Let the Past Die: The Mariners Should Sign Carlos Correa

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 05: Carlos Correa #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on October 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - OCTOBER 05: Carlos Correa #4 of the Minnesota Twins looks on against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on October 05, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 15: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners steals second base during the thirteenth inning against the Houston Astros in game three of the American League Division Series at T-Mobile Park on October 15, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – OCTOBER 15: Julio Rodriguez #44 of the Seattle Mariners steals second base during the thirteenth inning against the Houston Astros in game three of the American League Division Series at T-Mobile Park on October 15, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images) /

Carlos Correa fits Seattle’s needs and timeline

We know that Correa is a special talent, but is he a player that sees as a fit? They should. The goal this offseason is clear, try to catch Houston. Obviously, economics play a major factor in this off-season hunt, but Seattle needs more star power on the offensive side.

Signing a player like Carlos Correa, who would have been Seattle’s second-best hitter last season, completely changes the lineup as well. We already know about the Teoscar Hernandez trade, so let’s just assume no more major offensive moves are made other than Teo and Correa. If you slot Teo in at the #5 hole and Correa at the #3, this is what a potential lineup could look like 1-6.

  1. 1- Julio CF
  2. France 1B
  3. Correa SS
  4. Raleigh C
  5. Teo RF
  6. Geno 3B

Obviously, that is very right-handed heavy, but that is a powerful and imposing 1-6. All six are projected to hit over 20 home runs and have an OPS+ of at least 120. I wrote this summer about how the great teams, those that make League Championships and World Series, have a minimum of 4-5 OPS+ 120 hitters. This lineup has the first six hitters all meeting this requirement. Any positive improvement or rebound from guys like Crawford, Winker, Kelenic, and this lineup could be a top 3 lineup in the American League.

On top of Correa being a great player, he’s a clutch performer. Playing for the Astros, Correa was raised in the playoffs. During his career, Correa has made the postseason six times, winning the AL West four times. His teams won three AL Championships and the controversial 2017 title. While these numbers have, and will always be questioned, he has shown up in October.

He put up pedestrian numbers in 2018 and 2019, but his numbers in 2015, 2017, 2020, and 2021 are borderline historic. Overall, Correa in 79 career playoff games, has 16 doubles and 18 home runs to go with a slash line of .272/.344/.505. This is the type of bat that could have helped push a run across in the Mariners heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Houston in Game 3 of the ALDS.

The last area where Correa fits the Mariners is in their timeline of contention. Seattle is one of the younger teams in the league and is hoping to be competitive for championships over the next five seasons, not just one or two. Most players reach free agency after they turn 30, which means you’re starting the dangerous game of paying a player for their past accomplishments rather than their future performance.

With Correa, that is not the case. Because Correa was called up at an early age, he is hitting free agency a second time at just 28 years old, which will be his playing age for almost the entirety of the 2023 season.

As players begin to decline around age 32 or 33, the Mariners will have enjoyed 5-6 years of Correa’s prime. Most 10-year mega contracts hope to get 3-4 good years, which makes Correa so attractive as a target.

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