We are currently in a lockout and despite what anyone will tell you, no one really knows for sure how everything will turn out, but operating under the assumption that it will, there are a few things to discuss regarding the biggest free agent left on the market, Carlos Correa.
First and furthermost it should be acknowledged that it is clear that some teams were more willing to be aggressive pre-lockout while others were comfortable and maybe even dead set on waiting until it is all resolved - The same effect took place with the players.
There are many reasons for that, from the fact that perhaps their markets were or would’ve been limited given that a few suitors that were the best fit had weren’t really prepared to negotiate at that time, or even the simple nature of being more comfortable with waiting, what could potentially be a very significant amount of time, before knowing where you’ll play the following season.
Among the players that decided to wait it out, we have the former Astro Carlos Correa. According to a report by Buster Olney, the Tigers offered Correa a 10-year contract worth $275 million.
Let’s discuss what that represents and what it doesn’t.
As far as the Tigers are concerned it shows a team who was intent on doing the majority of its business before the impending lockout. That doesn’t mean the team is done with free agency, far from it in fact. One could even argue that Correa could still be a target given the flexibility of Javier Báez, but it is highly unlikely that the Tigers will commit something along the lines of $450 million to these two players.
The Rangers did something along these lines so it is not impossible, but it’d be absolutely shocking. The far likelier chance is that Detroit was probably trying to close something with Correa before the lockout near the ceiling of what they felt comfortable with.
From Correa’s perspective this shouldn’t be looked at as an indication of the deal he’ll get. Corey Seager just signed for $325 million and the slight and I do mean very slight gap that Seager has over Correa in terms of hurting throughout their careers doesn’t come close to making up for the defensive edge that Correa has.
For all intents and purposes, this was a low-ball offer from Detroit and there’s literally no reason to assume that Correa will get a penny less than Seager on the open market.
The perceived lack of a market is just that. There are indications about what the Yankees and Dodgers will do, but we don’t have anything definitive and there are enough teams who could use his services and also have the necessary budget to afford that deal, that it will happen.
Not many people saw the Rangers shelling out this kind of cash for Seager a few months ago. The same goes for Machado and the Padres a while back. This level of talent usually finds a home without much of a compromise in contract demands.