Although the Mets already spent big on a shortstop last year in Francisco Lindor, they could still go after another superstar who is set to be a free agent this offseason.
And that player is Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, who is about to hit the open market for the first time in his career.
Correa is coming off a big season in his contract year with the Astros, slashing .279/.366/.485 with an .850 OPS, 26 home runs and 92 RBIs in 148 games.
This performance has Correa primed to receive a big pay day this winter and he is fully aware, which is why it sounds like he will leave Houston.
"'Take it or leave it, this is what we’ve got,'" Correa told NBC Sports regarding the Astros' previous offer to him. "And now my value has gone up. If they didn’t want to meet my price in spring training, now that I led the league in WAR at 7.2 and I’m in the playoffs helping the team, I don’t know if they’ll meet my price now."
When asked about the possibility of joining the Mets or Yankees this offseason, Correa said he loves the East Coast. However, he was coy about which team he'd preferably join if the opportunity presented itself.
Although Correa admitted he likes pinstripes, he didn't say what color pinstripes.
"I didn't say dark blue or blue and orange," Correa said in Spanish during an interview on the La Garata podcast. He added, "whichever blue" could work.
In his discussion with NBC Sports, Correa also made a case as to why he deserves a 10-year deal, which has become the norm length of years when team's distribute long-term contracts.
"A lot of people don’t believe in 10-year contracts and in long-term deals and all that," Correa said. "But when you look at most of the 10-year contracts they’ve been giving out, the long-term deals, they’re players that are 31, 30, 32. I’m going to be 27 on my first year. I’m young, I’m healthy, and I perform. So we’ll see what happens."
On an additional note, Correa will come along with a qualifying offer attached to him. This means the Mets would be forced to surrender the No. 14 overall pick if they choose to sign him.
While this aspect shouldn't factor too much into the Mets' decision, given the slim odds that this draft selection would pan out to be the equivalent to a player of Correa's caliber, the team already has Lindor locked into a 10-year, $341 million deal which kicks in next season.
Correa would also have to be willing to change positions, which is what shortstop Javier Báez had to do when the Mets acquired him from the Cubs at the trade deadline.
With Lindor being a Met for the foreseeable future, they won't have an opening at shortstop for quite some time. If they go after Correa, he could potentially play third base, which is another critical area of need for the Mets.
Regardless of what happens, Correa won't come cheap. And although he is already flirting with the idea of coming to New York, it seems more likely that the Yankees land him given the gaping hole they have at short after their experiment with Gleyber Torres failed miserably.
Correa helped the Astros capture a World Series title back in 2017, as well as another pennant in 2019. He has also been fantastic in the postseason with an .881 OPS, 17 homers and 54 RBIs in 251 career at-bats.
This year, Correa and the Astros are set to battle it out with the Boston Red Sox in the ALCS. Whatever team winds up with Correa in the offseason will be adding a perennial winner to their roster. The type of player the Mets desperately need.