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Why Carlos Correa's free agency has been a mess of incomplete deals, owner doubts and past injuries

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Although more than two weeks have passed since star field Carlos Correa reached an agreement with the New York Mets on a 12-year contract worth $315 million, the two sides have yet to finalize the deal. The assault is suspected to have stemmed from Mets concerns about Correa’s right leg.

Mets and Correa agent Scott Boras continued to negotiate the revised terms on Thursday, but the news was accompanied by a New York Post report that Boras had “renewed contact with at least another interested team or two.” “. At this stage, it’s unclear which is more likely: Correa and the Mets finding a solution or Boras finding more favorable terms from another club.

If, as a well-adjusted human being, you’ve spent the last three weeks dealing with family matters as part of the holiday season, then you may be out of touch with everything that happened to Correa. We here at CBS Sports are hardly well-adjusted, so we thought we’d provide a practical and elegant explainer that answers six questions you might have about this situation.

Come on.

1. Didn’t Correa already sign with the Giants?

We might as well start here. Yes Correa reached a technical agreement with the San Francisco Giants in the form of a 13-year contract worth $350 million. The Giants scheduled a press conference to introduce Correa, and he and his family even went house hunting in the San Francisco area. Unfortunately, the press conference was canceled a few hours ahead of schedule. Before a whole day had passed, Correa had agreed to the terms of this contract with the Mets.

2. What happened to the Giants deal?

This might sound familiar. The Giants became concerned about the long-term condition of Correa’s right leg during a physical. From there, well, let’s just defer Boras’ public explanation of what happened from there.

“We reached an agreement. We had a letter of agreement. We gave them a deadline to execute it,” Boras told The Athletic. “They let us know they still had questions. They still wanted to talk to other people, other doctors, get through this.

“I said, ‘Look, I’ve given you a reasonable amount of time. We need to move forward on this. Give me a deadline. If you’re not going to do it, I need to talk to other teams.”

Boras actually talked to other teams, resulting in the current situation.

3. Why are the teams worried about Correa’s leg?

Correa suffered a nasty injury to his right leg when he was a minor leaguer in the Houston Astros system. He had to have surgery as a result, and part of that process included having a plate installed near his ankle. Since then, Correa hasn’t needed a list of bruises because of his leg, but physicals often have predictive rather than prescriptive value — meaning doctors are looking forward, not backward.

It stands to reason that two things may be true: Doctors may be justified in singling out Correa’s leg as an area of ​​concern, but Correa can remain relatively healthy regardless of the plaque. Of course, this is a case where the public and media don’t have enough information to assess one way or another.

4. What might a revised Correa settlement include?

In theory, the Mets and Correa could insert some compensation language that would protect the club should Correa’s leg become an issue. Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal explained how this would work. (Tap NBC Sports Bay Area for the podcast transcript.)

“The way to do that in a situation like this is to put something in the contract called an ‘exclusion clause’ and it basically says that if a player spends X number of days on the injured list with that specific injury, the specific injury of that part of your leg so you can void future years or you can reduce the warranty, there are a number of ways to do that,” said Rosenthal. “Now, obviously, if you’re Correa and Boras, you don’t want that kind of language because it lowers the value of the contract and creates that uncertainty. Clearly, it’s not the same.”

It is not clear whether the two sides have discussed an opt-out clause or whether Boras and Correa are open to the possibility of installing such a clause in the agreement.

They could also add more generic team options to the deal, which would allow the Mets to fold if Correa’s health becomes an issue in the future.

5. Are there other considerations at play for the Mets?

In fact, the Mets’ situation with Correa is more complicated than the Giants’. That’s because owner Steve Cohen may have opened his team up to a Major League Baseball Players Association claim if the Mets back out of their deal by making public comments about Correa.

“We needed one more thing, and this is it,” Cohen told the New York Post after Correa’s initial deal was announced. “This was important… This puts us at the top. This is a good team. I hope it’s a good team!”

There’s a reason execs never comment on players or deals until they’re official. You can understand why Cohen was excited, but his overzealous nature could end up costing him dearly here if he can’t strike a deal with Boras.

6. Is Correa worth it?

Yes. He’s a 28-year-old All-Star who has posted 128+ OPS over the last three seasons while playing good defense at shortstop. CBS Sports ranked him the third free agent entering the winter, behind only Aaron Judge and Jacob deGrom. Correa is an elite player, by the way. It would be unfortunate if the events of this winter ended up obscuring that fact.