On Saturday, Jon Heyman reported that the Houston Astros and shortstop Carlos Correa reached a deal to avoid arbitration with the help of Jon Rosen of WME. Correa and the Astros didn’t settle a deal before the arbitration deadline on Jan. 15, which meant the two would have to settle their difference of $2.75 million.
The Astros had offered the All-Star shortstop $9.75 million, after he asked for $12.5 million. The two came to an agreement of $11.7 million for the 2021 season; this is a $575,000 above the midpoint.
The 2015 AL Rookie of the Year held the highest fielding percentage of all shortstops for 2020 with .995 and only one error, but Correa wouldn’t win the Gold Glove for his position. While slashing .276/.353/.480 in his career, the ’20 season showed a regressed hitting campaign although playing the whole season. Injuries from 2019 could still be affecting Correa, but his postseason resurgence came with an OPS well above 1.000.
The Astros settling their deal with Carlos Correa before arbitration is a good sign.
The Astros ended up giving Correa $1.95 million more than they had planned, but the ability to get the deal done before going to an arbitrator is a good sign. The 26-year-old is among a 2021-22 free agency class stacked with shortstop talent, and while a top 10 shortstop in the league, the Astros should do everything they can to bring him back before he evaluates the market and sees what other free agents are making.
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Looking into the 2021 offseason, the two players headlining the Astros free agency are Correa and Lance McCullers Jr., who is also an All-Star. It would behoove James Click to get a deal done as soon as possible, and while both are star players, they will not be making the same amount as former Astros outfielder George Springer.
Moving forward, this is a good sign for the Astros. Correa wants to be an Astro for life, and his relationship with Click is there as the two look for an extension. Correa did mention that he was not a fan of the full arbitration process, but by the decisions of Houston’s front office , they look willing to offer a deal in the area of Correa’s wants.
The future playing ability of the Astros shortstop isn’t something to worry about, while his numbers were down that of recent seasons, he showed a great progression through the postseason. The middle of the lineup will be home to a strong right-handed bat in Correa.