The conversation about Correa swirls around when discussing the price, but for his impact on the field, he's worth it.
Among the several concerns about Correa to New York is the potential compensation. Not only would Correa break the bank financially (let’s say $30 million per season), but he also comes with a qualifying offer, meaning the Mets would have to give up the 14th pick in the draft. The Mets, as of now, have the 11th and 14th overall selections in the 2022 draft; the 11th pick being compensation for failing to sign Kumar Rocker.
A couple of things: The first is that the Mets, by letting Michael Conforto walk, will receive another pick, but after the second round. So losing that first-round pick doesn’t completely hamper that draft.
New York should move that pick. Not just for Correa, but for Corey Seager, Robbie Ray, and other top-level free agents. New York needs a top talent for their roster more than a top 150 prospect who will be three to four seasons away and more likely trade bait before making mastering their trade in Queens.
The protection over the 14th overall pick also highlights another issue among the Mets: They struggle to develop players. The MLB Draft isn’t just the first round, and that’s where the Mets have truly struggled. After the first three rounds, New York has often faltered in adding players between rounds four through 12, where other teams have succeeded in adding and unlocking players.
It should also be said that the non-Kris Bryant alternatives don’t make much sense either. Trading for one of Oakland’s Matt Chapman or Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez will likely cost more in compensation; with both players holding multiple years of control. Chapman will likely start with Mauricio, while Cleveland could command Baty in a potential Ramirez swap.
Speaking of Baty, that seems to be the main concern for fans of Mets prospects. Baty has not only experienced time at first base and left field in the minors, but with the potential arrival of the DH comes more flexibility in the lineup. Who’s to say Baty can handle left field well enough to be the future of the position, or Pete Alonso has to move off first?
I look at Gavin Lux in Los Angeles. Lux was a first-round pick who blossomed into a top-five prospect in all of baseball. And yet, the Dodgers played Justin Turner at third, Corey Seager at shortstop, Chris Taylor played everywhere but handled both positions when need be, and then they added Trea Turner before the trade deadline.
Brett Baty has mashed the ball in the Arizona Fall League and could be a great player, but you don’t allow good prospects to stop you from adding elite players and Carlos Correa is an elite player.
The 14th pick gives New York another pick and more money for their bonus pool, but that doesn’t hide their issues with player development. If the Mets don’t figure that out, it doesn’t matter who the Mets bring in during the draft.
But as far as Correa, this is where you move the pick. This isn’t a Michael Cuddyer one year and the pick is gone. Correa will most likely be a Met for eight to ten years and should well exceed his contract value within the first few seasons of that deal. The Mets losing one draft pick, even in the top 15, is a perfectly fine deal for a team that has several pieces that could contribute to a playoff team.