HOUSTON (AP) — If the Houston Astros want to sign shortstop Carlos Correa to a long-term contract, he says they need to do it before opening day.
“I feel so good, my body feels so great and I feel like I’m going to have such a great season that once the season starts, I don’t want to be involved with or distracted with those conversations,” Correa said Monday after the Astros held their first full-squad workout of the spring.
The Astros avoided arbitration with Correa, who can become a free agent at the end of the season, by signing him to a one-year, $11.7 million contract.
Correa has spent his entire career with the Astros after they selected him with the first overall pick in the 2012 draft. He said he’d like to stay in Houston, but so far, the team hasn’t talked to him about an extension.
“There’s no talks right now about that,” he said. “Talks are nowhere right now. I leave that up to my agent and the organization, but right now, there’s no talks about it. I haven’t heard from them since the arbitration was settled. That’s where we are right now.”
If Correa does hit the free agent market, he’ll do it with a strong group of shortstops that could include Javier Báez, Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story and Corey Seager. Correa will be just 27 years old when he’s eligible for free agency if he doesn’t agree to an extension with the Astros.
“I’ll be really young. I’ll be one of the youngest players going to free agency next year,” he said. “I feel like it would take the right deal to stay here. I’m not going to sell myself short, but at the same time, I know what I’m worth… I’m expecting to have a great, healthy season, which will help my case for free agency being the youngest shortstop out there. We’ll see how it goes.”
Houston’s other two stars on the infield have already agreed to long-term contracts — second baseman Jose Altuve signed a five-year, $151 million deal in 2018 and third baseman Alex Bregman agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract in 2019. The Astros lost star outfielder George Springer this off-season when he signed a six-year, $150 million deal with the Blue Jays.
Correa, who was the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year, is a career .276 hitter with 107 homers and 397 RBIs in six major league seasons. He hit .264 with five homers and 25 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, but heated up in the postseason where he had six homers and 17 RBIs to help the Astros to the ALCS.
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