carlos correa mets
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The Mets and free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa tried finalizing a contract for weeks after agreeing to terms on a 12-year, $315 million deal. It ultimately didn’t happen and Correa went back to the Minnesota Twins for six years and $200 million. I’m a proponent of leaving the past in the past, but this tidbit was too interesting to not talk about.

During his Twins press conference, Correa and agent Scott Boras both shared thoughts on what’s ended up being a crazy offseason. Correa was “surprised” that both the San Francisco Giants and Mets weren’t comfortable finalizing a deal. And then there’s Boras, who seemed annoyed that the Mets consulted with the same doctor the Giants did about his client’s ankle.

We know how badly owner Steve Cohen wanted to sign Carlos Correa. So if New York ended up walking away altogether, you had to think the concerns were legitimate. That was evidenced by reports of their negotiations with the infielder. An agreement on a 12-year guaranteed deal went down to six years while Correa’s camp and the Mets negotiated. And, while New York was reportedly open to guaranteeing those six years, part of their proposal was to reportedly have each following year guaranteed only after taking (and passing) an end-of-season physical.

Why did the Mets play hardball like this? ESPN’s Michael Kay shed some light with information he received about the Mets’ concerns with Correa’s ankle:

This is… eye-opening. We heard many times throughout this ordeal that Correa’s ankle has never given him an issue as a big leaguer. However, it was repaired in 2014. With so much time between then and now, a concern was that it’d be an issue soon. Maybe not this year, the year after, or the year after that, but soon enough for someone signing a decade-long contract.

The second part of what Kay shared is even more surprising. If the ankle did need repairing, maybe he’d be out for a year, come back, and be able to finish out his deal. That’s not what doctors and the Mets’ front office thought, though. But then again, if the condition of Correa’s ankle was this serious, why would the Twins guarantee him $200 million?

It seems like things only went on as long as they did because Cohen really wanted to make it work. However, he ultimately listened to what the doctors and his baseball people had to say.

Time will tell if Correa’s ankle gives out and becomes a huge issue for him and the Twins. It may end up never being an issue, but in this case, the risk outweighed the reward for the Mets. And while I initially thought the potential of conditionally guaranteeing the first six years of his deal sounded ridiculous, it makes more sense if this information is legitimate.

Matt Musico can be reached at [email protected] and you can follow him on Twitter: @mmusico8.

Matt Musico is an editor for ESNY. He’s been writing about baseball and the Mets for the past decade. His work has been featured on numberFire, MetsMerized Online, Bleacher Report, and Yahoo! Sports.