NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Correa was in the St. Regis San Francisco with his parents, brother and in-laws, ready to head to Oracle Park for his introductory news conference. That’s when agent Scott Boras asked the prized player to meet him in room 1212.
Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations, had called Boras at 8 a.m. PST Tuesday morning, three hours before the scheduled announcement.
“He reported to me that they needed more time, more evaluation,” Boras said Thursday. “They had not made any decisions, but they weren’t prepared to go ahead with a news conference because they didn’t feel they would be able to collect the information within that short period of time.”
Boras conveyed the development to Correa.
“He was obviously surprised, as we all were,” Boras said.
Instead of finalizing a $350 million, 13-year agreement with the Giants, Boras struck a $315 million, 12-year deal with the free-spending Mets, and Correa headed to New York for a physical Thursday. Boras said results usually come back within 24-48 hours and timing of an announcement was up to the team. A news conference likely won’t be scheduled until next month, after the holiday break.
Correa had taken his physical with the Giants on Monday and the club asked for more time to evaluate the findings. The timeframe for San Francisco’s medical process never reached 48 hours.
“We’ve had three teams offer this player contracts in excess of 10 years,” Boras said. “Obviously, every one of them had their medicals. There is no current issue with Carlos’ health whatsoever. There’s been a lot of discussion about backs and ankles. There’s nothing about him that is currently any form of medical issue. All the conjecture and evaluation of him has been about physicians using their crystal ball for years to come.”
Boras spoke after pitcher Carlos Rodón’s introductory news conference with the New York Yankees. The agent said all teams had been provided results of Correa’s end-of-season physical conducted by Dr. Christopher Camp, the Twins’ medical director and director of high performance and an orthopedist at the Mayo Clinic.
“They have a full account of the player prior to doing anything that has to do with offers,” Boras said. “Got a long letter passing him, and with that came a recommendation for over a 10-year contract. So that was the known of the Minnesota team physician who was with him all year long.”
Boras maintained Correa’s 2014 surgery to repair a broken right tibia should not have been an issue. Dr. Kevin Varner, chairman of the Department of Orthopedics at Houston Methodist Hospital, operated on Correa.
“He talked and was available to talk about the stability and functionality of what he felt,” Boras said. “The player has never, ever had any form of treatment, anything to do with anything about that since that occurred when he was 19 years old.”
San Francisco told Boras on Tuesday it still wanted to sign Correa, a discussion Boras said included chairman Greg Johnson, Zaidi and team counsel.
“I said, `How much time do you need?’ They set the time, they told me that they needed — 1 o’clock they would let us know,” Boras said. “Then we received notice from them that they wanted to continue to talk and that they needed more time. But at that point in time, I told them I had to have a decision whether they were going to honor their letter of agreement that we had reached. And they said at that point in time they needed more information, they needed more discussion. They wanted to continue to talk but at this time they couldn’t go forward. And then I advised them that I had to pursue alternative measures on behalf of Carlos with other teams.”
It’s unclear where in the process the Giants were in evaluating Correa’s medicals. Zaidi, speaking to The Associated Press by phone Thursday night, declined to comment publicly, citing confidentiality of the player medical process.
Boras said his staff was in place to reopen talks and he limited the number of teams, given each discussion began with a 45-minute accounting of the aborted deal with the Giants — which Boras termed a Magna Carta of explanation.
New York had expressed interest while Boras had been negotiating with the Giants. He contacted Mets owner Steve Cohen, who was in Hawaii.
“Welcome to Correa-mas. This is your lucky day,” Boras recalled telling Cohen.
“He was at a dinner, which was 10:30, 11 o’clock,” Boras added. “He just mentioned he had a martini, and I said, do you have three olives for a great third baseman? That’s kind of how we began our process of working through this, and a lot of back and forth of discussions of many alternatives. Around 12 midnight, we were able to reach an agreement.”
Boras then asked Correa to return to room 1212 and told him of the new deal.
“This guy tackled me,” Boras said. “He threw me down on the bed. This guy is a little bit bigger than me. He’s got a little bit of linebacker in him, because he flopped me pretty good. He was really happy.”
Correa, the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year, would move from shortstop to third base with the Mets, who already have Francisco Lindor at short. Correa has a .279 career batting average with 155 homers and 553 RBIs in eight big league seasons, including a .291 average with 22 homers and 64 RBIs this year.
Boras said he then informed the Giants ownership he had struck a deal with the Mets
“I think they have beds in those hotel rooms. I assure you I didn’t use one for two days,” Boras said.
AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley contributed to this report.
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