Professional sports has a very distinct formula when it comes to contract. Young players get the shaft in the name of experienced player getting a pay day. The formula makes sense, you have to earn your dump truck of money rather than gain it on the prospect of success.
It is no surprise when ESPN Insider Dan Szymborski ranked the most team-friendly contracts in Major League Baseballthat he picked Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa as the most-team friendly in baseball. Correa is arguably the best American League short still on his pre-arbitration contract.
Correa was the youngest position player in the Majors in 2015, batting .279 (108x387) with 22 doubles, 22 home runs, 68 RBI, 14 stolen bases and an .857 OPS in 99 games. Among AL rookies, Correa ranked first in home runs, slugging (.512) and OPS, while ranking second in RBI and on-base percentage (.345), and third in batting average (min. 400 PA). With 22 home runs this season, Correa set both the franchise rookie record for home runs and the franchise record for home runs by a shortstop.
Szymborski notes about Correa:
1. Carlos Correa, SS
Free agent after 2021 season
Surplus value: +26.2 wins
The truly scary thing for the rest of the league is that, given his age and how quickly he advanced through the minors, he could actually improve. ZiPS projects Correa to be a 6-7 WAR player in his prime, and he's years away from the Astros having to pay him anything close to what that level of performance merits. Correa is the most exciting young shortstop in baseball since Alex Rodriguez, who, as you might remember, turned out to be a pretty decent player.
Correa finished in first place ahead of No. 2 Mike Trout, No. 3 Kris Bryant, No. 4 Francisco Lindor, and No. 5 Mookie Betts.
Szymborski also ranked the worst contracts in baseball. The Astros were not represented on the list but five contracts in the American League West were included No.1 Albert Pujols, Angels, No. 2 Robinson Cano, Mariners, No. 3 Prince Fielder, Rangers, No. 12 Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers, and No. 16 Elvis Andrus, Rangers.