Carlos Correa signed a three-year $105.3 million deal with the Minnesota Twins this past offseason, but his contract includes a $35.1 million player option for both the 2023 and 2024 seasons, meaning he could become a free agent this winter.
But don't be surprised if Correa sticks in Minnesota one way or another:
The 27-year-old has had a solid if unspectacular first year with the Twins, hitting .269 with 14 homers, 39 RBI, 50 runs and a .783 OPS. He seems unlikely to match last year's outlay of 26 homers, 92 RBI and 104 runs in his final season with the Houston Astros, the team where he started his career and spent his first seven MLB seasons.
Correa returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday for a series against the Astros for the first time since leaving the organization:
Daniel Gotera @DTGoteraKHOU
Carlos Correa has a message to <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Astros?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Astros</a> fans.<br><br>"Thank you to the fans for everything you did for me, my family and my career and I'm looking forward to being back out there with you guys again." <a href="https://t.co/1R9agJePU8">pic.twitter.com/1R9agJePU8</a>
Chandler Rome @Chandler_Rome
Before Carlos Correa's first AB, Martín Maldonado stepped out from behind the plate to allow the crowd a longer standing ovation. The team played Correa's walkout song — Bad Bunny's "25/8" — and Correa tipped his helmet to the crowd. The entire Astros' dugout was a the top step
While the Astros have an American League-best 78-45 record, the Twins (62-58) find themselves in a battle for a playoff berth, trailing the Cleveland Guardians by two games in the AL Central and the Seattle Mariners by three games for the final AL Wild Card berth.
The general belief has been that Correa would be one-and-done in Minnesota, opting out of his current deal to seek a lucrative, longer-term offer come free agency.
Earlier in August, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reported that Correa, "barring injury, will likely opt out of his deal," joining a potentially loaded group of free-agent shortstops that likely will include Trea Turner, Dansby Swanson and Xander Bogaerts.
The two-time All-Star and 2017 champion should have a fairly vibrant market and will hope to turn that into one of the decade-long deals many of the game's superstars have been inking in recent years rather than the shorter deal he received from the Twins.
Whether such an offer comes from the Twins remains to be seen. But Correa, at least publicly, seems open to a reunion.