While the New York Mets weren’t expected to make a major move this offseason, they’re taking interest in Carlos Correa.
Heading into this offseason, very few people expected the New York Mets to land an All-Star caliber player. However, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen is reportedly exploring the idea of making an upgrade at shortstop this winter.
According to Andy Martino of SNY, the Mets have approached the Houston Astros regarding their superstar shortstop, Carlos Correa.
Sources say Mets have had dialogue with the Astros about Carlos Correa. Nothing imminent.
— Andy Martino (@martinonyc) December 12, 2019
Nothing appears to be close between the Mets and Astros at this moment. In fact, the Astros’ general manager spoke to Correa about the possibility of the 25-year-old being moved this offseason.
According to Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle, it would be extremely shocking for the Astros to deal Correa. Luhnow made it clear he isn’t looking to move any of his core players.
Carlos Correa called Jeff Luhnow last night after rumors of a possible trade surfaced. Luhnow told him to "enjoy your honeymoon and don't be reading trade rumors."
"I reassured him he's an Astro."
"It would be surprising if we moved any of our core players," Luhnow said.
— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) December 12, 2019
The Astros are projected to exceed the $208 million luxury tax threshold for the 2020 season. As such, unloading Correa makes sense. The Astros’ payroll is expected to sit over $222 million to begin the 2020 season.
Their payroll will extend $14 million over the luxury tax in 2020. If the Astros were to trade Correa, that would clear about $7.4 million in cap space. That’s over half of what they’d need to clear to get under the tax threshold.
Correa will be entering his age-25 season in 2020. The right-hander will also become a free agent after the 2021 season.
While the Mets are slated to open next season with Amed Rosario as their everyday shortstop, Correa would serve as a major upgrade over him. This past season, Correa played in just 75 games but recorded 21 home runs, 59 RBIs, .289 ISO, 143 wRC+, 3.2 fWAR and a slash line of .279/.358/.568/.926.
The one major concern with Correa is the uncertainty of his prolonged health. Injuries have been a constant concern for Correa. Those injuries have prevented him from playing more than 110 games in each of the previous three seasons.
When healthy, Correa is one of the best shortstops in the league. During the 2017 season, he led all shortstops with his 152 wRC+ and finished third in fWAR (5.1).
Although Correa would be a huge improvement over Rosario, this is not a move the Mets are desperate to make at this time.