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

Current free agent Carlos Correa recently switched agents, and the question is, will the Detroit Tigers suddenly be back in the mix for his services?

It has been documented that Correa recently switched agents and will now join the long list of players represented by MLB super agent Scott Boras. Boras and the Detroit Tigers have a rich history, mostly dating back to the late days of Mike Ilitch.

During those years, the Detroit Tigers paid the salaries of many of Boras’ high-priced clients. Late in his life, after witnessing the Detroit Red Wings win numerous Stanley Cups, Ilitch gave general manager Dave Dombrowski an open checkbook in hopes of leading his beloved Detroit Tigers to a World Series title. Unfortunately, things didn’t go as he had hoped.

Remember, after the market for Prince Fielder dried up and Victor Martinez suffered a serious knee injury that sidelined him for a season, it was Boras and Ilitch who teamed up to broker a deal to bring the big-hitting first baseman into the to bring town. Things didn’t go well here either, but Fielder has been very productive in two seasons with the Tigers. The first basemen brushed a .295/.387/.491 line while hitting plus 55 home runs and 214 runs in Detroit.

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, $15 million deal, Schoop swapped agents and hired 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.

Is Carlos Correa an option for the Detroit Tigers again after the agent change?

I think it’s unlikely that Al Avila and the Detroit Tigers will get back into the Carlos Correa Sweepstakes, but there are a few things that got very interesting to me.

It seems the well of applicants for Correa’s services has dried up during the short period of free agency before the work stoppage. While other shortstops like Corey Seager and Marcus Semien each signed massive deals with the Texas Rangers, Correa, widely regarded as the best free agent, couldn’t put ink to paper.

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

The shortstop-needed Detroit Tigers kicked Correa in the hoops but eventually signed Javier Baez to a six-year, $140 million deal. However, there is a catch; The agreement provides for a player option after two seasons. So if Baez performs like his old self, there’s no doubt he’ll choose free agency in hopes of securing an even bigger payday.

When it comes to relationships, in addition to those of Boras and Ilitch, there’s an outside chance, knowing his relationship with manager AJ Hinch, the Detroit Tigers circle back and offer star shortstop Carlos Correa a long-term deal, maybe even Front-loaded, who in turn pushes Baez to second base to bolster the team’s center infield.

Again, it’s not very likely, but if the Texas Rangers are willing to open their checkbook, so can the Tigers. Currently, the average MLB payroll for 2022 is $115 million. The Detroit Tigers are currently ranked 16th in the league and have 27 players on the active roster totaling $103.5 million.

If the Tigers paid Correa similarly to Seager, the Tigers team’s payroll would total around $136 million, which would put the Tigers in the 11th-highest payroll between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Toronto Blue Jays. That seems fair and doable.

Last season, Correa undercut .279/.366/.485 while hitting 26 homers and 92 runs.

Though Avila made a splash in free agency by signing left-handed starting pitchers Eduardo Rodriguez and Javy Baez, both deals look great on the surface, but both have built-in player options after two seasons. If both players perform as hoped, they’ll likely leave town and choose the free hand. Ironically, these two player options are meant to come into play when the high-priced Miguel Cabrera is expected to hang up the boots.

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