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The Correa implosion

It’s not really about losing Correa. IT’S ABOUT THE FUTURE OF BASEBALL

Farhan Zaidi speaking while surrounded by reporters Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

It doesn’t feel good to be a San Francisco Giants fan right now.

On the surface, we’ve been spurned by two of the biggest Free Agent catches of this offseason: Aaron Judge chose legacy over his hometown and Carlos Correa went East as well when questions arose around his medical reports.

The Giants may have taken two punches to the gut in the present, but only time will tell if while doubled-over, clutching their stomach two bullets sailed over their head.

Judge might deal with oblique and calf injuries the rest of his career and never be able to don a full season in pinstripes. Whatever was flagged by the doctor’s in Correa’s physical might actually be serious and limit his effectiveness over a long term deal. I do not want to wish ill-health on anybody, but…

In the world of baseball, patience, moderation, and reasonableness are fast becoming morals of the past—also, of nerds. As Farhan Zaidi and San Francisco ownership obsequiously wait their turn to merge onto the I-5 in a 2012 Toyota Prius, Mets Steve Cohen and Padres AJ Preller just mooned us as they zoomed by in the shoulder in an unreleased amphibious Tesla prototype that can also turn into a helicopter that can also turn into a jet.

If you’re asking why anyone needs a car that turns into a helicopter when it can also turn into a jet—you’re asking the wrong question. Why do the Padres need Xander Bogaerts when they already have seven other shortstops? Why do the Mets need to pay 50 million dollars to a reliever, or sign both Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa? The only answer—stripped of any intellectualism or caution and inflected with as much douchey-ness as possible—is “because it’s awesome.”

This is the future of free agency: a shootout of mega deals in which the team that flinches first loses. The Giants flinched with Carlos Correa and Cohen yee-hawed into town. Hesitation comes with a cost. Caution, a sign of weakness, and will not be rewarded.

We don’t know what was on the report yet to cause such a pause among the front office, but of course, the Correa camp would “disagree” with the team on the medical results if it meant putting their deal in jeopardy. It’s interesting that Scott Boras would immediately agree to a deal that’s a year shorter and 35 million dollars less with another team if it wasn’t something substantially worrying.

It’s important to note that Correa still has to pass a physical with the Mets—but that’s for another news cycle. Cohen made his point and the Zaidi and the Giants might pay dearly for it in the offseason bar fights to come. Will players think twice when approaching deals with San Francisco? Is a relationship with super-agent Boras now tainted? As Bryan Murphy pointed out here, the enduring effects from this dramatic turn of events will be felt less on the field with the Giants missing out on Correa, and more in conference rooms or hotel lobbies or wherever these types of deals are hammered out.

Tomorrow never knows—but I know that yesterday I went to bed with Carlos Correa in the backseat of the Giants’ Prius and today, I woke up to the car empty, no note, and puckish laughter echoing from a jet-helicopter-speedboat-car monstrosity careening towards the future. Will it end in a crash? Probably—but even if it does, the Giants are still stuck in traffic.