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Which Team Needed Carlos Correa the Most?

I’ve spent a lot of time writing about Diamond Dynasty and most recently talked about the game modes within DD. But this offseason in MLB has been one of the most interesting in a long time, and it inspired me to get creative within The Show. Let’s discuss the saga of Carlos Correa.

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The Backstory

Correa has missed a solid chunk of playing time due to injuries mostly involving his back. That was a major question looming in his initial free agency in the winter of 2021. Would Correa land the long-term mega-deal that a player with his elite talent usually commanded? Or would the injury risk deter teams from committing massive dollars at a premium position? We got our answer when Correa signed with the Minnesota Twins in March of 2022. That initial deal was a three-year pact that gave Correa a chance to opt out after the first year.

Correa posted an elite season while playing in 136 games. While it’s true that Correa missed 26 games, it’s also important to note the MLB lockout certainly affected players and their preparations for a season that was potentially never happening. Still, I doubt the Minnesota Twins had complaints that their superstar SS produced an OPS+ of 140, which meant he performed 40% better than the rest of the league at the plate.

To the surprise of nobody, Correa followed up that elite season by opting out of his Twins’ deal in search of his lucrative mega-deal.

And that’s when the fun began…

In short, “pending physical” will be a phrase that’s now always associated with Carlos Correa. After deals with both the Giants and Mets ended up not being finalized, he ended up back in Minnesota on a six-year, $200-million dollar deal. The whirlwind is over, and the physical was passed.

But which team needed Carlos Correa the most? Let’s talk about it.

Simulation Parameters

To find that answer, we’re heading into MLB The Show 22‘s franchise mode. Using a custom roster called Top 100V22.3 by Xbox user Sportsof22, we put Carlos Correa on each of the teams he agreed to sign with to see who would have benefited the most from his services. This roster has all the moves from the offseason to this point, including Andrew McCutchen returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates. We simulated a full season with injuries and trades off to see what would happen with Correa at his peak ability in each city.

All statistics for this simulation will appear as the year 2022. Obviously, MLB The Show 23 isn’t out yet so we’re starting fresh franchise simulations in ‘22.

What better place to start than Minnesota?

Which Team Needed Carlos Correa The Most?

The Twins definitely needed Carlos Correa in our Minnesota simulation. Both the Twins and Correa got off to cold starts and things were looking pretty bleak heading into the All-Star break.

With a sub-.500 record, surprisingly the Twins weren’t completely out of contention within the division. The Chicago White Sox were leading the division with a sub-.500 record of their own. Correa has All-Star potential but didn’t make the AL squad and was having a pretty mediocre season. So how would the big ticket free agent and his new/old team fare to end the season?

The Minnesota Twins finished with a record of 79-83 and failed to make the postseason. That’s with a roster that included a healthy Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa since injuries were turned off. I’d easily categorize this as a massively disappointing season given those two facts alone. Considering the entire division was playing parity baseball, you could argue that this might be a realistic outcome for the Twins this upcoming season. Not exactly the payoff you’d want after signing a big free agent (again), but might it bode well for the future?

Carlos Correa himself actually turned his season around and put up another outstanding year.

Correa ended up almost perfectly replicating his debut season with Minnesota. You don’t see it on this player card, but our simulation season expects another fantastic season from Correa in 2023. If Correa puts up the 5.7 WAR that The Show expects him to, he’ll definitely end up being one of the more productive signings from this offseason — at least in the first year of the deal. Remember, this is a baseline, one-year simulation with no injuries to see the best-case scenario.

Carlos Correa As Mr. Met

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The Mets have the highest payroll in MLB, so expectations are naturally going to be higher. In our alternate universe, adding Correa’s massive deal would have bloated the Mets’ payroll to nearly half a billion dollars (that’s billion with a B) — an absurd, astronomical, and comical number in baseball. But did it matter?

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Well…the Mets didn’t fare any better than the Twins heading into the All-Star break. The big difference was quality of divisional opponents. While the Twins were in a division that featured every team playing at a similar level with objectively comparable rosters, the NL East is one of the most stacked divisions in baseball. Despite all that additional payroll, despite having Carlos Correa in this simulation, and despite all other means, the New York Mets entered the break with a losing record and in 4th place in the division.

