It’s the physical. Anew.
The New York Mets, like the San Francisco Giants earlier in the week, have raised concerns about Carlos Correa’s surgically repaired right lower leg, potentially jeopardizing their 12-year $315 million agreement with the star shortstop, according to those on the Persons informed of the matter were not authorized to speak in public.
The parties could agree on a restructured contract if the Mets continue to raise concerns about the long-term stability of Correa’s leg. It could be difficult for the Mets to fully withdraw from the agreement after owner Steve Cohen went on record as speaking about the deal. It could also be difficult for Correa to re-enter the free-agent market and land a comparable deal after two clubs found the same issue during their physicals.
The new developments are the latest twist in a saga that shocked the baseball world when Correa and his agent Scott Boras on Wednesday walked away from their original 13-year $350 million agreement with the Giants in favor of a separate deal with the Mets to complete.
Acknowledging his apparent coup to the New York Post, Cohen said, “We needed one more thing, and that’s it.” Major League Baseball cautions teams not to publicly comment on pending agreements, noting that such statements could persuade a referee to side with the player in a complaint, a former manager said.
If the Mets remain unhappy with Correa’s long-term prognosis, one way to amend the agreement is to include language that says portions of the deal would not be guaranteed if Correa missed a specific time with a specific leg problem. However, Boras could fight any attempt to alter the deal.
Correa, who has played in 148 and 136 games over the past two seasons, underwent a physical with the Mets on Thursday, Boras said. Teams usually formally finalize agreements the day after the player’s medical, unless a problem arises. The Giants should be following that exact plan earlier in the week.
San Francisco finalized its deal with Correa on December 13. Correa was examined Monday and the Giants scheduled an introductory press conference for Tuesday. But the team postponed that morning’s press conference, later acknowledging “a disagreement over the results of Carlos’ physical examination.”
Correa, 28, required arthroscopic surgery to repair a fractured right fibula and minor ligament damage after hitting an RBI triple in June 2014 when he was 19 and still playing in the minor leagues with the Astros and his spike got stuck in his pocket. Astros GM Jeff Luhnow said Correa’s fracture was closer to the ankle than his knee at the time.
In eight major league seasons, Correa has never been on the injury list with a right leg problem. He cited the hardware in his leg after a game on September 20 in which he appeared injured after a hard slide but didn’t miss any time after that.
“He just hit my plate,” Correa told reporters. “I had surgery and he hit it. Just felt kind of numb. vibrant. So I just waited for it to calm down. It was a little bit scary, but as soon as I moved I knew it was good.”
The twins medically cleared Correa last March on a three-year, $105.3 million free-agent contract and then made him a subsequent 10-year, $285 million offer after he separated pulled out of the deal at the start of the offseason. If Correa had agreed, the team would have examined his physical more closely than they originally did, due to the long-term nature of the deal, sources said.
Boras attempted to re-engage the Twins after the Giants refused to go through with their deal with Correa. But unlike the Mets, who have made $27 million since they first spoke with Correa, the twins were unwilling to back down from their original offer. The twins also would not have moved the conversation forward without exploring the potential issues caused by Correa’s physical altercation with the Giants, major league sources said.
Boras said Wednesday the Giants advised him to speak to other doctors before proceeding with Correa, but he’s not willing to wait.
Scott Boras: ‘No Current Issue’ With Carlos Correa’s Health As Mets Behave Physically
“I said, ‘Look, I’ve given you a reasonable amount of time. Here we have to move forward. give me a time frame If you don’t execute, I’ll have to talk to other teams,'” Boras said.
“You’re talking about a player who played eight seasons in the major leagues. There are things in his medical record that happened decades ago. All of these are speculative dynamics.
“Every team has the right to go through things and evaluate things. The important thing is that we gave them (the Giants) medical reports at the time. They still wanted to sign the player and negotiate with the player.”
The team’s medical staff will occasionally offer different interpretations of a player’s medical record, just as a doctor providing a second opinion on a patient may disagree with the first. The Mets match Correa’s second opinion. And they seem to confirm the first.
(Photo: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)