Astros: Carlos Correa set to enter free agency

As expected by recent chatter, the Houston Astros and Carlos Correa did not reach an agreement on a contract extension. The All-Star shortstop was looking to be extended before the beginning of the regular season, and since the two did not come to an agreement, Correa will be a free agent come November. Although the team offered five years, $125 million contract, both sides were never close on a deal.

While Correa had set a personal request to have an agreement met before the season began, it leaves the two knowing that they will need to possibly settle something after the postseason. As the two didn’t need to go to arbitration this offseason, it looked like they had a good relationship brewing. Correa will test the waters of free agency, since the front office doesn’t believe in big, long-term contracts.

What’s next for the Astros and Correa?

Correa has been an AL Rookie of the Year winner, All-Star and World Series Champion, and at an age where his prime is about to kickstart, it would’ve been the best idea to try and lock him up sooner than later. As Fernando Tatis Jr. and Fransisco Lindor signed their extensions, it makes the most sense that Correa could be comparing his contracts to other players.

This has always been a reoccurring thing for players, as they will compare their numbers to others and want in that same ballpark of money. While this doesn’t mean Correa is officially done with Houston, you can’t hate a player for wanting to be paid what they think they are worth. Both sides had different ideas, and while we might not see any talks until next offseason, GM James Click said the “door is always going to be open.”

As negotiating contracts can sometimes take away focus from the game, Correa is looking to boost his stock this season. If he does end up somewhere else in free agency, the Astros have a few options in their farm system, while also having the ability to look to free agency. While the 2021 class is filled with shortstop talent, Houston has close to $100 million for 2022 to spread across possible signings and extensions per Spotrac.

Within the farm system, there are three options that the Astros could look to. While Jeremy Pena might be leading the way, Freudis Nova, Grae Kessinger and Alex De Goti are three other players to evaluate. If come to it, Alex Bregman is naturally a shortstop, and the front office could evaluate the third baseman market. These are just a few options, if Correa were not to return, but as more shortstops will be signed and extended, the more his asking price will fluctuate.

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While slashing .276/.353/.480 in his six year career, it has been somewhat a bumpy road with injuries, but the right-hander has been above average and even better in the postseason. When it matters most, Correa has been one of the best to do it with an OPS pushing .900 in 241 October and November plate appearances.