Right before the lockout, it was reported that the Braves had been in contact with superstar free agent shortstop Carlos Correa about potentially signing with the team. The level of interest has yet to be revealed and probably never will, but Ken Rosenthal did have some interesting notes regarding the situation in his piece on The Athletic.
Correa went on to sign a three-year contract with the Twins — a surprising move, considering most expected him to ink a deal worth over $300 million. However, it appears Correa and his agent, Scott Boras, felt by taking a shorter contract that Correa had a better chance of maximizing his value.
According to Rosenthal, Boras floated this three-year deal that includes opt-outs after each season and a no-trade clause to several teams, including the Braves, who had no interest in such a deal. The Atlanta front office has long decided against handing out player options and no-trade clauses, so it was a non-starter. Still, it’s apparent there was mutual interest, and it’s very possible — even likely — that Correa opts out and is a free agent again come November.
That would make him a target for the Braves again, who will have a vacancy at shortstop unless they reach a contract extension with Dansby Swanson. It’s worth noting that Swanson has the same representatives as Freddie Freeman, who many people now think completely mishandled contract negotiations with the Braves, who ultimately blindsided Freeman and traded for Matt Olson. From a professional standpoint, that shouldn’t affect Swanson’s situation, but it wouldn’t be the first time egos got in the way during contract talks.
Up until this off-season, I would have said the idea of fitting Correa into the Braves’ budget would be a long shot. But Liberty Media has shown a willingness to spend this winter and spend big in an effort to repeat. The Braves will have a number of players coming off the books — namely, Will Smith, Kenley Janson, and Dansby Swanson — making a potential run at Correa next offseason much more fathomable.
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