The rumors surrounding a potential Carlos Correa trade were shot down immediately, and it appears that he will remain with the Houston Astros in 2021.
At the beginning of the offseason, rumors surfaced that the Houston Astros were shopping Carlos Correa. Within hours, the rumors were squashed and every indication was that he would remain with the franchise in 2021.
At the virtual Winter Meetings, general manager James Click told reporters (including Mark Berman of Fox 26) that he is “open to all avenues” to improving the team, but that having Correa “makes it a lot easier to win.”
It means that barring a significant trade offer that Click cannot turn down, that Correa will return to the Astros. He is entering the final year of his contract and will allow the franchise to gear up for one more serious playoff push with their star shortstop before he enters free agency.
When Correa becomes a free agent at the end of the year, he will join a shortstop class that features Francisco Lindor, Javier Baez, Corey Seager and Trevor Story. It is widely regarded as the best free-agent shortstop class in baseball history and could push the prices down on some of them, meaning it should not be ruled out that the Astros will be able to retain Correa on a lucrative nine-figure contract.
And the Astros should have the financial flexibility to make a return a legitimate possibility. With George Springer unlikely to return and Justin Verlander, among others, coming off the books after ‘21, the team has little money committed long-term. So if the Astros choose to build their future around Correa, their financial situation would not get in the way.
It never seemed plausible for the Astros to trade Correa. And unless something completely changes, he’ll be their starting shortstop on Opening Day.