What will you be doing in 13 years?
There’s no guarantee that Carlos Correa will still be playing for the San Francisco Giants, who reportedly agreed to a record-breaking contract with him on Tuesday night, but at least Correa knows he’ll still be getting paid in 2036.
The deal is for 13 years (matching the longest free agent contract ever given out) and $350 million, per ESPN. Correa, who has eight years of big league service time already under his belt, is still just 28 years old. Signing with San Francisco gives the Giants their franchise player for the next generation and serves as a very solid consolation prize after losing out on the Aaron Judge sweepstakes.
The two-time All-Star, one-time World Series champion and former Rookie of the Year also gets the mega deal he’s long cherished. Correa spent a gap year with the Minnesota Twins in 2022, agreeing to a three-year, $105.3 million contract that included an opt out after the first year. He, predictably, exercised that option when the season ended and hit the open market, where he and agent Scott Boras successfully got him into the $350 million club.
Correa’s 13-year deal ties Bryce Harper’s for longest ever. Like Harper, Correa also has a full no-trade clause and no opt outs, according to sources. This is the most money ever given to a shortstop, surpassing Francisco Lindor’s $341 million payday and Fernando Tatis Jr.’s $340 million. There are only three contracts in the history of Major League Baseball that have given a player more money: Mike Trout’s $426.5 from the Angels, Mookie Betts’ $365 from the Dodgers and the $360 that Judge just took to stay with the Yankees.
While the money is astronomical and it’s hard to imagine a 38-year-old Correa still manning shortstop a decade from now, there’s no doubt that he’s one of the best players alive. The first overall pick by the Astros in the 2012 draft, Correa spent the first seven years of his career in Houston. In addition to bringing home the 2015 Rookie of the Year — and two years later, the franchise’s first championship — Correa also played in two other World Series and collected both a Gold Glove and Platinum Glove for best fielder in the entire league.
His career numbers show a .279/.357/.479 (.836 OPS) slash line and 130 wRC+. He’s clobbered 20 or more home runs in six of the seven full seasons of his career. In the postseason, he’s got a .272/.344/.505 (.849 OPS) line in 79 games. Not counting the 2020 season, he has also been worth 3.0 or more Wins Above Replacement every year. By FanGraphs’ version of WAR, only 15 position players have been better than Correa since he entered the league. Lindor, Xander Bogaerts and Trea Turner — all players who will now also make over $25 million a season — are the only shortstops ahead of him on that list. Correa’s 130 wRC+ ranks second among shortstops to Tatis Jr., during that time span, and Andrelton Simmons is the lone shortstop who’s been responsible for more Defensive Runs Saved.
While defense has certainly been one of Correa’s lifelong calling cards, there is the question of how long he can stay at the demanding position. Correa is big for a middle infielder at 6-4 and 220 pounds, and he’s already logged over 7,600 innings at shortstop as well. Many have speculated that he may cede the position to Giants’ legend Brandon Crawford, at least for 2023, which is the 35-year-old Crawford’s final year under contract. Correa has played some third base before, though never in an actual MLB setting. In the 2017 World Baseball Classic, he slid over to the hot corner for Puerto Rico so Lindor could play short, something that reports indicated Correa also would have been willing to do had he signed with the Mets.
Once Crawford is out the door, the position will obviously belong to Correa. But as we get into the 2030s, third base or designated hitter seems like the most likely spot for him. Outside of Correa, the Giants do not have anybody currently signed for more than three years, though they have several players that are still pre-arbitration. Their offseason has been a busy one, as president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi also added outfielder Mitch Haniger and starting pitchers Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling while retaining big bopper Joc Pederson via the one-year, $19.65 million qualifying offer.
Competing with the Padres and Dodgers in the National League West will be a tall order. But these moves, as well as their reported pursuit of Judge, show that the Giants are not content with rolling over. Should they convince free agent starter Carlos Rodon (now the biggest name still left on the board) to come back as well, San Francisco looks like a formidable wild card candidate.