The third time is the charm.
Carlos Correa has found a team. The All-Star shortstop agreed to terms on a contract on Tuesday, not with the San Francisco Giants or New York Mets, but with the Minnesota Twins. On Wednesday, he passed his physical. That, of course, was the important part.
Correa’s incredible free-agent saga will leave some Giants fans — and perhaps Giants leadership itself — feeling vindicated that the team walked away from the 13-year, $350 million deal nearly a month ago.
I’ve had more than a few demands that I apologize for bashing the Giants for backing away from the deal.
I’m happy to admit when I’m wrong.
This is not one of those cases.
The Giants deserved scorn for backing out of their deal and canceling Correa’s introductory press conference hours before it was scheduled to start. If nothing else, it was terrible public relations.
But the Giants deserve even more scorn now that Correa has signed with the Twins.
It’s one thing to have cold feet and then be big-timed by the New York Mets. Their billionaire owner has made it clear that he is not the least bit concerned about baseball’s luxury tax. He can toss around millions like we toss around $20.
And because Steve Cohen has flashed his cash for the last two offseasons, the Mets didn’t need Correa. He was just a fun addition — a whim Cohen acted upon after a few martinis in Hawaii.
So when the Mets found the same concerns on Correa’s medicals that the Giants did, Cohen’s team was in a position to back away. The risk wasn’t worth the reward for a team that is a World Series contender with or without Correa.
But for the Minnesota Twins to big-time the Giants is absolutely unacceptable.
Both the Twins and Giants needed Correa — a player like that is the difference between .500 and a playoff berth.
But while these two teams on the same competitive level, but are night and day when it comes to the financial part of the game.
Yet the Twins — a team that under the same ownership was nearly contracted for being so cheap — was the team willing to take on the risk Correa carries.
Minnesota is a team with a sub-average payroll. Last season, it was $117.5 million — a huge number for them.
The Twins signed Correa to a deal that is six years, $200 million — possibly 10 years, $270 million if the shortstop stays healthy.
This is not a team that has money to waste. Yet they were the team that could work out a deal to pay Correa the market value he expected at the start of the offseason, even if he didn’t get all the years he once expected. They were the team willing to take on the risk.
They’re also the team that will receive the reward.
Being big-timed by the Twins makes the Giants look even timider and cheaper today.
The Giants came into the offseason telling the world they would land a star.
Instead, they’ll enter the 2023 season empty-handed… again. Aaron Judge said no. Carlos Rodón didn’t even entertain returning to the Bay. And then the Giants said no to Correa in the most extreme fashion imaginable, and didn’t circle back in any meaningful way when the opportunity presented itself.
I like several players the Giants signed this offseason, but the only thing this team can truly celebrate this offseason is the fact that it might have dodged a bullet by backing out of the Correa deal
Nothing gets me excited for baseball season than fiscal prudence!
The Giants still lack the middle-of-the-order bat they needed.
They lack the star player that can get people back to the ballpark.
They remained parked in a place of mediocrity, and worse yet, they were unwilling to take the kind of risk — despite ample time — that might have helped break the team through.
Before the Correa fiasco, I frequently joked that the Giants were a big-market team that really wanted to be the Minnesota Twins.
Now, I can’t even make that joke anymore. Signing Correa makes the Twins look like the 28th-most valuable franchise in the world of sports, not the Giants.
Correa signing with the Twins only vindicated the theory that they aren’t a true big-market team — that they care more about the bottom line than their place in the standings.
And if that’s something you can get behind, I’m sure there will be plenty of good seats available for you at Oracle Park this summer.
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