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How Carlos Correa Impacts Twins and Mets Fantasy Values

After agreeing to deals with the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets this offseason, Carlos Correa will officially head back to Minnesota on a six-year deal with the Twins. His name dominated the hot stove this winter and the impact of this signing will have a ripple effect on the Twins and Mets. Which players on these two rosters stand to gain, or lose, the most due to Correa’s final decision?

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Carlos Correa’s Impact on Fantasy Values

We should start with the value of Correa himself. Unfortunately, the long-term outlook on his health is now more convoluted than ever. However, the 28-year-old is coming off of yet another strong offensive campaign. He recorded 590 plate appearances in 136 games last season, knocking 22 home runs and 24 doubles with a .291/.366/.467 slash line in the process. This resulted in a 140 OPS+, the second-best of his career behind only the 155 OPS+ he registered in 2017.

Carlos Correa Fangraphs

Fantasy managers certainly wouldn’t complain if Correa duplicated that production in 2023 and beyond. However, Correa’s counting stats likely would’ve improved in the heart of the Mets’ order. He scored 70 runs and drove in 64 last season, down from his 2021 totals of 104 and 92, respectively. For reference, Francisco Lindor scored 98 runs and drove in a career-high 107 runs while spending most of the season hitting third in the potent Mets’ lineup. Correa also would’ve maintained dual eligibility at third and short, at least for the 2023 season.

Neither Minnesota’s Target Field nor New York’s Citi Field are exactly catered to hitters. According to Statcast, the former has a park factor of 96 and a home run factor of 87 while the latter has factors of 94 and 95, respectively. Correa won’t get the added benefit of more plate appearances in other NL East stadiums, such as Citizens Bank Park and Nationals Park. Both of those parks rank top 10 in home run factor for right-handed hitters. Meanwhile, Comerica Park and Kauffman Stadium both rank in the bottom five of that category.

Minnesota Twins

Current MLB Players

Correa’s return to the Twins immediately adds a boost to their hitters, specifically at the top of the order. The everyday lineup should feature him alongside Luis Arraez and Byron Buxton as the top-three batters. Correa drove those two in a combined 16 times last season. Arraez set new career bests with 88 runs scored and 49 RBI last season. If he’s the Twins’ primary leadoff hitter in 2023, expect him to push for his first career 100-run campaign.

While Correa was off the roster for most of the offseason, there wasn’t a clear shortstop replacement in Minnesota. The most likely candidate was Jorge Polanco, but there’s a reason the 29-year-old has transitioned to second base full-time. His bat still works well in the middle of Minnesota’s order, but he can’t handle the everyday shortstop role at this stage of his career. Polanco posted a .751 OPS through 445 plate appearances last season, but it was a big step down from his 33-homer campaign in 2021. He’s an interesting bounce-back candidate in redrafts and could be a buy-low target in dynasty formats.

Jose Miranda could’ve been Correa’s replacement in the top third of the order. The 24-year-old posted a 116 OPS+ with 40 extra-base hits and 66 RBI in 483 plate appearances as a rookie. He’s seemingly carved out a regular role as a corner infielder but he may settle in as the No. 6 hitter behind Polanco and Max Kepler.

The Young Guns

The biggest question mark for dynasty purposes is how Minnesota will utilize its abundance of infielders. On top of already having these positions set at the MLB level, the team’s prospect list is top-heavy with infield talent. Specifically, it’s unclear where Royce Lewis — who is already recovering from a second ACL tear — fits into the equation.

Like his teammates Correa and Buxton, Lewis’ health will remain a huge concern for the Twins. In a limited sample of 41 MLB plate appearances, the former No. 1 overall pick posted an .867 OPS with six extra-base knocks. When he’s on the field, all the tools look to be developing as expected. The best bet could be transitioning him to the outfield while being an insurance policy for Correa at shortstop.

After Lewis comes a trio of intriguing prospects. Edouard Julien broke out in a big way with Double-A Wichita and looks like a potential OBP monster. Brooks Lee briefly reached the Double-A level after being selected eighth overall in the 2022 MLB Draft. Austin Martin was a top-5 draft pick and a key piece in the Jose Berrios return, but his hit tool hasn’t quite reached expectations. It’s easy to see a path for Minnesota to trade at least one of these bats to beef up the starting rotation.

New York Mets

Correa was expected to slide over to the hot corner while Lindor stayed at shortstop in New York. Because Correa was never more than a hypothetical, the fantasy value of the Mets’ lineup doesn’t change much here. While Lindor, Pete Alonso, and others would’ve seen a boost in counting stats, the Mets still project to be a strong offense in 2023.

The Steady Switch-Hitter

The Mets’ biggest beneficiary could be Eduardo Escobar. Correa would’ve pushed him into a utility role, but now he figures to be the regular third baseman. The switch-hitting veteran had a rollercoaster 2022 season but he finished with 20 homers and a solid .726 OPS. From the start of May through August, he slashed just .209/.239/.373, but a .321/.385/.596 line in his final 30 games provides some hope for 2023.

Eduardo Escobar Fangraphs

The Hot Prospect

So, what about Brett Baty? He dominated with Double-A Binghamton to the tune of a .312/.406/.544 slash line with 41 extra-base hits in 386 plate appearances last season. The then-22-year-old got a taste of MLB action before undergoing thumb surgery near the end of the 2022 campaign. When Correa was signed, Baty was a clear trade candidate as one of the league’s top prospects at the hot corner. Now, he’s once again the Mets’ third baseman of the future. Expect Baty to take over at some point this season, especially if the thumb is fully healed.

Fantasy managers can stop holding their breath now that the Carlos Correa saga has come to a close. Escobar and Baty should see a slight uptick in their ADPs while Buxton and Arraez look much safer than they did just a few days ago. While Correa could’ve unlocked even more value as a Met, the superstar will provide plenty as he enters his age-28 campaign.

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