He ended up taking a three-year, $105.3 million contract from the Minnesota Twins, though.
The Astros, however, were prepared for Correa’s loss: he has been rejecting extension offers for a long time now.
Their plan at the position appears to be rookie Jeremy Pena.
A third-round draft pick in 2018, Pena is a 24-year-old shortstop who experienced a meteoric rise through the minors last year.
Astros’ beat writer Brian McTaggart reminded us that he is having a very good spring training, something that the Astros’ front office is probably smiling about.
“Jeremy Pena, the likely starter at SS on Opening Day, continues his strong spring at the plate with a two-run single off Tanner Rainey,” he tweeted.
Jeremy Pena, the likely starter at SS on Opening Day, continues his strong spring at the plate with a two-run single off Tanner Rainey.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) March 29, 2022
The Road To The Big Leagues For Pena
Pena started the 2021 season at the Astros’ Florida Complex League, and was excellent there with a .348/.444/.478 line.
Then, in 30 Triple-A games, he hit .287/.346/.598 with 10 homers and five stolen bases in 133 plate appearances.
His plate discipline is definitely not ideal (he walked in 4.5% of his plate appearances and struck out in 26.3% of them), but he may have enough pop and speed to make an immediate impact.
It’s unfair to expect him to produce something close to Correa at the plate, but he will develop at his pace and we will likely have a better idea of how his game translates to the majors in a few months.
For now, he is looking like a really solid player in Triple-A, one that the Astros should feel confident starting.
There is no denying that they had Correa’s replacement lined up already.