Astros: Should Carlos Correa win his arbitration case?

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HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 18: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros reacts in the dugout after being defeated by the Boston Red Sox 4-1 in Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 18: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros reacts in the dugout after being defeated by the Boston Red Sox 4-1 in Game Five of the American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park on October 18, 2018 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images) /
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The Astros’ shortstop Carlos Correa is in his first year of arbitration. Should he come out on top in his hearing after a down year last season?

The Houston Astros and Carlos Correa aren’t far apart in the arbitration case that takes place Jan. 31. The Astros’ front office filed a salary of $4.25 million, while Correa and his agent came in with $750 thousand more at $5 million. There are no talks between the two for a multi-year contract, so a hearing is inevitable.

Correa had, by all accounts, what would be considered an offseason in 2018. In fact, it was the worst season of his four-year career. He had back and side injury issues last season and this could be the reason for his numbers sliding.

The first half of the season, prior to the All-Star break, Correa had a decent slash line of .268/.352/.480. The second half of the season told a whole different story slashing .180/.261/.517. There was also a huge drop in his power hitting 13 HRs and 16 doubles the first half, versus two HRs and four doubles the second half.

For much of the season, Correa was playing with considerable back pain and side pain. He said he could feel the pain with every swing, and it was affecting his sleep. On top of that, Correa was also dealing with a deviated septum. He did admit he probably came back too early last season and never fully healed.

But he now states that he’s 100 percent and ready to go. He’s having no back issues and is pain free and sleeping well. Correa also had surgery this offseason to correct his deviated septum.

"“When you know you’re not physically ready to go out there to compete, mentally it’s annoying,” Correa said. “Right now, I’m sleeping better than ever, I’m happy, I’m working out for two hours, go hit for another hour and I go to sleep and my back is in perfect condition.”"

Correa has shown what he can do when healthy, just look at his 2017 season. He hit .315/.391/.550 with 24 HRs, 25 doubles and 84 RBIs. That performance earned him a spot on the American League All-Star team and 17th in the MVP voting.

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It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall and be able to hear the arbitration hearing. Will the three-person panel just look at last season’s statistics or will they take his prior seasons into account? Will they consider the fact that he was playing part of the season in pain? However it turns out, Correa will be getting a substantial increase over his 2017 one million dollar salary.

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