It’s December 7th, and the continually burning inferno that is the Winter Meeting hot stove grows even hotter. A couple days ago, we discussed how the pattern of signings could be leaning more and more in the Minnesota Twins’ favor, but as several major names continue to get swept up, many Twins fans wonder if that’s still the case.
Today, the major news of the day was Aaron Judge agreeing to a massive deal to return to the New York Yankees, ending the San Francisco Giants’ pursuit of the outfielder. Yesterday, it seemed as though the Giants had pulled ahead and were going to sign the megastar, with one reporter even tweeting it had already occurred, but alas, he remains in the American League.
This is bad news for the Twins, who despite being in on multiple major names, have still yet to sign anyone. The question might be asked: why does Judge remaining in New York hurt the Twins? Well, it all comes down to the team’s main pursuit: Carlos Correa.
Have the winter meetings helped or hurt the Minnesota Twins’ chances of landing Carlos Correa?
Judge signing in New York means that the San Francisco Giants are now still looking for a megastar bat to add to their lineup. With a lot of money to spend, they are considered one of the top teams ready to spend on the market, and shortstop has been a position they’ve had set in their sights all offseason.
They’re clearly in on Correa, and they stand tall as one of the front runners for the stud shortstop’s services. This doesn’t mean that the Twins are out, and as Rosenthal reports in the same article (and agent Scott Boras has said several times), the Twins are still considered one of the only other suitors.
Outside of the Giants, teams like the Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres and potentially the Boston Red Sox were all expected to be major players in the shortstop market, but most have gone elsewhere with their cash.
The Cubs have spent big on other positions, and while the they’re not out of the race, they appear to be focusing on other needs. The Braves and Red Sox are focused on bringing back their incumbent options and can’t really afford Correa. The Cardinals opted to pay Willson Contreras, and the Angels seem content with making smaller moves while sifting through their rebuild.
The Dodgers aren’t keen to sign Correa because their fans might pull support because of what happened in 2017, and the Phillies signed Trea Turner. This leaves only the Phillies, and while they could be considered a dark horse-contender for Correa, the Minnesota Twins don’t have much competition left.
The combination of this and the fact that the Twins’ backup plan is in deep discussion to go off the board, will keep the Twins motivated to push on bringing back Correa, making a reunion with the team’s MVP from 2022 more likely.
The Minnesota Twins have never been a major free agent player in free agency, but there’s never been a situation where they have such a firm relationship with a player and have been seemingly so active in the market. The team, by all accounts, actually is pushing for real talent to be added.
No one is saying that a reunion with Correa is a lock. It’s probably still extremely unlikely. But with odds looking to be a lot closer to 3-2 than the 9-1 odds that they started with, Twins fans have to at least be a little glad that the team is involved.
With his deal expected to be somewhere around the $35 million that the team paid last year though, there’s no reason that a deal can’t be reached to bring Correa back to Minnesota, so if the team fails to sign him, Xander Bogaerts, or Carlos Rodon, an angry fanbase might become even angrier.