Is Carlos Correa still an option in free agency for the Detroit Tigers?

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) /

Current free agent Carlos Correa recently changed agents, and it begs the question, are the Detroit Tigers suddenly back in the mix for his services?

It’s been documented that Correa recently switched agents and now will be added to the lengthy list of players represented by MLB super-agent Scott Boras. Boras and the Detroit Tigers have a rich history that mainly stems back to the late Mike Ilitch days.

During those years, the Detroit Tigers paid the salaries of many high-priced customers of Boras. Late in his life, Ilitch, after witnessing the Detroit Red Wings win numerous Stanley Cups, went all in handing general manager Dave Dombrowski an open checkbook in hopes of guiding his beloved Detroit Tigers to a World Series title. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out the way he’d hoped.

Don’t forget, after the market dried up for Prince Fielder and Victor Martinez suffered a severe knee injury that sidelined him for a season, it was Boras and Ilitch getting together to hammer out a deal to bring the big slugging first baseman to town. Again, things didn’t work out great, but Fielder was very productive in two seasons with the Tigers. The first basemen slashed a line of .295/.387/.491 while in Detroit plus hit 55 home runs and drove in 214 runs.

More recently, the Detroit Tigers rewarded utility infielder Jonathan Schoop with a contract extension before he hit the open market. Before the two sides agreed to a two-year deal worth $15 million, Schoop swapped agents hiring Boras and his team to represent him.

Correa joins a long list of current star players represented by Scott Boras, including Bryce Harper, Corey Seager, Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Max Scherzer, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman.

After changing agents, is Carlos Correa again an option for the Detroit Tigers?

I do think it’s unlikely that Al Avila and the Detroit Tigers will propel themselves back into the Carlos Correa sweepstakes, but there are a few things that have become quite interesting to me.

It seems as though the well ran dry on suitors for Correa’s services during the brief free agency period ahead of the work stoppage. While other shortstops such as Corey Seager and Marcus Semien each signed a massive deal with the Texas Rangers, Correa, who is widely considered to be the top free agent, wasn’t able to put ink to paper.

While Semien’s deal is significant (seven years/ $175 million), Seager signed a ten-year deal worth $325 million. That figure suggests Correa had been seeking upwards of $350-plus million over ten years, but perhaps he had priced himself out of the market.

The shortstop-needy Detroit Tigers kicked the tires on Correa but eventually signed Javier Baez to a six-year deal worth $140 million. There is a catch, though; the agreement has a player option after two seasons, so if Baez performs like his old self, he will undoubtedly elect free agency hoping to secure an even larger payday.

If it comes down to relationships, in addition to Boras’ and the Ilitch’s, there is an outside chance, knowing his relationship with manager A.J. Hinch the Detroit Tigers circle back and offer star shortstop Carlos Correa a long-term deal, perhaps even front-loaded, in turn, sliding Baez over to second base bolstering the teams’ middle infield.

Again, it isn’t very likely, but if the Texas Rangers are willing to open their checkbook, so can the Tigers. As it sits now, the 2022 MLB average payroll sits at $115 million. The Detroit Tigers currently sit 16th in the league, having 27 players on the active roster accounting for $103.5 million.

If the Tigers were to pay Correa similar to what Seager makes, the Tigers team payroll would settle in around $136 million, propelling the Tigers to the 11th highest payroll sandwiched between the St. Louis Cardinals the Toronto Blue Jays. This seems fair and feasible.

Last season, Correa slashed .279/.366/.485 hitting 26 home runs plus drove in 92 runs.

Next. Tigers will be looking to add starting pitching before 2022 begins. dark

Although Avila made a splash in free agency by signing left-handed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez and Javy Baez, both deals look great on the surface, but both have player options built-in after two seasons. If both players perform as hoped, they’ll likely skip town and elect free agency. Ironically, both of those player options are scheduled to hit when the high-priced Miguel Cabrera is expected to hang up the cleats.