While this is of course good news in a sense, it's also not entirely encouraging. It's good news due to the fact that Correa is still on the market. The amount of money Correa turned down, however, foreshadows disappointing news about what this means for Correa's future.
If Correa is turning down $275 million, what is he going to accept? Well, he's certainly going to want higher than $275 million of course. I'm not so sold that the Angels will be willing to get up to that.
Arte Moreno needs to be willing to spend big if the LA Angels want to land Carlos Correa.
It's complicated, because Moreno in the past has been willing to sign high-profile position players like Carlos Correa to the LA Angels for big deals. Unfortunately, we overspent on guys like Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols, but he was willing to spend on them. The issue, however, is that Moreno is worth $3.6 billion, and hasn't spent more than the seven-most in the Majors these past few years.
He's even spent low enough in payroll to drop all the way down to 13th in baseball in 2020, despite being in the LA market. Moreno has alienated many fans due to his habits of not spending like many of the other major market teams have.
It's hard to see Moreno spending $300 million on Correa. After all, they still need pitching. All they've done this offseason to improve the starting rotation is add Noah Syndergaard (good signing) and Michael Lorenzen (disappointing signing).
They did improve the bullpen by bringing in Aaron Loup, but they still have work to do to continue trying to improve both the pen and the rotation. The Halos have already spent over $161 million in 2022 payroll. They have the money to both improve the staff AND sign Correa considering Moreno's deep pockets.
We haven't seen the commitment from him consistently in the past to where he's willing to spend big on both high-profile position playing free agents AND the pitching staff. When we think of the major contracts he's signed as of late, we think of Hamilton, Pujols, Mike Trout, and Anthony Rendon. We don't think of pithing deals, and he's resorted to notoriously just signing off on a bunch of one-year deals often in the past.
The Angels need to go after pitching, and know it. While Correa would make the Angels a much better team as well, they are going to be prioritizing pitching. Many reports have come out about how the Halos are well aware that they need pitching more than anything.
Therefore, they're likely not going to have a leftover $300 million to sign Correa. Starting pitchers cost a lot. If they sign, let's say, Carlos Rodon for instance, they'll then be up to $185 million, and they still need to sign at least one more important bullpen arm.
I'm sorry, but I just can't expect Moreno to then spend $300 million on another player. I can't see him going up to $220 million in 2022 payroll. Correa would make the Angels much better, but I can't see Moreno doing it for this price.