Carlos Correa’s superstar MLB journey from Puerto Rico took him to Houston for the first seven years of his career, then to Minnesota for what seemed like the comparative length of a cup of coffee.
Now, the one-time world champion shortstop has his next landing spot lined up.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported late Tuesday night that the 28-year-old has agreed to a 13-year, $350 million free-agent deal with the San Francisco Giants.
BREAKING: Shortstop Carlos Correa and the San Francisco Giants are in agreement on a 13-year, $350 million contract, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 14, 2022
— Alex Bregman (@ABREG_1) December 14, 2022
An opt-out clause after the first year of his contract with the Twins, which paid him just $35.1 million in 2022, enabled Correa to try the free-agent market again for a shot at big money.
Correa’s reported deal is the second richest of this free agency period after Aaron Judge, who actually was being pursued by the Giants before agreeing to a $360 million contract to remain with the Yankees.
Brandon Crawford, a three-time All-Star, has been the Giants’ shortstop since 2011. Crawford, who turns 36 next month, slumped to a .231 average with nine homers and 52 RBIs last season, down from a .298 average with 24 homers and 90 RBIs in 2021.
Crawford has a $16 million salary in 2023, then can become a free agent. He has dealt with injuries in recent seasons and might consider retirement at the conclusion of his deal, so the Giants were searching for a shortstop of the future.
The Giants went 81-81 last season, a year after posting a franchise-record 107 wins.
Correa was selected by Houston with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2012 amateur draft, and he played a key role in the Astros’ rise from the bottom of the AL West to the franchise’s first World Series title in 2017.
He hit a career-best 26 homers in 2021 in his last year with Houston, also finishing with a .279 batting average and 92 RBIs. He earned his second All-Star selection and first Gold Glove.
Correa, the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year, has a .279 career average with 155 homers and 553 RBIs in eight big league seasons. He also has been a stellar postseason performer with 18 homers and 59 RBIs in 79 games.
The Astros’ 2017 championship was tainted by a sign-stealing scheme, and Correa has been lustily booed in some cities since the scandal surfaced.
The news of Correa’s signing came after he was spotted with his former teammates in Las Vegas. Correa, Alex Bregman, Lance McCullers Jr., Kyle Tucker, and Michael Brantley reunited at a UFC event.
In terms of the Astros, the club will get to face Correa, a still-beloved Astros icon, in 2023 when the Giants visit Houston for three games, May 1-3.