Free agent shortstop Carlos Correa has the baseball world, including Twins fans, on notice about his future. The view here is Minnesota should tank efforts for signing him and target multiple players through free agency and trades that could collectively help them more.
This week it became more evident than ever it’s going to take a bank full of money over something like 10 years to give the Twins a reasonable chance to re-sign their 2022 MVP. Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts are elite shortstops and peers of Correa who is arguably the best at his position in MLB. This week Turner and Bogaerts signed new deals of $300 million and $280 million respectively. Both contracts are for 11 years.
Power agent Scott Boras represents Bogaerts and Correa. Boras will be on task to top not only top Bogaerts’ deal for Correa, but also Turner’s.
It could require north of $325 million for at least a decade to sign Correa. Even if the Twins want to offer such numbers, it’s possible other teams (think Giants, Cubs) may back up a bigger armored truck to Correa’s door.
Another part of persuading Correa to sign a new deal will involve the caliber of players an organization can put around him. That can be existing talent, hot prospects and what the organization’s vision is for winning. The Twins, 78-84 last season, have a spotty record in the playoffs since winning the World Series in 1991. Their track record shows occasional willingness to spend big money (Joe Mauer, Josh Donaldson and Correa in 2022) but they don’t stretch the payroll like the Dodgers, Mets, Phillies, Texas, Padres, Yankees and other clubs.
Correa is 28 and while it was exciting to have him on the roster last season his impact on winning games wasn’t that of a $35 million player. Even if his production was better, it requires more than a couple of elite players to have a great team. Look at the Angels and their stumbling ways despite having two of the greatest players of this generation in Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
The view here is the Twins can be better positioned to win by taking Correa money and spending it on a pitcher who could be a staff ace or close to it. Also, bolstering their bullpen and finding a catcher like free agent Christian Vazquez will be money well spent.
Those moves are more likely to make the Twins a postseason contender in 2023 and beyond. In a team game where it takes many to contribute the Twins don’t need to take on a lengthy obligation for a player who will be in his late 30s when he stops playing. Of interest, too, is Correa had back issues with the Astros prior to joining the Twins.
“These long-term contracts in baseball, they rarely work out for the best,” a source with MLB ties told Sports Headliners. “ …You’re paying guys for what they accomplished, not what they’re going to accomplish. It’s always a little bit risky when you tie up that kind of money in one player. I think you have to be ready to put talent around him.”
If the Twins are without Correa in 2023, they already have 32-year-old shortstop Kyle Farmer for the short-term, while awaiting the take over of top prospect Royce Lewis for potentially a longtime.
The top seven rudest fans at stadiums in the NFL are in order: Eagles, Raiders, Cowboys, Patriots, Steelers, Packers and Bears, per a survey this fall by NJ.Bet. The Vikings rank No. 22 and the Lions, who host Minnesota Sunday, are No. 15. Brief comments on fans for each team include “get too drunk” for the Vikings and Packers, and “heckle too much” for the Bears and Lions. https://nj.bet/news/ranked-rudest-fans-in-the-nfl/
Legendary coach Bud Grant likes the 2022 Vikings team but said a single play going wrong in games could have resulted in a “1-9 record.” Grant made that comment while talking to KFAN’s Dan Barreiro for more than one hour earlier this week.
The former Vikings coach, who will be 96 next May, credits his longevity to family genes and good fortune, including experiences where he could have died. Grant told Barreiro he doesn’t “believe in God.”
Surprisingly, the 10-2 Vikings have been underdogs this week for their game Sunday in Detroit. The Lions, 5-7, want to become the first team since the NFL expanded the playoffs in 1990 to make the postseason after a 1-6 start. They have won four of their last five games.
“The arms race” in college football continues including in the Big Ten with media reports that Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck will now make $6 million after new hires at Nebraska and Wisconsin: Matt Ruhle for $9.25 million with the Cornhuskers and the Badgers paying Luke Fickell $7.5 million for next year.
Lasting memory in the Iowa-Minnesota football rivalry: After this fall’s 13-10 Iowa win at Huntington Bank Stadium controversial Hawkeyes offensive coordinator Brian Ferentz stood in front of his school’s fans and simulated rowing a boat, an observer told Sports Headliners.
Rob Gag and Derek Burns, co-founders of Dinkytown Athletes, aren’t taking salaries from their new startup. The collective facilitates Name, Image and Likeness (NIL) opportunities and financial compensation for Gopher athletes. Fans, boosters and businesses can benefit athletes through activities such as endorsements and personal appearances. Burns told Sports Headliners paid interns are helping with “business development.” https://dinkytownathletes.com/
Stillwater-based Creative Charters has been taking Gophers football fans to bowl games for years and 2022 is no different. The itinerary for New York City and the December 29 Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium has fans departing December 28 and back home for New Year’s Eve December 31. Details on the Creative Charters website. https://creativecharter.com/index.html
Contrary to what has been reported, new Timberwolves and Lynx owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez don’t have to make a December payment to Glen Taylor, a franchise source told Sports Headliners. The two need to execute paperwork this month, with payment required next year as part of their transition to majority ownership.
Don’t be surprised if new Wolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly makes personnel moves in the coming weeks. Some NBA players, by stipulation in their contracts, can’t be traded until December 15.
Former Gopher men’s gymnastics coach Mike Burns and Michael Hsu, the former University of Minnesota regent with a strong interest in athletics, are applicants for the at-large opening on the 12-member Board of Regents next year. Former Gopher football player William Humphries is an applicant for District 3.
The Wild has recalled Edina native and former Gopher Sammy Walker from Iowa where he led the team in points, goals and power-goals. Walker signed a two-year, entry level contract with the Wild last August.
Old friends: Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, 38, is still friends with 72-year-old Gilles Meloche, the former North Stars goalie who coached Fleury years ago with the Penguins.
The Gopher men’s hockey team earned a 7-1 win at home last night against the Badgers, with three different lines scoring at least one goal. Minnesota had two infractions called in the first period, ending a streak of 218:06 (nearly four games) without a penalty.
Elite skater Mason Moe, a 10th grader on the Eden Prairie boys’ hockey team and grandson of former Gophers athletic director Tom Moe, is a prep forward to follow this winter. He was one of the metro’s top bantam players last winter.
The Gophers announced that four student-athletes earned a GPA of 4.0 this fall: Ava Hill (women’s cross country), Sydney Kretlow (women’s cross country), Elizabeth Overberg (soccer) and Matthew Trickett (football).
Early bird tickets go on sale December 12 for the Minnesota Golf Show February 24-26 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. https://minnesotagolfshow.com/Comments Welcome