Carlos Correa hires Scott Boras as agent, setting stage for long, lucrative winter

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When you're the biggest prize on the free agent market but find yourself with plenty of time on your hands during an industry lockout, why not take a moment to switch representation to the biggest agent in the baseball business?

Carlos Correa, the Houston Astros shortstop whose long-anticipated free agency was shut down by Major League Baseball's player lockout following the collective bargaining agreement's expiration, has hired Scott Boras as his new agent, he told news outlets in a statement.

Correa, 27, did not field a significant offer during an overheated period of free agent signings in November as teams, players and agents anticipated a lockout. During that period, fellow shortstops Corey Seager (10 years, $325 million, Rangers), Marcus Semien (seven years, $175 million, Rangers) and Javy Baez (six years, $140 million, Tigers) signed lucrative deals that ostensibly set the bar for Correa.

Former Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa won his first Gold Glove this season.
Former Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa won his first Gold Glove this season.

Now, it will be Boras helping him clear it.

Known for protracted negotiations aimed at extracting top dollar for clients no matter the calendar, Boras' hiring may shift the tenor of Correa negotiations on the other side of the lockout. While Correa was expected to receive a larger deal than his free agent classmates, Boras may be more inclined to take aim at the benchmark deals for shortstops set by Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years, $340 million, Padres) and Francisco Lindor (10 years, $341 million, Mets) in the 2020-21 offseason.

Certainly, it will be a tight squeeze for Correa to land in his new home's spring training camp on time. MLB and the MLB Players' Assn. remain far apart in CBA negotations, with a delay to spring training almost inevitable.

Between a CBA settlement and camps opening, the remainder of free agency must play out. Despite a flurry of activity in November, 13 of the top 30 players in USA TODAY Sports' top 106 players remain unsigned and Correa's market may take the longest to play out.

Correa produced arguably the greatest season of his seven-year career, hitting 26 home runs and amassing 7.3 Wins Above Replacement in leading the Astros to their third World Series appearance in five years. The Astros tendered him a pair of contract extensions ranging from $120 million to $160 million but Correa, as widely expected, turned both down.

Correa was represented for the past two years by Endeavor/William Morris, an agency with a bent for maximizing off-field and ancillary opportunities. Veteran agent Greg Genske represented him before 2019.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Carlos Correa hires Scott Boras as agent, setting stage big contract