Carlos Correa has reversed course again, bringing him back to where he started in the most convoluted free-agent negotiation in baseball history.
Correa agreed Tuesday to a $200 million, six-year contract that keeps him with the Minnesota Twins after failing to complete deals with the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.
The agreement for the All-Star shortstop could be worth $270 million over 10 seasons if Correa remains healthy. The contract is subject to a successful physical, and Correa was in the Minneapolis area on Tuesday for the physical, the person said.
More than 100 free agents negotiate contracts each offseason, and letters of agreement routinely are signed by agents and clubs that are subject to successful physicals. A player goes for exams and tests at a team-selected medical facility, club physicians review the results and the team finalizes the contract, which then is reported to Major League Baseball and the players’ association.
While 99% of deals follow that path, Correa and agent Scott Boras twice reached agreements that collapsed, an unprecedented twist for a star.
Correa agreed Dec. 13 to a $350 million, 13-year contract with the Giants, who scheduled a news conference a week later to announce the deal, then called off the announcement hours before it was set to begin over concerns with a right ankle injury Correa sustained in 2014.
Correa agreed that night to a $315 million, 12-year deal with the Mets, and high-spending owner Steve Cohen even confirmed the pending agreement. But the Mets also had concerns about the ankle after a Dec. 22 physical and held off finalizing the agreement while attempting to negotiate protections over the next two weeks.
A deal with the Twins was reached Tuesday calling for an $8 million signing bonus, half payable next month and half in February 2024, and salaries of $32 million in each of the first two seasons, $36 million in 2025, $31.5 million in 2026, $30.5 million in 2027 and $30 million in 2028.
Minnesota’s deal includes team options for $25 million in 2029, $20 million in 2030, $15 million in 2031 and $10 million in 2032, salaries that would become guaranteed if Correa has 575 plate appearances in 2028, 550 in 2029, 525 in 2030 and 502 in 2031. The contract could be worth $225 million over seven seasons, $245 million over eight years and $260 million over nine seasons.
Correa’s options also could be triggered by a top-five finish in MVP voting, a Silver Slugger award or World Series or League Championship Series MVP.
After the physical, the Mets were willing to guarantee $157.5 million over six seasons, the person said.
While the guaranteed money kept decreasing in each successive agreement, the average annual value increased from $26.9 million with San Francisco to $33.3 million with Minnesota. New York’s deal originally would have guaranteed $210 million in the first eight seasons.
Correa left Houston and joined the Twins last offseason for a $105.3 million, three-year deal that included opt-outs after each season. He pulled out of the deal after making $35.1 million in 2022 to chase a longer-term contract.
Boras maintained last month the player’s 2014 surgery to repair a broken right tibia should not have been an issue. Dr. Kevin Varner, chairman of the Department of Orthopedics at Houston Methodist Hospital, operated on Correa.
MARLINS: Miami and right-hander Johnny Cueto have agreed on a deal that guarantees him $8.5 million for 2023, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.
That includes a $2.5 million buyout if the Marlins do not exercise a club option for 2024, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the contract won’t be signed until a physical is completed.
If the option is picked up, the total contract would be $16.5 million, the person said. The New York Post first reported the agreement between Cueto and the Marlins.
The move, for now, would appear to create even more of a logjam in the Marlins’ rotation. NL Cy Young winner Sandy Alcantara leads that group, with Pablo Lopez, Trevor Rogers, Edward Cabrera, Braxton Garrett and Jesús Luzardo all coming off a year when they made at least 14 starts.
Cueto, who turns 37 in February, was 8-10 with a 3.35 ERA for the Chicago White Sox in 2022. He logged 158 1/3 innings, his most since throwing 219 2/3 innings for San Francisco in 2016, the second of his two All-Star years.
• Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara, the 2022 National League Cy Young winner, was awarded a key to the city of Miami from Mayor Francis Suarez.
“His dedication has influenced hundreds, if not thousands of people in our community,” said Suarez, with Alcantara standing to his right and Marlins General Manager Kim Ng next to them, “and he’s established himself as a positive leader and a role model.”
Suarez also declared Jan. 10 “Sandy Alcantara Day” in Miami.
Alcantara, 27, made history as the first Marlins pitcher to win the Cy Young award. It was a unanimous vote after he pitched a league-high six complete games in 228 2/3 innings, also a league-best, this past season. He was the 15th unanimous NL Cy Young winner and said he hopes to win more.
NATIONALS: Outfielder Corey Dickerson and Washington have agreed to a one-year contract, pending the successful completion of a physical exam, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The person confirmed the agreement on condition of anonymity because the contract had not been announced.
The well-traveled Dickerson is a left-handed-hitting left fielder, a spot the Nationals had been looking to fill this offseason after a third consecutive last-place finish in the NL East. He was a free agent after playing for the St. Louis Cardinals in 2022, batting .267 with six homers and 36 RBI in 96 games.
Dickerson will turn 34 in May.
MARINERS: Retired catcher Stephen Vogt is joining Seattle as a bullpen and quality control coach, fulfilling his goal to go right into coaching.
The 38-year-old Vogt called it a career after his 10th major league season in 2022. He will join the staff of Manager Scott Servais, whose club returned to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years last season.
Vogt was a career .239 hitter with 82 home runs and 313 RBIs with Tampa Bay, Oakland, Arizona, Milwaukee, San Francisco and Atlanta.
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