Astros prepare new offer for Carlos Correa; O might be interested

Carlos Correa remains in the free agent market as potential suitors like the Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Rangers have all seemingly decided not to give him a serious run this offseason. With less than three weeks until opening day, a resolution on the Correa front looks likely to arrive sooner rather than later.

The outgoing Astros did not give up their pursuit. Houston’s initial $160 million five-year offer to Correa at the start of the offseason never looked particularly tempting for the star shortstop. Ken Rosenthal Athletics reported earlier this week, the Astros were preparing a new offer, noting that the players in the Houston camp were obviously excited about the possibility that the team could bring him back.

Asked about the chances of relaunching Correa on Friday morning, Astros general manager James Click objected, via Jason Bristol of KHOU. “It’s not something we’re going to comment on one way or another,” he said before noting that the recent signing of Niko Goodrum added to the overall depth of the club. Houston also has veteran Aledmys Díaz and top prospect Jeremy Peña as possible options if Correa leaves elsewhere. Skipper Dusty Baker called Peña a “leader” among internal players in the position this week, via Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle.

Former Astros director of scouting Mike Elias — a key factor in Houston’s decision to select Correa first overall in the 2012 draft — now runs baseball operations with the Orioles. This led to speculation that the rebuilding O’s could enter the mix for the two-time All-Star. There had previously been no firm indication that Baltimore was considering such a move, but Rosenthal wrote Thursday night that the O’s could consider a run at Correa ‘should his price drop to a level the club deems appropriate’.

This would require a change in tone from Elias’ comments earlier this week, when he said he hadn’t anticipated the Orioles sign multi-year contracts with all players. Making an exception for Correa, however, makes sense. Beyond Elias’ personal familiarity with the shortstop, Correa is young enough to anchor any core the O’s emerge with from their rebuild. He’s only 27, and while Correa alone wouldn’t make Baltimore a contender this year, he’d likely still be a great player through the 2023-24 campaigns when the O’s expect to be competitive.

Correa in Baltimore remains a long shot, and the caveat that it might require his asking price to drop is notable. Still, Con Las Bases Llenas’ Raul Ramos linked the O’s with Correa ahead of Rosenthal’s report, writing that the club may have even put an offer on the table. There will certainly be more clarity on Correa’s eventual destination soon enough, especially with the other star free agent option at the job, Trevor Story. would be close to a decision.

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