HOUSTON – Former Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is spending his offseason in Houston following a deal struck with the Minnesota Twins a second time.
The shortstop had two giant contracts fall through due to failed physicals, ultimately leading him back to the Twins for a six-year- $200 million contract.
When Correa left, Jeremy Peña rose. And Peña’s quick to praise Correa for his help, taking him “under his wing.”
He spoke with KPRC 2′s Ari Alexander about his time during the offseason.
It’s been an interesting offseason for you--what was that like for you mentally? You got one deal, it falls through. Then you got a second deal, it falls through, and then the third one went down in Minnesota.
That was part of the plan, of course. You know, the first deal fell through, and at that point, we had to reassess and think about our options. Right away, we signed with the Mets, and that fell through also. And then we ended up deciding on a shorter term with some options in there. And the way I see it, if I can finish these 10 years with the Minnesota Twins, it’ll be 11 years, not three or five. I would say that’s a pretty good deal for a free agency. Also, I was a bit concerned about the 13 years--my son would be 14 at the time and my plan going to the offseason was eight years, nine years. The market completely changed. Since we’re doing more years less AB, but you know, I’m happy that I’ll get to decide if I’ll keep playing or stop playing after six years. I’m just gonna focus on the work I’m doing and make sure I’m ready for the next years and so on.
There have always been kind of questions about your back, and then out of nowhere. it felt like your ankle turned out to be the question. Was this surprising you when that came up?
Yeah it was very surprising. The back is a thing of the past since 2018. I’ve played full seasons with no issues, without being on DL or IL. I never missed any games with the ankle, either. So, it was surprising for sure. I was going through a physical 100%, sure. It was gonna be fine cause I’ve done three physicals in the previous year and that popped up and that’s how I learned to manage.
Appreciate Carlos Correa taking to the time to talk to me today, opening up about his free agency situation, his time doing some TV during the playoffs and what he did to help prepare Jeremy Peña for his role as #Astros shortstop.— Ari Alexander (@KPRC2Ari) January 19, 2023
The full conversation on Sports Sunday! pic.twitter.com/UrMiY9FXkC
Were those physicals any different than the ones you’ve done previously?
No, they were all the same, other than we did an MRI on the ankle, and we did the X-rays before.
This past offseason, you got to do a bit of TV. I thought you’re pretty good at it! What’s it like to learn a different side of the game and do TV?
It was fun, it was fun. I might be coming for your job. (Laughs) It was fun, but it’s not where I want to be come October. With the Minnesota Twins having a good chance with a core group of talented players to win the AL Central in postseason baseball again, that’s my goal moving forward. And TV can wait until I retire.
I thought it was interesting when you talked about how contracts are done. You need to have OPS, it’s a little different than old school -- if you have to do TV at any point, what kind of thing do you think you can bring that other people may not bring?
It’s just the inside look of how players think inside the clubhouse. Baseball has changed so much, and there’s still that old-school mentality lingering around. Batting average, home runs, RBIs -- it doesn’t matter. If you go to a big league clubhouse and they start talking about average home runs and RBIs, nobody is going to take you seriously. There’s so much more to the game, so much more to data, so much more to stats that you can look at to define how good a player is than home runs and RBIs. Just the inside look at how front offices think nowadays, why they give out the contracts and the way the process works.
You get a lot of credit from Jeremy Peña, prepping him a little bit for the role he had. What did you see in him when you first got to see him in his run?
I was very impressed with his glove, and the way he moved shortstop. I’m very impressed with his physique. His swing developed throughout the regular season and during the last two weeks of the season, the hitting coaches worked with him his swing got in sync right away and it looked really good. And that translated into the postseason and that’ll translate into his career. The best of Jeremy Peña is yet to come because he clicked those last couple of weeks into the season into the playoffs and I think he’s gonna do it for the rest of his career.