Carlos Correa saga winners, losers: Twins, Giants, Mets endure wild ride

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Correa saga winners, losers: Wild ride for Giants, Twins, Mets originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Carlos Correa has shocked the baseball world one last time.

The star shortstop reportedly agreed to sign a six-year contract worth $200 million with the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, completing a nutty, one-of-a-kind free-agent carousel.

That is, of course, pending results of a physical.

Correa now has agreed to three contracts this offseason totaling nearly $1 billion, the first two which fell apart due to concerns over his physicals: 13-year, $350 million with the Giants, 12-year, $315 million with the New York Mets and the latest contract with the Twins, which can max out at $270 million with vesting options for four additional years after the six-year deal.

Here are the winners and losers from perhaps the wildest free-agent drama in the history of MLB free agency:

Winner: Minnesota Twins

The Twins patiently waited in the weeds while Correa's previous two agreements fell through.

Minnesota was outbid for Correa on its first offer -- a reported 10-year, $285 million contract that would have been the biggest in franchise history. The Twins reached out to Correa once the Giants deal fell through, only to find the Mets publicly exclaiming their excitement to add Correa to the lineup at Citi Field.

But when all went quiet for nearly three weeks after the Mets agreement, Minnesota swooped in to bring Correa back to the Twin Cities.

The Twins now have a co-star with outfielder Byron Buxton tasked with snapping the franchise's historic 18-game playoff losing streak. That's right. Minnesota hasn't won a playoff game in their last 18 tries, dating back to 2004 when Correa was 10 years old.

Like the girl next door in a cheesy 1990s romcom, the mid-market Twins were right there all along.

Loser: Steve Cohen

In many ways, Steve Cohen is one of the better owners in baseball. As a lifelong Mets fan, Cohen openly cares about the team he owns and is willing to spend whatever he can to improve the roster and chase a World Series title. Cohen makes sure his voice is heard while doing so, too.

His outspoken ways ended up costing the Mets, however.

The morning after Correa agreed to join New York, Cohen proclaimed he was the "missing piece" to a lineup that won 101 games last season. Those comments coming from an owner before the deal became official might have complicated negotiations when the Mets flagged issues from Correa's physical and wanted to tweak the money or years on the deal.

Things might be awkward now with infielder Eduardo Escobar, slotted to be the Mets' starter at third base -- where Correa would have played -- on Opening Day.

Loser: Carlos Correa

There is an astounding $150 million difference in the Twins' latest contract offer compared to the initial Giants agreement.

For reference, Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo and former Giants ace Carlos Rodón both inked contracts this offseason for $162 million. Fellow shortstop Dansby Swanson signed a deal with the Chicago Cubs for $177 million.

Correa still will be rolling in the dough in Minneapolis. He just won't need quite as many Brinks trucks to deliver the goods.

Winner: Byron Buxton

The Twins were in limbo, an underperforming team coming off back-to-back losing seasons in a terrible AL Central division. If the team decided to tear things down the next few years, All-Star outfielder Byron Buxton would be caught in the middle of a rebuild after signing a seven-year contract extension worth $100 million last fall.

Now, with Buxton and Correa in the middle of their lineup, as well as 2022 AL batting champion Luis Arraez, the Twins are fully committed to winning now.

Buxton, by the way, is thrilled with the news.

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The Twins now will feature the top two picks in the 2012 MLB Draft in their lineup for the next six years.

Loser: Scott Boras

See the above blurb on the money Correa missed out on. Boras can't be happy with the lack of cheddar he received on "Correa-mas."

Winner, then loser, then winner, now loser: Giants

What a ride it's been the for Giants.

First, San Francisco endured the “Arson Judge” heartbreak when it was reported the slugger was headed home to the Bay, only for Judge to sign with the New York Yankees the following morning.

The Giants then appeared to land the superstar they so dearly covet when Correa agreed to sign, only for the team to mysteriously postpone his introductory press conference Dec. 20 at Oracle Park. The Giants looked like fools when Correa sprinted to the Mets hours later, but their concerns around his physical were validated when New York stumbled upon the same issues.

But now that Correa is back with the Twins, it makes you wonder. Once the Mets agreement starting to head south, was Correa not interested in opening up talks again with San Francisco? Were the Giants not interested?

The Giants have had a solid offseason, bringing in outfielders Michael Conforto and Mitch Haniger, beefing up their rotation with Sean Manaea and Ross Stripling and uniting twin brothers Tyler and Taylor Rogers in the bullpen. But it still feels incomplete without Judge or Correa, superstars whose jerseys would fly off the shelves in the Bay Area.