HOUSTON – The hot stove league is warming up as free agency picks up momentum following the GM meetings in Arizona.
According to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Carlos Correa made it official Monday and turned down the Astros qualifying offer of 1-year for $18.4 million. The move was expected and now, should Correa sign elsewhere, the Astros will receive draft compensation in return for his departure.
Correa just completed his seventh season in Houston and was a former number-one overall pick in 2012 coming out of of Puerto Rico.
Many expect the pace of free agency to pick up in the coming days and weeks, with December 1st being a critical date to keep in mind . When December arrives, that will end the current Collective Bargaining Agreement and owners throughout baseball are expected to then lock out the players until a new deal is agreed upon.
Correa will command a massive deal and those will come. The Astros reportedly offered 5-years, $160 million recently but KPRC-TV has reported since right after the World Series that the team had a 6-year, $210 million offer on the table. That, according to MLB sources, was produced after the Astros beat the Red Sox in the ALCS. The Astros have not commented publicly on their negotiations with Correa and his representatives.
It is expected Correa will receive interest from a number of teams including the Tigers, Yankees and Rangers. Other teams will likely pursue 27-year-old Gold Glove winner as well.