It’s been a interesting past weeks for Carlos Correa and the shortstop’s various suitors, but it now appears that the former World Series champion has found a home. After two deals that fell though, the Twins have reportedly agreed to terms with Correa on a massive six-year deal. Correa is set to return to his home from last season, but how do the Twins look as a whole? If last year was an indication, expect the Twins to be a strong unit at the dish.
A Look at Correa
We’ve spent a lot of time writing about Carlos Correa — who we listed as the second-best shortstop in our shortstop rankings for 2023 — this winter. The star shortstop agreed to two deals this offseason, one with the Giants and the second with the Mets. Both of those deals were valued at over $300 million each. However, physicals stymied both. The root cause was reportedly due to a broken leg that Correa sustained in the Minors back in 2014.
Correa now heads back to the Twins, the 28-year-old’s home last season. Correa originally inked a three-year deal last winter with Minnesota that came with an opt out after 2022. After exercising that opt out, Correa now finds himself back in the AL Central.
The two-time All-Star performed well with the Twins last season, as Correa hit .291/.366/.467 with 22 home runs and 64 RBIs. It’s hard to find a more consistent and quality performer at the shortstop position than Correa. The former AL Rookie of the Year has recorded six 20+ home run seasons thus far, and his .820 OPS over the last three seasons is fourth-best among everyday shortstops. Minnesota will hope to receive more of that, as Correa is set to ink a six-year, $200 million dollar deal with options — pending a physical.
What it Means
Last season, Correa and the Twins ranked stood in the top half of MLB in team SLG (.401) and wOBA (.315), and finished fifth in Hard Hit% (41.1%). Minnesota’s lineup had plenty of pop last season, thanks to the likes of star center fielder Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, Jose Miranda, and Max Kepler. Now, Minnesota is set to bring back its top overall hitter in Correa from last season. Just on that talent alone, it’s not hard to envision Minnesota putting it up similar production next season. But, the Twins have done more than just bring back Correa.
Minnesota also brought in two interesting names in free agency in Christian Vázquez and Joey Gallo. The Twins filled a hole behind the plate that’s needed a solution for three years, and the veteran Vázquez should provide some improved offensive and defensive production. Gallo, on the other hand, will look to bring his plus-plus power to Minnesota, while also looking for a rebound after a tough 2021. Those two, along with the return of Correa and some interesting young bats in Matthew Wallner and Edouard Julian, could create a strong offense for the Twins.
Now, does this move make the Twins the favorite in the AL Central? It’s close, especially seeing how Minnesota held the top spot in the division for much of 2022. However, a well-balanced Guardians team that’s only getting better makes it tough to state that the Twins are the top dog in the AL Central. But with the addition of Correa, it does put the Twins in a much better to win the division for the first time since 2020.