Yikes.

For his part, Carlos Correa made the NL All-Star team, albeit as a reserve.

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Our boy was on pace for a potential career year, and since injuries are off the chances were pretty good it would come to fruition.

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Ultimately, the Mets would turn around their season and put up a much more competitive second half. Unfortunately, that still left them short of the playoffs as they couldn’t quite catch up to the Phillies.

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Carlos Correa finished the season as an All-Star and MLB The Show 22 yet again predicted that he’d put up a 5.7 WAR season when fully healthy.

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Needless to say that Mets fans would absolutely rebel if the season played out like this. I’m a Braves fan and having someone like Cohen running a rival team is a bit spooky. I know they’ll throw money all over the place to put the best team on the field. But as a baseball fan, I absolutely love the chaotic nature of his ownership, and if this is how the 2023 season would have played out for the Mets with Correa, I’d have loved to see what happened next.

City By The Bay

Our final stop in this alternate universe simulation is San Francisco. The first team to agree to terms with Correa, the Giants ultimately whiffed on two major free agent acquisitions this offseason. But what if they actually signed Correa?

Apparently they would have been one of the best teams in baseball. With a 58-38 record at the All-Star break, the Giants had a slight lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers and were only a couple games off the pace for best record in baseball.

Carlos Correa was putting up his usual stats that we’ve seen leading into the break. He did not ultimately end up an All-Star despite similar production to the other simulations. A big boost for the Giants in this simulation is J.D. Davis coming out of no where and having an excellent season. Davis represented the Giants as an All-Star and was top-three in MVP voting midseason.

The Giants went on to finish the season with a 93-69 record and comfortably won the NL West. Surprisingly, Carlos Correa actually had a very poor second half for the Giants and this was the worst season across these simulations. Correa had a solid 3 WAR at the All-Star break, but played so poorly to finish the season that he finished with a 4 WAR season. This was still a very solid year for any player, but in this world he would have been a $350 million man so I’m sure some would have been disappointed. But the Giants made the playoffs with Correa at SS so that’s hardly worth fretting about.

The Giants took down the Cardinals in the Division Series but it took five games to do so. Correa came out of the gates ablaze as he had two huge games to help the Giants take a 2-0 lead. However, Correa and the rest of the Giants offense disappeared in Games 3 and 4, which forced Game 5. The Giants won and Correa finished the series hitting .388 with a HR.

Things took a dive in the Championship Series, though, as the Giants were swept by the eventual World Series Champion Atlanta Braves. Carlos Correa went silent in this series with his only contributions coming in a Game 3 loss when he singled three times. His final MLB Postseason line in his debut season with the Giants saw him hit .333 with the single HR.

The Verdict

After simulating full seasons with each of Carlos Correa’s prospective employers, the dust settled and it appears the San Francisco Giants would have benefited the most from signing Correa. The Minnesota Twins put up a mediocre season despite an elite season from Correa. The New York Mets got off to an awful start as a team, yet Correa was an All-Star and having a great season. Both the Mets and Correa played splendidly in the second half only to fall just short of the playoffs. The San Francisco Giants got a perfectly fine season from Correa, though he faltered in the second half on the Giants’ way to the NL West title. Correa’s Giants won a tough five-game series against the Cardinals, only to be swept by the Atlanta Braves as the Braves marched to their second World Series Championship in three years.

The immediate impact of adding a player like Correa usually sets the tone for the remaining years of the big contract that was signed. MLB The Show 22 thinks that Correa would be a worthy, if not elite, addition to each of these teams in the first year of his deal. But this was a simulation with no roster fluctuation and no injuries. Correa’s long-term health projection is ultimately what cost him upwards of $100 million.

What might a full contract simulation with injuries and player movement look like? Well, that’s probably best left handled by Out of the Park Baseball.

Related: How to Play MLB The Show 22 on PC on Dot Esports

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