Carlos Correa, with long-term contract in mind, hints at opting out of deal with Twins (2023)

Carlos Correa, with long-term contract in mind, hints at opting out of deal with Twins (1)

Jay Biggerstaff / USA Today Sports

CHICAGO — As the final days of the season dwindled down and Carlos Correa started to repeatedly field questions about his future and whether it might be in Minnesota or not, he has been crystal clear about his intentions: He wants a long-term home.

He might not find that with the Twins.

The Twins signed Correa to a three-year, $105.3 million deal in March with opt-outs after each of the first two seasons. While it’s been clear since the outset that the most likely scenario would be that the star shortstop would opt out after the 2022 season, Wednesday was the closest he has come to saying as much.

“The decision, it’s very simple. I’m going to have some conversations with the front office here and see where their headspace is at and where they are. I talked about marriage in terms of building a long-term relationship and then we go from there,” Correa said. “But we all know, you know the game enough to know what my decision is going to be like.”

Carlos Correa, with long-term contract in mind, hints at opting out of deal with Twins (2)

While the decision is technically Correa’s — the decision on his player option must be made no later than five days after the conclusion of the World Series — Correa has shifted the onus to the Twins.

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As he has done all season long, Correa once again expressed his love for the team and organization. His wife, Daniella, is happy in Minnesota, too, he said, and that’s something he takes “dearly into consideration.”

But he’s looking for more than just the two years left remaining on his current deal. He’s looking for a deal that would far exceed any the Twins have ever committed to.

Correa, who played in 136 games in 2022, finished his year hitting .291 with a .834 OPS. His 139 OPS+ (100 is league average) is the second-highest in his career. His 5.4 bWAR (Wins Above Replacement per Baseball Reference) leads the Twins, and he quickly became a leader within the Twins’ clubhouse.

His final month of the season was his best, hitting .355 (1.001 OPS) with seven of his 22 home runs from September on, only increasing his value as he heads into the offseason looking for a long-term deal.

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“He’s continually put himself in a position to be recognized as one of the absolute best players in our game,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “He doesn’t just do it with talent. He does it with talent, with the work ethic and the discipline and the focus and the dedication in his life continually. … He’s going to have every opportunity in the world probably at his fingertips. He just needs to decide what he wants exactly and what’s the best situation for him.”

Just days ago, Correa said there hasn’t been any sort of conversations with the Twins yet on a long-term pact, though he continually has made it clear that he is open to those talks.

But if the Twins want to keep their star shortstop, they’ll have to go shopping at the Dior store.

“I want to make sure that my son and my family are taken care of,” Correa said. “Hopefully, the Twins can see the player that I am, the person that I am, the passion that I have for this game and the love that I have for this game. And we can get into some serious conversations.”

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