When MLB free agency started a few weeks ago, five top-tier shortstops were on the market, looking for new teams.
Most of them are already signed by now, though.
The first one to sign was Semien, who put pen to paper on a seven-year, $175 million deal with the Texas Rangers.
Baez signed on Tuesday morning, a six-year, $140 million pact with the Detroit Tigers.
Between those two, the Rangers handed out the largest contract of the offseason so far: they signed Seager to a huge 10-year, $325 million deal that shattered all expectations.
BREAKING: Star shortstop Corey Seager and the Texas Rangers are in agreement on a 10-year, $325 million deal, sources familiar with the situation tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) November 29, 2021
Reshaping The Shortstop Market
Before he signed, everybody was unsure of the possibility that one (or more) free agent shortstop could get $300 million from an MLB team.
Ben Clemens of FanGraphs, for example, forecasted an eight-year, $240 million pact for Seager and a nine-year, $297 million deal for Correa.
MLB Trade Rumors was a bit closer on the Seager contract projection, at 10 years and $305 million: still they fell short of what actually happened.
Correa is widely seen as the best shortstop of the class, and his ceiling was thought to be around $300 million.
Now that Seager got $325 million, one has to wonder how much will Correa sign for.
If Corey Seager is worth $32.5 Million per year, how much is Carlos Correa going to get… pic.twitter.com/T3x6H8N4as
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) November 29, 2021
Seager effectively reset the shortstop market for those who haven’t signed: Correa and Story.
Several teams were in on Seager, so it’s possible that the Rangers, in an effort to lure him to a franchise that has lost much more than it has won recently, showered him in money and had to offer much more than the rest.
If that was indeed the case – it’s impossible to prove unless details about the negotiations eventually come to light – then it’s possible Correa and Story earn more than it was previously anticipated.
There are still enough teams interested in Correa to think that there could be a bidding war between them.
Lots Of Teams Are Still In On Correa
The New York Yankees, a top team that has come up empty-handed so far in free agency, may feel the need to outbid everyone to secure Correa.
The Boston Red Sox are still interested in the former Astro, and the Seattle Mariners are still trying to bring top talent to their roster, especially if they miss out on Kris Bryant.
Even the Philadelphia Phillies could still be in on Correa, as they badly need a better shortstop than Didi Gregorius, but they may prefer Story.
Correa, who most people forecasted to get a contract in the $250-$300 million range before the offseason began, may now surpass $350 million and perhaps approach $375 million.
Many things will depend on the new CBA negotiations, but they probably won’t change the fact that Correa will get paid.
Story, too, will get his millions, although he is more at risk of not getting what he wants and perhaps settling for a high-AAV, one-year deal.
The most likely scenario, though, involves Story signing a long-term deal.
Without knowing, Seager and the Rangers may have altered the shortstop market in free agency with that monster deal.
The Rangers will have to navigate through the final years of that pact, which could be ugly, but it was a move they needed to make as they try to shift their losing culture.