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Are the Giants really making a realistic attempt at recovering Correa?

Carlos Correa, as we know, has not come any closer to reaching a deal with the Mets than he was with the Giants. The Mets have proven to be even more hesitant to confirm his agreed-upon contract. There is no reason at all to think that the two sides are making any progress in this regard. And the injury concern is weird to say the least, as it dates back to some things in the past that hardly seem likely to have bearing on the present. It only makes sense that the Giants should have a chance of swooping down and grabbing him right back. That is what we hear that they are making an effort to do. But Farhan Zaidi has said that a deal with Correa remains "unlikely" (Hampton, 2023).*

Let me be clear that what I'm providing is pure speculation, as I don't know all the facts. But I feel that I have good reason to doubt whether the Giants are truly putting anything of value into the attempt to recover Correa. The bottom line is this: if they were, I'm not sure that the probability of much-needed success in the endeavor would be so low. Let's take a look at the circumstances.

First of all, recall that the Giants also officially attempted to acquire Juan Soto at the Trade Deadline, as well as Aaron Judge in free agency more recently. After the Deadline, the Giants not only remained without Soto, but the roster remained largely unchanged for the better. Of course, we realize that the 7-game losing streak played a significant factor in the Giants lack of aggression. But they still obviously planned to keep the window of contention open, or they certainly would have traded Carlos Rodon. And, according to my understanding, they never actually ruled out the acquisition of Soto until the Padres got him.

But if there actually was an attempt to get Soto on Deadline day, it was certainly a feeble one. A feeble attempt had absolutely no chance of working when there were other teams whose windows of contention were far bigger than that of the Giants (like the Padres). And, if the Giants were serious about things, why wouldn't they be able to get something done even if it wasn't acquiring Soto? There were other superstars. Once again, keep in mind that the Giants' buying plans took a hit with their losing streak, and that they probably ultimately decided to just take the middle ground, keeping Rodon but not making major moves that would cost them valuable prospects. It would have been better, however, to trade Rodon and add prospects to the system rather than to try to contend with a talent group that was already doomed to fail.

And the loss of Judge? He shouldn't have gone for $360 million. He just shouldn't have. The Giants have had good intentions in the recent past that they evidently weren't deliberate or aggressive enough about. I say all of that to make this point: should it shock us if the Giants were once again putting feeble, wasted effort into an attempt to acquire a player, and failing to exercise appropriate deliberate aggressiveness?

The Mets have already had a great offseason, and are positively not going to rush things with Correa. They will be contenders no matter what, and can afford to be both conservative and selective. That is why they are taking forever. I'm telling you: they will not rush things.

So if you were Scott Boras, what would you do? If with the Giants, or any other team for that matter, you saw a good chance at finalizing a high-dollar deal close to what one could reasonably have originally projected for Correa at the beginning of this offseason, and believed that if you took the opportunity the deal would likely be finalized within a reasonable amount of time, what would you do? If you realized that every morning, when you woke up, you were a day closer to the start of the 2023 season? Would you wait on the Mets any longer? If I know Scott Boras, I don't believe he is likely to have that patience. A good explanation is that the Giants are not meeting the criteria mentioned above. Boras has said that he and Correa "are focusing on other teams." While it's probably also true that he doesn't trust the Giants to finalize a deal specifically because they didn't do so immediately before, the Mets can't be predicted to do anything in this regard. Again, which team has a more obvious need of Correa: the Mets or the Giants?

But, if the Mets are truly the team that is Correa's best chance of landing the largest contract possible, it is perfectly consistent with Boras' personality as an agent, advisor, and businessman to stick with them. Remember that he's the guy who tends to advise drafted amateur players not to sign if they are not getting the right price offered (in his judgment). He wants them to take the risk and attempt to drive a hard bargain. So in this situation, he'd want to face the uncertainty and go for the best shot at the big money.

So what about the actual risk (which I believe is small) to signing Correa to a high-dollar deal? Just to be interesting, let's think about risk taking in terms of in game stolen bases. For the statistically inclined, getting caught stealing does more harm than the good a stolen base does. So you have to be successful most of the time for it to be a good thing to do. But the threshold lowers in a high-leverage situation in which you would likely lose the game anyway if it was not attempted.

How does this relate to the Giants' predicament? Things already don't look promising for them; therefore, they need to be willing to take a few risks if the potential benefit would be great enough. Of course, this deal is a long-term thing, which makes a difference. But it would be drastically poor fortune; indeed tragedy, if this injury prevented the 27 year-old Correa from ever repeating his superstar performances. In short, I don't think this will be major or long-term.

I'm not sure exactly what the Giants would plan on offering Correa, but it's a good guess that it's nothing good enough or certain enough to give Correa or his agent any reason to be confident. The bottom line is that the Giants don't seem to put sufficient effort into what they do. Someday, somehow, they will need to learn the lesson of aggressiveness.

*References:

Hampton, S. (2023, Jan 1). Farhan Zaidi: "Unlikely that Giants can circle back to Carlos Correa Deal." MLB Trade Rumors.

https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2023/01/farhan-zaidi-unlikely-that-giants-can-circle-back-to-carlos-correa-deal.html

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