Carlos Correa Contract Extension Still Interests Astros, Owner Jim Crane Says

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVApril 8, 2021

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 04: Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros warms up prior to the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on April 04, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Daniel Shirey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros haven't ruled out re-signing Carlos Correa after failing to work out an extension with the 2017 All-Star before Opening Day.

"We respect Carlos," Astros owner Jim Crane said to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in Houston. "He’s been a great asset, a great spokesman for the team. He’s gonna test the market, and we’re fine with that. We’re still interested. … The door’s always open here."

Mark Berman @MarkBermanFox26

Jim Crane says the Astros’ door is “always open” when it comes to keeping Carlos Correa here beyond 2021:”We respect Carlos. He’s been a great asset-a great spokesman for the team.He’s gonna test the market&we’re fine with that.We’re still interested..The door’s always open here” pic.twitter.com/HuhSXJNHCm

Correa confirmed he had turned down offers of six years for $120 million and five years for $125 million, telling reporters on April 1 that he and the team "were not close at all."

"There were not really any negotiations," he said. "It's another year with the Houston Astros. I'm going to go out there, give it my best and try to bring another championship to this city."

Those comments came mere hours before ESPN's Jeff Passan reported the New York Mets and Francisco Lindor agreed to a 10-year, $341 million extension. That Houston's best offer was so far below that doesn't bode well for the likelihood of Correa re-signing in the offseason.

Nobody can accuse the Astros of being cheap. Per Cot's Baseball Contracts, they've had a 10-top Opening Day payroll for four straight seasons, sitting fifth to get the 2021 campaign underway.

Going above and beyond on new contracts isn't something the franchise has done with great regularity, though.

Houston didn't seem to make much of a push to keep Gerrit Cole, who got a record-setting nine-year, $324 million contract from the New York Yankees. George Springer just bolted, too, after having signed a six-year, $150 million pact with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Jose Altuve penned a seven-year, $163.5 million extension with Houston ahead of the 2018 season, but Correa's next deal is likely to far surpass that given what Lindor received.

Of course the Astros would like to keep the 26-year-old beyond 2021, but that's not the same thing as being willing to pay his market value in free agency.