Could Carlos Correa’s Physical Scuttle Mets Deal?

The status of the Mets’ agreement with Carlos Correa is the predominant story in MLB at the moment. Reports over the weekend emerged that New York had taken issue with something related to Correa’s right leg/ankle during his physical. There’s remained optimism the sides will be able to get a deal done, although it presented another twist in an unexpected saga for one of the offseason’s top free agents.

The Mets had jumped in to agree to terms with Correa on a 12-year, $315MM contract — pending the physical — within a day of the Giants pulling out of a 13-year, $350MM pact after their doctors reportedly took issue with something in the All-Star’s right leg. Correa underwent his physical with the Mets last Thursday; reports emerged Saturday afternoon that examination hadn’t gone completely smoothly.

With the holiday weekend, discussions between the Mets and Correa’s camp have apparently been somewhat on the back burner for the past couple days. Last night, Jon Heyman of the New York Post wrote that some other teams had touched base with the player’s representatives after word of the physical concerns trickled out. However, Heyman indicated Correa remained focused on the Mets as of 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 about Correa’s physical during their examination.

The Post’s Mike Puma provides additional context this evening, reporting that three-plus rival teams have been in touch with the Boras Corporation about Correa after the Mets expressed trepidation. Puma writes the 28-year-old would strongly prefer to join the Mets than go back into free agency after a second agreement fell apart but suggests Correa’s camp is not open to moving off the sides’ initial 12-year, $315MM price point.

Puma suggests it’s still likelier than not that Correa and the Mets work something out, with one source pegging the odds of him landing in Queens around 55%. Nevertheless, Correa’s reported unwillingness to alter the basic framework of the deal could prove a stumbling block depending on the extent of the Mets’ trepidation. Puma writes there’s some consideration being given to the possibility of including a provision that’d protect the Mets in the event Correa’s right leg proves problematic during the contract term.

That kind of provision is rare but not completely without precedent. As an example, fellow Boras Corporation client J.D. Martinez altered his deal with the Red Sox over the 2018-19 offseason after the team flagged a foot issue during his physical. The sides moved forward with their agreed-upon five-year, $110MM framework but included stipulations that would’ve allowed the Red Sox to opt out of the final two years of the contract in the event Martinez suffered another foot injury that resulted in a lengthy injured list stint (as reported by Evan Drellich, then of NBC Sports Boston). Martinez never suffered a serious injury and wound up playing out the five-year deal before hitting free agency again this winter.

Correa has never had an MLB injured list stint related to his right leg, which he fractured as a prospect back in 2014. The injury required surgery and ended his minor league season. He returned at the start of the following year and hasn’t missed any notable time because of the issue since then, though doctors for both the Giants and Mets have now identified something that gives them pause.

There figures to be more clarity on the matter over the coming days. It’s likely to remain the sport’s top story until the sides either finalize the deal or Correa’s camp decides to pivot back to free agency. Various reports continue to suggest the former outcome is probable, though far from certain.

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