The MLB free agent shortstop market just got a bit more interesting.
Carlos Correa will exercise the opt-out clause in his contract with the Minnesota Twins, he told Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día on Wednesday.
“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,” he said (h/t ESPN).
Correa spent the first seven seasons of his big league career with the Houston Astros, winning a World Series title while being involved in the organization’s sign-stealing scandal. Following last winter’s MLB lockout, Correa signed a three-year, $105.3 million deal. That contract included opt-out options for Correa after the first and second seasons.
The 28-year-old played 136 games in 2022, posting a .291 batting average, 22 home runs and 64 RBIs. The Twins went 78-84 and missed the postseason for the second straight season, though he will still be involved with the playoffs as a guest analyst for TBS.
Correa now has the chance to ink a contract that extends longer than the original one he signed with Minnesota. Despite opting out of that deal, Correa did not dismiss a return to the Twin Cities.
“I have a good relationship with Minnesota,” he told El Nuevo Día. “I am very interested in being able to return. 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."
Shortstop will be among the strongest positions in this offseason’s free agent period. Trea Turner and Dansby Swanson will become unrestricted free agents as soon as the 2022 season ends. Elsewhere, Xander Bogaerts is expected to opt out of his current deal with the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox have a decision to make on a 2023 club option for Tim Anderson.