Shortly before Carlo Correa signed his 13-year, $350 million contract with the Giants, the Mets made an attempt to land the star shortstop. Mets owner Steve Cohen shed light on that pursuit in an interview with The New York Post’s Jon Heyman, when Cohen said he made an offer of around $300 million to Correa’s agent Scott Boras. By this point, however, the Giants and Correa’s camp were already deep enough in negotiations that Boras and co. didn’t want to turn back.
As Cohen put it simply: “We arrived late” in the market of Correa. “We thought maybe he might fall victim to us… He’s a great leader and a good guy. He could play third base. And he’s a great defender.”
Position changes have been released for all of Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Trea Turnerand Dansby Swanson in various permutations from multiple teams this winter, because even at the forefront of the shortstop market, clubs were creatively looking for ways to fit these players into a line-up, even when another good shortstop was already on the squad. In New York, of course Francisco Lindor is already trapped in the shortstop role in the 2031 season and thus Correa should have moved to the hot corner.
Lindor’s presence made the Mets something of a spectator in the shortstop market, but with Correa lingering in the market, Cohen checked in with Boras to see if anything could be done. Eduardo Escobar (Only signed to a two-year, $20 million contract last offseason) is the current Mets third baseman, but if Correa had been signed, Escobar would likely have become an overqualified utility infielder, or perhaps a trade chip.
It’s also fair to say that Cohen’s attention may have been elsewhere, which prevented him from making a previous bid for Correa. New York has already re-signed Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmoand brought Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, David Robertsonand Omar Narvaez into the crease during an extraordinary free-agent swagger. The result is a payroll of about $343.56 million and a luxury tax number of $356.3 million — both records in MLB history.
“Nobody likes to spend money. But that’s the priceMaking business, Cohen said, since the Mets want to win but aren’t interested in trading from their farm system. If that means operating at a loss to chase a World Series, Cohen says that’s fine. The owner also noted that the club also had a lot of holes to fill (mainly in the pitching staff) given its own extensive free agent roster. While Nimmo and Diaz were held back Jacob de Grom, Taijuan Walker, Chris Bassitt, Trevor May, Trevor Williamsand Joely Rodriguez have all signed elsewhere.
“my team is good But it’s not much better than last year. If you want a good team, it comes at a cost. What are you going to do?‘ Cohen asked rhetorically.
As much as there seems to be no cap on New York’s spending, Cohen said Correa’s market conditions played a role in the Mets’ interest as he would seek a signing.that made sense… and don’t go crazy.“The fact that a $300 million offer doesn’t count as ‘crazy’ on top of the Mets’ other expenses is another striking example of Cohen redefining baseball’s salary caps, and yet”I’ve been dealing with big numbers for so long that numbers don’t scare me at all. It’s not that I’m disrespectful of what these other teams have to deal with.”