Carlos Correa opting out of Twins deal to become free agent

Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa will exercise his opt-out clause and become a free agent, he told El Nuevo Día newspaper Wednesday.

Correa, who hit .291 with 22 home runs, 64 RBIs and 70 runs scored in 136 games this season, said now was the time to choose free agency.

“With the year that I have had, my health and my being at the best moment of my career at 28, that is the right decision,” Correa told the Puerto Rican newspaper.

The shortstop spent the first seven years of his career with the Houston Astros, winning a World Series championship in 2017. He did not find the long-term contract he was looking for last winter and chose instead to sign a three-year, $105.3 million deal with the Twins that included multiple opt-outs.

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“I have a good relationship with Minnesota. I am very interested in being able to return,” Correa told the newspaper. “I have been in this business for a long time, and I know that things do not always go the way one wants them to.”

According to FanGraphs, Correa’s WAR of 4.4 this season ranked fifth among American League shortstops. The Twins finished in third place in the AL Central with a record of 78-84.

Correa remains a controversial figure because of his association with the sign-stealing scandal that tainted the Astros’ 2017 World Series title and his adamant defense about the legitimacy of the championship. Before the 2020 season, he told reporters, “When you analyze the games, we won fair and square. We earned that championship.”

The top overall pick of the 2012 amateur draft, Correa went on to win AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2015 and is a two-time All-Star.