Rumor: SF Giants pivoting to star shortstop after missing out on Aaron Judge
Earlier this week, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area indicated that Correa was the atop the Giants' wish list. Correa's market has not, surprisingly, developed given that he is represented by super agent Scott Boras.
Typically, Boras' clients wait out the free-agency process to try to maximize the potential return. It has worked over and over and it will work again with Correa. That said, there is risk in this from San Francisco's standpoint.
The clearly have a need for a star player to add to a roster that has grown stale. Adding the 28-year-old would quickly change the narrative. However, if the Giants put all of their eggs in one basket, they risk losing out on yet another star as well as the remaining free-agent class.
Correa is the best shortstop available after Trea Turner signed an 11-year, $300 million pact with the Philadelphia Phillies. Xander Bogaerts is available, but talks have intensified recently in returning to the Boston Red Sox, whereas Dansby Swanson is still surveying the market.
The Giants should not sign a star shortstop just to sign a star shortstop. They should sign Correa because he is the best shortstop and player available.
The right-handed bat put together another strong year at the plate, slashing .291/.366/.467 (140 OPS+) with 22 home runs, 64 RBI, and 70 runs in 590 plate appearances. This included a 10.3 percent walk rate against a 20.5 percent strikeout rate. Correa has recorded a 129 OPS+ throughout his eight-year career, so he has consistently been an above-average offensive producer.
Correa is not just an offensive force, but he is a premium glove at a premium position. The veteran shortstop was worth +3 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and -3 Outs Above Average (OAA) with the Minnesota Twins in 2022.
The metrics were mixed last year, but Correa has been worth +70 DRS and +23 OAA throughout his career, so the 2022 season could be an outlier for a player who is still young and very athletic.
The question will be cost? Trea Turner's contract will certainly serve as a loose template, but Correa is two years younger than the former Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop, so 12 years might be the starting point with an average annual value that is in the neighborhood of $30 million. That will far exceed any contract that the Giants have handed out previously.
Teams like the Chicago Cubs and the Minnesota Twins are said to be involved in Correa. Though, they just do not have the current spending power that the Giants have right now. If there is interest in Correa, the Giants need to close the deal and hand the keys to him as the next face of the franchise.