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A Minnesota Twin again, Carlos Correa couldn’t believe Giants, Mets deals fell through

Carlos Correa alongside Twins president Derek Falvey at Target Field.

As Carlos Correa slipped a newly designed Minnesota Twins jersey around his shoulders Wednesday, he uttered the words that could have ended his free agent saga a month ago.

“These are clean,” he said of the fresh gear.

Of course, had doctors for the San Francisco Giants or New York Mets said the same about MRI results before finalizing commitments of greater than $300 million last month, Correa would not have been back at Target Field. Instead, a decade-old ankle fracture that gave examining orthopedists pause scuttled agreements of $350 million over 15 years (from the Giants) and $315 million over 12 (from the Mets), sending he and agent Scott Boras on an unprecedented free agent hunt for a nine-figure contract and, most of all, a belief.

That Correa was healthy. That his surgically repaired right ankle would remain intact through the life of a decade-long commitment. And that even if the 28-year-old shortstop eventually encountered health woes, the remaining peak years of his career would be worth any risk on the back end.

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He found that belief in the same place he departed, albeit for $150 million less than the Giants promised. But Correa’s guaranteed six-year, $200 million deal – that can grow to $270 million over 10 years by meeting plate appearance plateaus – is an outcome that belies an unprecedented process.

“The journeys are not always linear,” says Derek Falvey, the Twins’ president of baseball operations who signed Correa to a short-term deal in March 2022, kept in contact with his camp all winter and then, suddenly, provided a comfortable fallback option.

“Sometimes, they are circular.”

Carlos Correa alongside Twins president Derek Falvey at Target Field.

Correa’s re-introduction as a Twin shed at least some light on that pilgrimage from San Francisco, to Queens and finally back to the Twin Cities, where the real MVP of this agreement arguably is not Boras or Correa or Falvey, but rather Twins medical director Chris Camp, who’s had access to Correa’s medical file for nearly a year.

When this saga once again reached its final lap on Tuesday, and Correa underwent yet another physical, Camp raised a checkered flag rather than a red one, to the relief of many.

Perhaps the Twins will regret this risk. Or the Giants and Mets will bemoan the loss of a true franchise player. Or maybe it will be as right…

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