Why Giants backed away from Correa agreement after physical


The Giants had planned for this week to be one of the most important in franchise history. Carlos Correa was set to be introduced at Oracle Park on Tuesday morning, with a whirlwind media tour after his press conference and a cable-car ride in downtown San Francisco to top it all off.

Instead, the press conference was postponed with a seven-word press release. About 25 hours later, after Correa had shockingly bolted for the New York Mets amid disagreements about his physical, Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi offered a short statement.

"While we are prohibited from disclosing confidential medical information, as Scott Boras stated publicly, there was a difference of opinion over the results of Carlos' physical examination," Zaidi said in a statement put out by the team. "We wish Carlos the best."

Zaidi and the rest of San Francisco's front office had hoped to make Correa the centerpiece of the franchise after agreeing to terms on a 13-year, $350 million deal. The Giants never officially announced it because they were waiting on the results of a physical taken Monday in San Francisco, and there was a disagreement during that process about a past injury.

While Correa missed time early in his MLB career with a back injury, multiple league sources said the Giants had concerns about an ankle injury he suffered while in the minor leagues. In 2014, when he was a 19-year-old prospect with the Houston Astros, Correa injured his leg on a slide into third base in a High-A game. The Astros later announced that he underwent surgery on a fractured right fibula and a ligament.

It's not unusual for old injuries to concern teams during physicals, but it's rare that deals aren't completed because of something seen during testing, and it's unprecedented for a deal of this magnitude to be shut down. The Giants, having already scheduled a press conference and advertised tickets using Correa's image, saw enough that they felt they needed to hit the pause button.

Correa's team moved quickly after the Giants raised concerns, and by the end of the day Tuesday, he reportedly had a 12-year, $315 million contract with the Mets. While that deal is pending a physical, Mets owner Steve Cohen has been so open about it publicly that the team is unlikely to hit any bumps in the road.

Correa's agent, Scott Boras, also has been forthcoming. He told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal that he informed the Giants that they had been given a reasonable timeframe to come to a decision.

"You're talking about a player who has played eight major-league seasons," Boras said. "There are things in his medical record that happened decades ago. These are all speculative dynamics.

"Every team has a right to go through things and evaluate things. The key thing is, we gave [the Giants] medical reports at the time. They still wanted to sign the player and negotiated with the player."

Boras and Cohen negotiated a new deal late Tuesday night, leaving the Giants to try and pick up the pieces after they backed away from what would have been the second-richest contract in MLB free-agency history. It's unclear what their next step will be, and there isn't an obvious move to save what has become a very disappointing offseason, but when it comes to Correa, the Giants might simply have to wait.

RELATED: Aaron Judge reacts to Correa's reported stunning Mets agreement

They felt strongly enough about the health concerns that they took a rare step with a player who was set to be the face of their franchise. At the same time, Correa was offered 12 years by the Mets and 10 by his previous organization, the Minnesota Twins. 

Years from now, one side will have regrets, but that knowledge won't make the current situation any easier to handle. Giants players and staffers woke up Wednesday to the news that Correa wouldn't be coming to San Francisco. After a day of uncertainty, most were left with nothing but disappointment and anger.

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