The Mets consulted the same doctor who gave the Giants a negative evaluation of Carlos Correa’s right ankle problem and caused San Francisco to pull out of their $350 million Correa deal before the Mets made their own $315 million deal with the star free agent shortstop. , sources confirmed to The Post.
Correa revealed the scenario involving the same doctor in an interview with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
After the first two deals were voided, Correa ended up signing a six-year, $200 million contract with the existing Twins, who remained in contact with the star as the three-team drama unfolded.
“The Giants used an ankle specialist that didn’t get past me,” Correa told The Athletic. “Then the Mets used the same specialist, who obviously wasn’t going to pass me. He had already referred another team for my ankle. He wasn’t going to change that. He was going to stand by what he said, of course, because that’s what he believed.”
After Mets team physician Mark Drakos, a foot surgeon at HSS, consulted with renowned ankle surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson, whose dire opinion of Correa’s ankle caused the Giants to withdraw their offer, the Mets also backed out of their original deal.
The Mets tried to renegotiate the deal and were willing to guarantee Correa $157.5 million over six years, with the option of another $157.5 million over the next six seasons.
Instead, Correa received the guaranteed $200 million from Minnesota with the option to earn another $70 million in incentives if he hits plate appearance benchmarks at the end of the deal. The Twins are probably more familiar with Correa since he played for them in 2022 and had plenty of physical games with them.
The Mets are believed to have consulted with other outside doctors, as is common with any major contract.
Mets GM Billy Eppler declined to comment on the Correa situation. HIPAA laws limit what groups can say publicly about medical conditions.
People familiar with the Mets’ approach say that while there’s no way to determine how long his ankle might last, they were concerned about exactly how long it might be. The Dragons examined Correa in the Mets’ two-day player physical, but it was an MRI scan that caused concern.
Interestingly, Correa has not missed any days in the majors for that ankle, nor has he received any treatment for it, according to him and agent Scott Boras. The ankle was surgically repaired in 2014 after being injured in the minors, with a metal plate inserted into the ankle during that surgery. Correa had a problem after a slide in September when he said he felt “numb” in the area after a slide, but he turned out to be fine.
“One thing I’ve learned throughout the process is that doctors have differences of opinion,” Correa said at the press conference to reintroduce him to the Twin Cities.
Correa indicated he was surprised the ankle became an issue in his interview with The Athletic.
“We had other ankle specialists look at it and say it would be fine, orthopedists who know me, even the one who did my surgery,” Correa told the website. “They were looking at the functionality of the ankle, how the ankle has been for the last eight years. I’ve played at an elite level where my movement has never been compromised.”
He added: “The one doctor who had never touched me, seen me or tested me was the one who said I wouldn’t be fine.”
The shortstop felt confident enough with the deals with both the Giants and the Mets that he reached out to several players with the teams after agreeing to the deals, including Francisco Lindor, who was slated to go weak with Correa shifting to third base.
“Then the physics thing happened with the Mets and Scott started talking [contract] language with their lawyers,” Correa said. “Then it looked like the deal wasn’t going to go through, because of some things with the language that were impossible to make happen.”
Despite the roller-coaster ride this winter, Correa said he has no bitterness toward the Giants or the Mets or the doctor who threw him out twice.
“Obviously, the doctors’ opinions give you an extra incentive to go out there and execute and play the whole contract in a beautiful way,” Correa said. “But to prove to myself at the end of my career that all the work will pay off, that I was right, that’s all I care about honestly. There are no hard feelings [the Giants’ and Mets’] Organisations. There is nothing but respect for them. Doctors have different opinions. It is OK.”