Law: Giants should see solid return on investment in Carlos Correa

The Giants missed out on Aaron Judge, but their consolation prize could be better, as they landed their number one free agent this winter in Carlos Correa, giving the former Astro and Twin a $350 million deal spread over 13 seasons. It’s one of the longest deals in MLB history, paying him during his 40-year-old’s season, but he pays him so much per player that now the Giants are still likely to get a solid return on their investment.

Correa has been worth 12.6 rWAR / 10.6 fWAR over the past two years combined, that’s at least $35-40 million. I’d argue for the higher end, or more, given Correa’s age—he’ll play at 28 this year, so he’s still in the prime of his offensive years—and the paucity of the position he plays in. This contract covers ages from 28 to 40 seasons, but it’s more of the same accounting trickery we’ve seen in other long-term deals awarded to free agents this winter. If this were a $350 million, eight-year, $43.75 million AAV deal, it would seem more reasonable based on the player projects Correa to finish the whole deal, even though it’s the same amount of money.

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The duration of this contract reduces the impact of luxury taxes, which is fair, although I have the same concern about this that I do with all contracts that take players in their positions into their late 30s or early 40s – if the player declines more quickly than expected, it may The team is reluctant to bench him or release him due to commitment. Given Correa’s track record and age, this contract is more like Turner’s, with players more likely to push early and drop slowly, than the contract of Aaron Judge or Xander Bogaerts. If Correa is healthy, which has been a problem for him for the first five years of his MLB career, then he’s a superstar and he’ll be worth more than what the Giants pay him.

Corea also fills a big need for the Giants, whose shortstop Brandon Crawford collapsed in 2022 after a surprising rebound in 2021. Crawford hit . 231/.308/.344 last year, well below the league average, and his hitball data reflected this Low – He swung and missed at an exceptionally high rate and stopped hitting the ball hard. He will turn 36 in January, and while he has one year left on a two-year deal the Giants gave him after a dead cat bounce season, it’s a huge cost, and they’d better sit out or even release him. Correa is anywhere from a 5-to-7 win upgrade over Crawford at the moment, improving the team both on offense and defense.

With the additions of Mitch Hanegger and Ross Stripling, they may have added 10 wins of value, although they didn’t replace Carlos Rodon, who was a pitcher with five wins and gave them 178 runs in 2022. It’s also unlikely that they’ll change Carlos Rodon’s role. Seeing a lot of production behind the plate or from first base or DH, he showed more playing time than Mike Yastrzemski as a platooner or part-time player, rather than a regular center fielder. They’re better, but this can’t be San Francisco’s last big move if they want to catch the Dodgers and Padres.


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Correa’s signing leaves just one of the four biggest free-agent shortstops not signed in Dansby Swanson, the person who joined free agency with the shortest solid-producing track record, his defensive value jumping a big jump in 2022 and he’s not quite the hitter that the other three were ( Corea, Trea Turner, Xander Bogaerts). There are more clubs with clear money and need in a short time than the Dansby Swansons, with the Angels, Cubs and Twins at the top of the list, while other teams, such as Boston and Atlanta, could promote at least in the center.

The trade market also appears to be on the mend, two teams have some center surplus, with Bryson Stott pushed to second base with Turner’s signature, and the Orioles now face a shortstop impasse between incumbent Jorge Mateo, top prospect Gunnar Henderson, and a hypothetical parade of shortstop prospects behind those players. , from Joey Ortiz to Jackson Holiday’s first pick last year. Mateo can’t hit at all, with a comically bad 267 OBP last year, but he’s a plus-shorts defender and plus-runner who led the AL in stolen bases last year. It’s unnecessary for the Orioles, but it would be an upgrade for two teams.

(Photo: David Berding/Getty Images)

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