With a strong shortstop free agent class, Carlos Correa’s down year could make him come at a cheaper cost.
Carlos Correa bet on himself with what essentially was a one-year deal to break out of the off-season next year as the clear front-runner free agent at shortstop, with the ultimate goal of a 10-year mega contract in mind.
That has not happened.
Out of the ‘big four’ shortstops that will be free agents next year, Correa is in fourth in WAR at 3.1. Dansby Swanson has a 4.6 WAR, while Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner each sit at 4.0 on the dot.
Correa is also below Jeremy Pena in WAR with Pena coming in at 3.6.
Carlos Correa’s best season was arguably his final one with Houston in 2021 when he finished fifth in MVP voting, along with an all-star selection and a Platinum Glove to boot.
It’s not unreasonable to think that a return home could put him back in his comfort zone and his production would pick up again. But, considering his down year this season, the Astros could argue that a five-to-six-year deal now in the $30 million/year range is more than fair for his career production, not to mention his previous season’s production.
Yordan Alvarez just gave the Astros what seems like a major hometown discount by signing for six years at $26 million a year. The Astros could use that as a baseline and if they exceeded what they gave Alvarez for Correa, it would be more money for, at the very least, a less talented hitter (if not overall player).
If Correa wants to go back to the postseason as he so loves to do, his best bet would be a hometown discount contract with the Astros, taking something similar to the Alvarez deal.
But can the Astros afford that?