The Astros locking Correa up would answer many fans’ wishes
It never fails, during the Holiday season, my wife curls up on the couch and watches cheesy Hallmark Channel Christmas movies where Santa Claus helps Lacey Chabert perform some Christmas miracle. Yesterday Cody presented his miracle idea of the Houston Astros signing Alex Gordon. For today, instead of looking at signing someone outside the organization, I wanted to focus on extending one of the current rising stars.
With the help of Micheal Mitchel, we came up with the idea of signing Carlos Correa to a 12-year deal to keep one of the top young hitters in the game in an Astros uniform for a while. Correa is under team control through the 2021 season, so he will be an Astro for the next six years. However, with the contracts that free agents are getting nowadays, Correa will be due a big pay upgrade when he becomes a free agent. It would be a good idea to lock Correa up like the Angels did with Mike Trout.
Why compare Correa to one of the best players in baseball with Trout? Many people believe that is the type of player that Correa can become very soon, Trout won the MVP in his third full season. While we could be jumping the gun about how good the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year could be, but it wouldn’t hurt for the Astros to lock him up before he becomes too expensive.
The problem with the Trout comparison is that his contracts for the next five years are about $16 million, $20 million, and then $34 million each year for the last three years of the deal. This is the financial burden the Astros will be taking on pretty soon if Correa is going to be that good. However, the Astros could sign a deal where they pay Correa more now and less down the road. The Astros core is set with Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Correa, so why not lock your star up for the next 12 years. They will have to pay him someday; the goal is to pay him the smart way.
Here is the suggested contract from Micheal Mitchell.
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The Astros would buy out his arbitration years and give him a higher salary now. This would be a good deal for both sides because it locks Correa up until he is 32 years old and then he might like being an Astro so he would re-sign again at that point. On the Astros side, this could be a risk because Correa could turn out to be a one-hit wonder. This move could turn out to be a risky move for Correa because he won’t be getting a contract of market value. But the security for both sides could be worth it.
Maybe the Astros could have a buyout option following the 2021 season, and Correa could have a player option after the 2023 season. There could be team option years added at the end to potentially make it a 14-year deal, but you keep your young star. Should the Astros wait to try to extend him later, he could demand a $300 million dollar contract.
That would be a miracle that I would wish for, but I doubt this will happen. According to Evan Drellich, the odds of Correa winning the 2016 AL MVP is 18-1, he could become a perennial candidate like Trout is. I know this is unlikely but is still cool to think about.
**Contract info from Baseball-Reference**