’ll go with eight years as well, because that would take him through his age-35 season and that’s just one year longer than what Buxton got.

It’s hard to imagine that the Minnesota Twins will give out an offer of that size, but they definitely have the spending money. After 2022, Miguel Sanó, Tyler Duffey, Gary Sanchez, and Chris Archer are all likely gone. That’s $24 million off the books right there.

Including the $5 million we’re shaving from Correa’s salary, they’re still cutting $29 million in salary that can be used elsewhere. He can easily remain there at a high number, especially with so many players still in arbitration. The young talent also means there are very few holes, so the team doesn’t need to drop big money on the lineup.

If you’re looking at potentially blocking young talent, there isn’t a real issue there. Austin Martin’s long-term home isn’t at shortstop, and Royce Lewis’ speed, arm, and instincts make him playable just about anywhere.

A long-term lineup with Jeffers at catcher, Miranda at first, Polanco at second, Correa at short, Lewis at third, Larnach in left, Buxton in Center, Kirilloff in Right, with Arraez and Martin filling in is enough to make anyone dream.

For Correa, he gets to raise his kids and make a long-term home in a place that has truly welcomed him. For the Twins, they would have a superstar quality player to pair with baseball’s most valuable player. They could very easily pair Carlos Correa and Byron Buxton and tie the team to the duo for the next seven years.

Even better, the fans would be able to see the ownership and front office commit to keeping a major player here long-term. Correa could very easily end up as one of the Minnesota Twins’ greatest shortstops of all-time, and that’s quite the impact.

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