Could Carlos Correa's Physical Scuttle Mets handle it?

TECHNOLOGY
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The status of the Mets’ deal with Carlos Correa is the prevailing story in the MLB right now. Over the weekend, reports surfaced that New York had taken issue with Correa’s right leg/ankle during his physical. Optimism remained that the sides will be able to strike a deal, though it did present another twist in an unexpected saga for one of the offseason’s top free agents.

The Mets reached an agreement to settle Correa on a 12-year, $315 million contract – pending a physical – a day after the Giants backed out of a 13-year, $350 million deal after his doctors allegedly questioned something about the All-Star’s right leg. Correa underwent his physical with the Mets last Thursday; reports surfaced on Saturday afternoon that the exam had not gone completely smoothly.

With the holiday weekend over, discussions between the Mets and Correa’s camp have seemingly taken a backseat for the last few days. Last night, Jon Heyman of the New York Post wrote that some other teams had reached out to the player’s reps after fitness concerns surfaced. However, Heyman indicated that Correa remained focused on the Mets last night, with dialogue between his camp and the New York organization more productive than it had been with San Francisco in the hours after the Giants expressed concern over Correa’s physical during the exam.

The Post’s Mike Puma provides additional context tonight, reporting that more than three rival teams reached out to the Boras Corporation about Correa after the Mets expressed apprehension. Puma wrote that the 28-year-old would strongly prefer joining the Mets than going back to free agency after a second deal fell apart, but suggests Correa’s pitch isn’t open to exiting the $12-year starting price. 315 million of the teams.

Puma suggests it’s still more likely than not that Correa and the Mets work something out, with one source pegging the chances of him landing in Queens at around 55%. However, Correa’s reported reluctance to alter the basic structure of the deal could prove a stumbling block, depending on the extent of the Mets’ misgivings. Puma writes that consideration is being given to including a clause that would protect the Mets if Correa’s right leg proves problematic during the term of his contract.

This type of disposition is rare, but not entirely unprecedented. As an example, Boras Corporation’s fellow customer JD Martinez amended his contract with the Red Sox during the 2018-19 offseason after the team flagged a foot problem during his physical. The sides went ahead with the agreed five-year $110 million structure, but included stipulations that would allow the Red Sox to cancel the final two years of the contract in case Martinez suffered another foot injury that resulted in a long injured list. (as reported by Evan Drellich, then of NBC Sports Boston). Martinez never suffered a serious injury and ended up playing out the five-year deal before returning to free agent action this winter.

Correa never had an MLB injury list related to his right leg, which he fractured as a prospect in 2014. The injury required surgery and ended his minor league season. He returned early the next year and hasn’t missed a notable moment because of the problem since then, although Giants and Mets doctors have identified something that gives them pause.

It is estimated that there will be more clarity on the matter in the coming days. It’s likely to remain the top story in the sport until the sides finalize the deal or Correa’s camp decides to switch back to free agency. Various reports continue to suggest that the former outcome is likely, though far from certain.

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