MINNEAPOLIS - The Minnesota Twins made official on Wednesday what many thought would be impossible during the offseason: Carlos Correa is returning on a six-year contract.
Correa signed a three-year deal with the Twins before the 2022 season, worth $105 million but with opt-out clauses after the first two seasons. He did just that in November, and became a free agent. Correa had agreed to a 13-year, $350 million deal with the San Francisco Giants and there was even a news conference scheduled before concerns arose about his right ankle following a physical.
The deal fell through, and it appeared he was going to the New York Mets on a 12-year, $315 million contract. That also fell through after the same concerns following a physical.
The Twins reportedly had offered Correa a 10-year, $285 million deal before he first chose the Giants and health concerns came to light.
"The whole process was crazy, but the end game was great. I’m happy where I’m at. One thing I learned throughout the whole process is that doctors have a difference of opinions. It was shocking to me because since I had the surgery, I’ve never missed a gam," Correa said at a Wednesday news conference at Target Field.
The Twins re-entered negotiations Monday night, and the two sides agreed to a six-year, $200 million guaranteed contract on Tuesday. Correa, 28, is set to make a little more than $33 million per season with the new contract and become the highest-paid player in Twins' history, passing Joe Mauer.
"An exceptional day for the Minnesota Twins franchise, for Carlos, for his family, for everyone here," Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said at Wednesday's news conference at Target Field. "Sometimes in baseball and in life, fate and destiny come back together and there’s an opportunity that you don’t always expect. The journeys are not always linear. They're circuitous sometimes. But they're here, and they bring us back together to the place where we knew was always right for Carlos."
Correa passed a physical with the Twins on Tuesday, and the new deal became official Wednesday morning. He'll be under contract with the Twins through the 2028 season, and has four vested opens with up $70 million extra from 2029-32, if he stays healthy. He'll be 34 years old at the end of sixth year of the contract.
He said he was surprised when physicals with the Giants and Mets resulted in different medical opinions. He had three physicals in 2022 between independent doctors and Twins' staff, and felt "great."
He posted his excitement to return to Minnesota on Instagram Wednesday morning.
"Wow what a journey it's been. A lot of emotions involved throughout the whole process but always believed that at the end of the day God will put me in the right place," Correa said. "I'm so happy and excited to be back home with my extended family, the Minnesota Twins. From the players, staff and all the way to the front office I was welcomed and embraced as one of their own since day one. Now I'm back to finish what we started."
Correa was asked Wednesday how the fans might react after the Twins were seemingly his third choice, behind the Giants and Mets. He said he always had the Twins in his top-three entering free agency.
"All that matters is that I'm here. I'm going to represent this city and this organization, and I'm going to do it the right way," Correa said. "I'm going to play hard every single day. I'm going to be out there in the community helping as much as I can. I'm going to be dedicated to that. I'm going to give it my all, and me and my family are going to be very dedicated for this city."
Correa played in 136 games for the Twins last year, hitting .291 with 22 homers and 64 RBI. He’s among the best defensive shortstops in the game, and a clubhouse leader. He's been in the playoffs six times, and won a World Series with the Houston Astros in 2017.
The Twins had the lead in the American League Central Division for the better part of three months last season, but couldn't stay healthy and couldn't hold it. They finished 78-84, missing the playoffs for the second straight season.
Correa earned five honors after the 2022 season as part of the Twins Diamond Awards, including the team's MVP.
"I’m happy to be here in Minnesota. I’m happy to be a Twin, we started something special last year. There’s more to be done. I want to bring a championship back to this city," Correa said.