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Commentators Puzzled by Bryant and Correa Deals with Flyover Teams

Carlos Correa, Astros shortstop, at bat at Chase Field in Arizona

Last week, two of the top remaining 2022 free agents, Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa, reached agreements with the Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins, respectively. The overwhelming reaction by MLB commentators to the deals with teams located in flyover country was puzzlement and shock. Why didn’t they sign in New York?

Most of the puzzlement regarding the Bryant deal related to the Rockies’ history with former star Nolan Arenado.

I disagree with Rosenthal’s viewpoint because it assumes that Bryant should share Arenado’s long-term goals, which did not fit with remaining on a noncompetitive Colorado team. Bryant has always struck me as a family-first individual, and I believe his main motivation in free agency was to take care of his dependents by signing the best deal possible with a team in a friendly environment. He is already a Rookie of the Year, MVP and World Series champion (none of which are found in Arenado’s hefty trophy case), so his legacy is secure.

While Arenado’s departure still looms large over the Rockies, the six-time All-Star was traded ahead of the 2021 season, so Bryant is in fact replacing outgoing free agents Trevor Story and Jon Gray. The Rockies did not exert themselves to keep said players. Story rejected a qualifying offer, while Gray did not receive any such offer.

Why spend money on Bryant instead of Story and Gray? Bryant wanted to join the team, and he is a star who can sell tickets. I’m not so sure any amount of money could have persuaded Story and Gray to stick around. Story has reportedly reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, where he will change positions.

One star is better than no stars, amirite? For confirmation, check with a Cubs fan near you.

Later in the week, news broke about Correa’s contract with the Twins. Naturally, MLB commentators focused on what the deal meant for the New York Yankees.

Why would Correa step out of the big-market franchises’ bright lights? Because he’s cashing in!

The contract also has been reported to include opt-outs after years 1 and 2, which will allow Correa to seek out a long-term deal after he proves he can remain healthy and produce without the benefit of Houston dugout trash cans. Essentially, it is an upgraded “pillow contract.” This will almost certainly benefit the pocketbook of one Scott Boras, who will not need to split fees with Correa’s former agent for any new agreements.

If you enjoyed my “MLB outsider” reasoning, please be sure to leave a comment!

Featured Image: Carlos Correa, shortstop for the Houston Astros, at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ, USA on 5-30-16 by Keeton Gale /