How Carlos Correa, San Francisco Giants each got exactly what they wanted

The San Francisco Giants agreed to a historic contract with superstar shortstop Carlos Correa on Tuesday afternoon. The deal is worth $350 million, double the previous franchise record. It spans 13 years, surpassing by a full decade the longest deals handed out by Farhan Zaidi in his first 49 months at the helm of the organisation.

The contract reportedly contains no opt-out clauses and a full no-trade clause. This is a marriage only seen with a select few in this sport. Fernando Tatís Jr. and Julio Rodríguez recently signed 14- and 13-year contracts, respectively, but Tatís was 22 when he signed his, and Rodríguez 21.

Correa is 28 years old. When that deal is made, he’ll be nearly the same age Barry Bonds was during his final season in San Francisco. But based on the average annual value, this deal doesn’t seem so ridiculous. Correa will make just $27 million per season, about $1.5 million more than fellow 2022 shortstop Xander Bogaerts will make in a similar period and slightly less than classmate Trea Turner.

Bogaerts and Turner have their fans throughout the industry, but Correa has more. He is generally considered to have more star potential. By Baseball-Reference’s calculations, he has logged three more valuable seasons than Bogaerts’ best year and four more valuable seasons than Turner’s best.

And it brings its value in a balanced way. He’s never hit more than 26 home runs in a season, but he’s also never hit less than 15 in his seven non-2020 seasons. Again, except for 2020, his floor has been about a league-average hitter, which, with his defense, would still make him a competent player with more than three wins and, by modern valuations, around $27 million per season.

There are risks, of course. Here are some of them: Correa has been hurt quite a bit. Not counting 2020, he has missed 25 or more games in four of the last five seasons and 50 or more in three of them. According to advanced metrics and some scouts, their defense declined a year ago. He certainly won’t play shortstop for the entire contract, and he might not even fill the position for half of it.

Also, he was deeply involved in the cheating scandal that helped the Astros win their 2017 World Series. But he, more than most of his teammates at the time, has owned up to the mistakes that commit, and Correa certainly earned the loudest boos in places other than San Francisco. (Do you think this move will endear Dodgers fans more?)

Despite the Giants’ surprising success in 2021, Zaidi has drawn criticism in recent months for his passivity. Fans couldn’t believe that Anthony DeSclafani and Tommy La Stella were handed the longest contracts on a big-market team. But Zaidi, it is now clear, was biding his time in pursuit of superstardom. He chased one to Aaron Judge earlier this month and went second or third, with an offer that exceeded the money committed to Correa.

Now, she got her man. Tuesday included a breaking report from The Athletic that the Mets were also interested in Correa, luxury tax be damned. They were believed to be in addition to the Twins, his 2022 employer, the Giants, and possibly the Cubs, who had been on the periphery of his pursuit.

But once Judge re-signed with the Yankees, the Giants made more sense for Correa, who was looking for a long-term home after delaying free agency for a season to sign with Minnesota on a short-term deal in March . No one with so much money to spend was more desperate for a star.

In 2022, the Giants were even .500, a big step back from their charming 107-win campaign in 2021. They’re not losing much from this year’s team — mainly ace Carlos Rodón, who now looks likely that he will sign in another place. But by adding talented outfielder Mitch Haniger, two depth starting pitchers (Ross Stripling i Sean Manaea), and now Correa, have at least pushed themselves into the realm of a 90-win team.

It is not a guarantee. Like Correa, Haniger has a history of injuries. But these giants are at least interesting again.

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Pedro Moura is the national baseball writer for FOX Sports. He previously covered the Dodgers for The Athletic, the Angels and Dodgers for the Orange County Register and LA Times, and his alma mater, USC, for ESPN Los Angeles. He is the author of “How to Overcome a Broken Game.” Follow him on Twitter at @pedromoura.

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