The New York Mets enter 2023 with the same question marks as the two weeks of 2022. Carlos Correa still has not put pen on paper, and the remainder of their offseason hinges on whatever decision Correa makes.
Over the last couple of days, reporters around the league have reported that the deal the Mets and Correa are currently discussing is different than the originally agreed-upon 12-year, $315 million contract. The new deal is reportedly shorter and includes protections for the team if Correa’s injury issues plague him.
So what would a completed Mets offer to Correa look like?
It gets tricky because Correa and Scott Boras have said they don’t want to change the terms of the deal, meaning the years and money. They’ll have to come down a little bit, but the Mets will also have to get creative to protect themselves as Correa ages. People have brought up the J.D. Martinez contract with the Red Sox as a model the Mets can follow to accomplish this. Martinez had to play a certain number of games to get the full money, which he did since he stayed healthy.
Correa’s deal will obviously be longer than Martinez’s, but the concept can be the same. Martinez would’ve made less money in the last two years of his contract if he spent 12 days on the IL in any one season or more than 60 days over the length of the contract. The Mets can implement that after the 6th year or so.
The deal could also include team options. Hypothetically, if Correa were to have severe injury problems during year seven of the contract, and the Mets had a team option after that season, they could release him to free agency and void the remainder of the deal. Obviously injury risk gets more serious as players age, so this would be great protection for the Mets in case something goes wrong.
So let’s say the renegotiated deal comes out to nine years and $270 million ($30 million AAV). If Correa were to get hurt and miss significant time, years six through nine would have significantly reduced salaries and potentially include team options the Mets could use to end the contract in the event of a serious injury. If Correa winds up not getting hurt, he would still get the full contract. It works for both sides.