Detroit Tigers: 6 free agents to target following the 2021 season

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Detroit Tigers, Carlos Correa
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The Detroit Tigers should consider signing pending free agent Carlos Correa.

All signs point to Carlos Correa being the top priority this winter for the Detroit Tigers.  It just makes sense.  Tigers manager A.J. Hinch knows Correa well as he managed him in Houston, and they two won a World Series together with the Astros despite plenty of controversy surrounding the 2017 sign-stealing scandal.

Where ever Correa lands, it will come with a bit of a circus.  Correa, along with Jose Altuve, is often pointed to when discussing the scandal.  It’s funny; you don’t hear much about Hinch or Alex Cora these days, but we will never forget Altuve, in particular, running to the dugout after a walk-off victory to remove his jersey and what appeared to be a buzzer.  In the wake of things, it was Correa often coming to his teammate’s defense, which, rightfully so, led to him becoming a punching bag for a while.

Correa is an excellent defender and one of the league’s top shortstops.  He’s maintained a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 4.5 during the 2021 season.  His career WAR currently sits at 31.4.  In 2021 he’s hit 17 home runs plus knocked in 59 RBI’s. Correa has stashed a line of .269/.364/.471 in 2021, along with an OPS of .835.

Correa has some injury concerns, but he’s remained healthy over the past two seasons despite 2020 being a COVID-19 shortened campaign.  MLB baseball is a grind, injuries happen, and I admit Correa hasn’t been the most durable shortstop around. However, he’s still averaged over 100 games per season over a seven-year span, even considering last year’s two-month schedule.

The former Rookie Of The Year turns just 27-years old this September, and the Detroit Tigers should not shy away from signing a player of this caliber just hitting his prime to a long-term contract.  I’d be comfortable signing Correa to a six-year deal that averages upwards of $25 million per season.

Earlier in the year, Correa turned down a six-year offer worth $120 million ($20 million AAV) from the Astros, so perhaps $25-$27 million per season will be enough to lure the stellar shortstop.