NEW YORK (AP) — Star shortstop Carlos Correa agreed early Saturday to a $105.3 million, three-year contract with the Minnesota Twins, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a successful physical.
The move ends Correa’s seven-season tenure with the Houston Astros. He will earn $35.1 million annually under the deal and can opt out after the 2022 and 2023 seasons to become a free agent again.
Correa picking the Twins was a surprise, given they have lost 18 consecutive postseason games and finished last in the AL Central a year ago at 73-89.
His average salary becomes baseball’s fourth-highest behind New York Mets pitcher Max Scherzer ($43.3 million), Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole ($36 million) and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout ($35.5 million).
A two-time All-Star who was the first pick in the 2012 amateur draft, Correa led the Astros’ turnaround. Houston lost more than 100 games each year from 2011-13, then won its first World Series title by beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games in 2017.
The Astros went on to AL pennants and World Series losses in 2019 and last year, gaining infamy for their cheating scandal that was revealed after the 2019 season.
Correa had a career-best 26 home runs last year to go along with a .279 batting average and 92 RBIs. He finished fifth in AL MVP voting and won his first Gold Glove. He has a .277 career average with 133 homers and 489 RBIs in seven major league seasons.
Correa, the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year, also has been a stellar postseason performer with 18 homers and 59 RBIs in 79 games.
Moving to the Twins will be a change for Correa and his family. His wife, the former Daniella Rodriguez, was Miss Texas USA in 2016.
Minnesota has not been to the World Series since winning the 1991 title and has lost its last eight postseason series since beating Oakland in a 2002 AL Division Series.
Correa has enjoyed great success in Minnesota as a visiting player, though. He has a .413 batting average (26 for 63) at Target Field with five homers and 20 RBIs in 15 games. His 1.205 OPS is his highest at any ballpark where he’s played four or more games.
Since the end of the lockout, the Twins acquired right-hander Sonny Gray from Cincinnati and catcher Gary Sánchez and third baseman Gio Urshela from the New York Yankees.
Before the work stoppage, Minnesota signed pitcher Dylan Bundy to a $5 million, one-year deal.
Combined with Nick Castellanos’ $100 million, five-year agreement with Philadelphia late Friday night, Correa’s deal was the 14th since the World Series of nine figures.
Six of those were negotiated by agent Scott Boras, at a total of $1.0173 billion. In addition to agreements for Correa and Castellanos, he negotiated contracts for Corey Seager ($325 million) and Marcus Semien ($175 million) with Texas, Kris Bryant with Colorado ($182 million) and Scherzer with the New York Mets ($130 million).