That is no big surprise. For the type and size of deal Correa is looking for, no team is going to just jump both feet first into that without (a) knowing what the new collective bargaining agreement looks like, and (b) being able to make sure Carlos Correa's back issues from two seasons ago are at a minimal risk level.
That said, there are only so many things that can move the needle on the news front during a lockout, particularly on the Correa front, but Correa found a way to do it on Tuesday night. Courtesy of Jeff Passan of ESPN.com:
"Star free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa has hired agent Scott Boras, Correa told ESPN over the phone Tuesday night.So there are some things to unpack here. What does this mean for the Astros, and what does it mean for Correa? Here are four thoughts on this MLB news bombshell:
On the 47th day of Major League Baseball's lockout, with transactions frozen and Correa still without a team, the 27-year-old player joined Boras, the veteran agent who before the work stoppage negotiated $630 million in deals for Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Max Scherzer.
Correa, who in seven seasons with the Houston Astros made two All-Star teams and won the 2017 World Series, entered this winter on the top of most free-agent boards. While multiple teams expressed interest in Correa, Seager signed the pre-lockout megadeal with the Texas Rangers for $325 million over 10 years.
In a statement Correa gave to ESPN, he said: 'I have made the decision to hire Boras Corporation to represent me moving forward. Boras Corporation offers the highest level of baseball expertise and proven experience.'"
Why did Correa fire his old agency?
Well, the obvious answer, from the Boras side, is that he wanted the best representation, when it comes to getting a big deal. From the side of Endeavor, his previous agency, this probably had something to do with it:
Before hiring Boras, Correa was represented by William Morris Endeavor, whose parent company, Endeavor, purchased nine minor league teams in December. The MLB Players Association recently sent a letter to the company with possible discipline on the table for running afoul of agent regulations that prohibit the ownership of minor league teams, as The Athletic first reported. The murkiness with WME was the backdrop against which Boras recruited Correa.On top of that, Endeavor, which was reportedly recommended to Carlos Correa by retired All Star Alex Rodriguez, was viewed more as a Hollywood agency than a sports representation firm. By changing agencies, Correa is going with the gold standard for getting that money bag. Which brings us to....
Scott Boras is a beast
Through 2020, Scott Boras had negotiated $41.2 billion —- BILLION! — worth of big league deals, one of which was former Astro Gerrit Cole's becoming the highest paid pitcher in MLB history (at the time). By the way, that represents $1.9 billion in commissions for Boras. He has long been the face of the "terminator" style agents, that will get their clients every last penny, even if it kills him in the process. As Passan mentioned, this offseason alone, Boras has negotiated monster deals for Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million), Marcus Semien (6 years, $140 million), and Max Scherzer (3 years, $140 million, the new highest paid pitcher on an annual basis). Correa is hoping to be next.
Scott Boras does have some Astros under his representation
Now, before you go crazy thinking "Oh well, I guess this means Correa is gone!", it's worth noting that other Houston Astros are doing business with Boras. Jose Altuve signed his five year, $150 million extension a few years ago with Boras representing him. Lance McCullers signed his five year, $85 million extension before this season, and was repped by Boras. Alex Bregman changed over to Boras as his agent back in 2020, and his next deal will be a Boras-negotiated deal, presumably, in a couple seasons. With Altuve and McCullers, their deals were negotiated before they hit free agency, which is the key distinction here. Boras will do what his clients ask him to do. The problem for Astro fans is that it appears Carlos Correa wants his agent to get him a 10 year deal for more than $300 million.
What is the landscape for a Correa mega-deal ?
The only reports that we've had on Correa's free agency thus far are (1) he reportedly rejected a 10 year, $275 million deal from the Detroit Tigers (and his former manager in Houston A.J. Hinch) and (2) the Chicago Cubs are interested in Correa but not for a ten year deal. Also, we know that the Astros' final offer before the lockout was five years, $160 million. It will be very interesting to see if Correa's ten year deal is out there somewhere. The Yankees are always the old standby for deals like that, but they have some much cheaper shortstop solutions in their minor league system. The Dodgers might want to sign Correa to replace Seager, but they can just as easily slide All Star Trey Turner back to his natural position at shortstop. Boton has been mentioned as a darkhorse Correa candidate, but they still have Xander Boegarts at shortstop. My point is that the game of musical chairs is running out of seats for Correa. Correa's free agency will be easily the biggest story once the lockout is resolved, and a new CBA is signed.
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