The team is entering 2020 with the highest luxury-tax payroll at approximately $228 million, per Spotrac.
The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported Tuesday that the Astros had explored a trade involving Correa as a solution:
"Among the ideas they have entertained in an attempt to alleviate their payroll crunch, according to major-league sources: A trade of shortstop Carlos Correa, the player they selected with the top pick of the 2012 draft.
"No deal appears close, and the timing might not be right for such a move, considering that most teams are set at shortstop and Correa's trade value is down. But at some point, the Astros will need to make difficult decisions, and Correa might be the odd man out."
Correa was limited to 75 regular-season games in 2019 because of a fractured rib suffered in May and back discomfort.
The 25-year-old still posted a .279/.358/.568 slash line with 21 home runs and 59 RBI, and he returned for the postseason, during which he hit .257/.382/.639 with three home runs and nine RBI across 18 contests.
The Astros made it to their second World Series in three years but lost the Fall Classic in seven games to the Washington Nationals.
The 2015 American League Rookie of the Year has struggled with injuries. In 2017, Correa missed the end of July and all of August with a torn ligament in his left thumb that required surgery, but he still made the All-Star team and helped Houston captured its first championship
In 2018, Correa missed time with an oblique issue and was out for a couple of weeks with a lower back injury.
Concerns about his durability could propel the likes of Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman and George Springer ahead of him in terms of whom the Astros will be willing to invest in long-term.
Correa is owed $7.4 million in 2020 and can enter free agency in 2022.