Carlos Correa remained at the North Pole on Monday, and his destination was a belated gift to some deserving recipients.
Neither the Mets nor the All-Star team would say whether negotiations resumed Sunday after the Christmas break after concerns about Correa’s physical condition last week. The two sides agreed to a 12-year, $315 million contract with Correa over his physical.
The problem led to Correa’s right ankle injury in the minor leagues leading to a 13-year, $350 million contract with the Giants.
There is optimism that a deal could be reached between Correa and the Mets, with one source giving the two sides a 55 percent chance of reaching an agreement on Monday. Among the possibilities is the addition of contract language that would shield the Mets from financial liability if Correa’s preexisting conditions sidelined him for an extended period of time. Scott Boras, Correa’s agent, worked out a similar contract clause with J.D. Martinez after he signed a five-year, $110 million contract with the Red Sox.
But Correa prefers to play with the Mets and is not open to changing the terms of his contract or financial terms. At least three teams have been linked to Correa’s camp in recent days, but Correa is still trying to finalize a deal with the Mets.
Correa underwent arthroscopic surgery in 2014 after breaking his right foot and damaging ligaments while playing in the minor leagues. Correa has not been on the injured list in his eight major league seasons with a right foot injury. But Correa overcame other ailments that sidelined him in recent seasons, including back injuries that cost him significant time in 2018 and ’19.
A trade-off may be worth it for both sides: The Mets can’t simply target another big bat on the free-agent market because those options are gone. From Correa’s perspective, does he need a third contract and physical drama this winter? And what leverage will Correa have to negotiate? The Twins (who acquired him last offseason) weren’t shy about offering Correa a 10-year, $285 million contract, but that was before his two-flag physical.
Interested parties during this delay include Eduardo Escobar and Luis Guillermo, and Correa could be traded for one or both if his contract with the Mets expires. Correa will play third base for the team, with his friend Francisco Lindor at shortstop.
If Correa doesn’t sign, the Mets could try to trade with the Red Sox for Rafael Devers, but that’s not ideal for an organization looking to retain prospects and build a strong farm system.
Correa, 28, wasn’t on the Mets’ radar until his free time. Owner Steve Cohen told The Post’s Jon Heyman that the Mets need one more bat after adding weapons with Justin Verlander, Kodai Senga, Jose Quintana, David Robertson and Adam Ottavino, and Brandon Nimmo is the only one to show off the offseason. is an important attack. That’s over $350 million in 2023 salary (that’s not counting the $75 million penalty for going over the luxury tax threshold). After the Giants delayed completing a deal with Correa following his physical, Boras called Cohen on vacation in Hawaii to sign a late-night deal.