The Mets are showing interest in star free agent Carlos Correa

The Mets are showing interest in star free agent Carlos Correa

By Ken Rosenthal, Dan Hayes and Andy McCullough

A surprising new team has emerged in the Carlos Correa draw, or perhaps not so surprising, considering the amount of money that New York The Mets have already passed this offseason.

Yes, Steve Cohen could be at it again.

Cohen’s Mets are showing interest in Correa, according to sources familiar with the team’s thinking. Correa, 28, would likely play third base for the Mets alongside fellow Puerto Rican shortstop. Francisco Lindor.

“I would say there’s a little bit of smoke,” one Mets person said. “But I’m not sure how big the fire is.”

Mets general manager Billy Eppler declined to comment.

While a full-blown pursuit of Correa may seem like a stretch, given the size of Correa’s expected payday and the spending the Mets have already done this winter, Cohen has already expanded the parameters of what it’s possible to spend a owner

Steve Cohen (Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Acquiring Correa would represent another impressive addition for Cohen, whose team already has the pitcher signed Justin Verlandercentral gardener Brandon Nimmo and three more free agents this offseason, increasing their luxury tax payroll to nearly $350 million, according to Fangraphs. With the sanctions, the Mets’ total payroll would be approximately $421 million, by far the highest in major league history.

For all that Cohen has invested, people familiar with his thinking indicated that the owner still believes the Mets need more offense, prompting the team to explore the market not only for Correa, but also for players like J.D. Martinez and Michael Conforto.

Correa, the top remaining free agent, would likely cost more than $30 million more per season, or perhaps less on average annually if he signs a deal longer than 10 years, a possibility, sources said. Two other free agent shortstops, Trea Turner i Xander Bogaertssigned 11-year deals worth $300 million and $280 million, respectively.

The Mets wouldn’t be alone in any pursuit of Correa. The Twins from Minnesota see it as their main goal, and the San Francisco Giants they are also believed to be in the mix. After getting lost Yankees slugger Aaron Judgethe Giants face significant pressure to find a franchise pillar to build around.

At the start of the offseason, many executives viewed Correa as the most compelling player on the market, given his outsized talent, relatively young age and ability to hold his own at a crucial defensive position like shortstop. As the winter meetings concluded last week — after Turner, Bogaerts and Judge all made seismic deals — Correa remained the best player on the market. A Mets raid may energize clubs like Minnesota or San Francisco to meet the demands of Correa and his agent, Scott Boras.

Correa, a two-time All-Star, couldn’t find a long-term commitment that met his expectations last winter. He settled for a three-year, $105.3 million deal with the Twins, then opted out after hitting 22 home runs with an .834 OPS. Although advanced defensive metrics hurt him in 2022, Correa won the Platinum Glove as the sport’s best defender with Houston in 2021.

At some point, the Mets are expected to make moves to reduce their payroll. catcher James McCann and the right-handed Carlos Carrasco they are among the players they could trade and the third baseman Eduardo Escobar It could also be on the move if Correa joins the club. The Mets may also need to explore interest in top prospects like Brett Baty i Mark Winds.

The AthleticWill Sammon contributed to this report.

(Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

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