The World Baseball Classic is returning this spring for hte first time since 2017, but not everyone we thought would be participating will be there.
Carlos Correa, who signed a six-year, $280 million contract with the Minnesota Twins this offseason, was supposed to be added to Puerto Rico's WBC roster this month. However, at the last minute, he decided to pull out and skip the tournament due to family reasons.
Thankfully it's a good reason rather than a tragic one. Correa and his wife are expecting their second, with a due date some time in March. That created a logistical nightmare for Correa and the Twins, who both agreed the best thing for him would be to skip the WBC and be wit his family.
Twins beat writer Dan Hayes was the first to report that Correa would be sitting out the World Baseball Classic due to family reasons.
"The idea of Correa taking off several days to be with his family and then playing in a series of ramped-up contests didn’t excite the Twins. Neither does the thought of Correa shuttling back and forth between Miami and Fort Myers," Hayes wrote.
Despite this very reasonable explanation, some fans tried to argue that this was a sign that both the Mets and Giants made the right call by not signing Correa due to a lingering injury concern about his right ankle.
Correa ended up back in Minnesota after one of the most bizarre free agent journies in recent memory. After initially agreeing to a $350 million with the San Francisco Giants, his deal was put on pause due to concerns the team had over his medicals. The holdup allowed Steve Cohen and the New York Mets to swoop in and offer Correa a $315 million deal, which he agreed to as well. However, the same issues that red flagged his physical with the Giants popped up for the Mets which meant yet another deal was on hold.
While this was happening, the Twins got back into the race and ended up signing Correa to a $280 million deal that was eventually finalized. Correa will be with the Twins for at least the next six years, with potentially more depending on how things go.
All of that zig-zagging due to his medicals, though, and the fact that two bigger clubs got beat by the smaller market Twins, has created a narrative that Correa is somehow unfit to play at a superstar level.
Minnesota Twins statement on Carlos Correa missing WBC
The Twins stepped in to set the record straight, and not only clarify why Correa was sitting out the WBC but demonstrate that the team had his back the entire way.
"“After some thoughtful discussions with Carlos about the upcoming WBC we’ve collectively determined that it’s in his best interests to not participate in the upcoming tournament. This was a challenging decision for Carlos. He takes so much pride in representing his country and truly considered ways to make this work. Ultimately, as we looked at what his travel would be surrounding the upcoming birth of his second child … we all acknowledged that the back-and-forth flying combined with multiple days off from baseball activity didn’t set Carlos up for jumping into meaningful games upon his return.”"- Derek Falvey, President of Baseball Ops
MLB.com's Paul Morosi also commented on Correa's decision and reiterated that it was about his family and had nothing to do with his lingering injury concerns.
"Largely it's for family reasons. [Correa] and his wife are expected their second child in the month of March, and the logistics of being there and being a father and present at the birth of his child and also playing for his country, the logistics were just going to be too much," Morosi said. "But certainly it was a tough decision for Carlos."
This isn't a situation where he's skipping everything this spring, as he'll be participating in Spring Training down in Fort Meyers. The WBC overlaps with the Spring Training schedule, which means players need to commute to game locations -- which in this case would be in Miami.
Rather than fly back and forth, Correa will be staying with his family and with the Twins and sit out the World Baseball Classic this time around.