The Houston Astros are in a pivotal situation to extend the future of their infield with Carlos Correa being a free agent next winter. Issues with money and numbers have halted talks, but the shortstop wants to be extended before Opening Day or he will hit free agency at the end of October.
The right-hander joined the Schwab brothers last week on The Schwabcast, as they discussed everything Houston and Astros’ baseball. While one of the most outspoken players on the team, the fans and people of Houston have made Correa feel at home. With this in mind, extending a franchise player, who has become somewhat the captain, should be on the forefront of James Click’s mind.
Astros’ fans make Houston feel like home for Correa.
The Puerto Rico native was drafted by the Astros in the first-round of the 2012 MLB Draft, and although being far from home, his family has followed him to Houston and have loved the fans and people along the way. The fans, as everyone knows, have backed Correa through his injuries but have also enjoyed his amazing in-game spirit combined with his leadership for a changing team.
“The people in Houston are just great people all around,” Correa said. “Even off the field … when I go out to eat or to the movie theatre.”
When talking about his connection with his teammate Framber Valdez, Correa talked about how well he has been as a ground-ball pitcher. While being snubbed for a Gold Glove in 2020, the right-hander wants all the balls hit into the infield. Although Valdez has been sidelined with a finger injury, the Astros have moved onto Jake Odorizzi, who Correa has praised for his pitching ability.
“I don’t think [Valdez] will be back anytime soon,” Correa explained. “I love having him on the mound because that means five to six ground balls a game for me.”
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Although being snubbed of a Gold Glove in 2020, Correa has no explanation for the award not going home with him. The right-hander was the best all-around defensive shortstop in baseball by the numbers, and if he ever runs into the voters one day, that is a question to ask. A lot hasn’t gone the way for the Astros since the sign stealing scandal broke, but this shouldn’t be a reason for why he didn’t receive the award.
Even though in the running for the leadoff spot, the shortstop thinks the job is most fit for Jose Altuve. It is Dusty Baker’s move to make, but in the end, Correa’s bat could be needed in the middle of the lineup, as one of the clutchest hitters in baseball. Although entering this season, the goal for the Astros is to turn around from being below .500 and win the division again.
“At the end of the day for playoff baseball, experience matters,” Correa explained. “And that’s what we bring to the table besides the talent we possess.”
The Astros’ shortstop is excited for fans to be back at Minute Maid Park and can’t wait to entertain the fans. The only issue down the stretch is that the front office and Correa have not progressed in talks of an extension.
We saw the leadership show out in 2020 for the Astros’ shortstop, and while having so much meaning to the team and the city, it would behoove the front office to lock Correa up long-term. Even though there haven’t been huge contract signings in the past for Houston, the 26-year-old is lethal in a full season, and as we inch closer to Opening Day, the window is closing.
Although being a fan favorite and being so important in giving back to the community won’t matter about the numbers behind his contract, Correa is arguably top five at a highly talented position and deserves a check soon. While entering his prime, this season could be the best of his career and will prove his ability down the stretch.