The Mets consulted with the same doctor who provided the Giants with a negative assessment about Carlos Correa’s right ankle issue and caused San Francisco to back away from their $350 million deal with Correa before the Mets pulled their own $315 million agreement 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 scuttled, Correa wound up signing a $200 million, six-year deal with the incumbent Twins, who stayed in touch with the star as the three-team drama was playing out.
“The Giants used an ankle specialist who didn’t pass me,’’ Correa told The Athletic. “Then the Mets used the same specialist, who obviously wasn’t going to pass me. He had already given an opinion to another team about my ankle. He was not going to change that. He was going to stand by what he was saying, of course, because that is what he believed.’’
After the Mets’ team doctor, Mark Drakos, a foot surgeon at HSS, consulted with noted ankle surgeon Dr. Robert Anderson, whose dire opinion about Correa’s ankle caused the Giants to pull their offer, the Mets also backed away from their original agreement.
The Mets tried to rework the deal and were willing to guarantee Correa $157.5 million over six years, with the possibility of the other $157.5 million in the following six seasons.
Instead, Correa got the guaranteed $200 million from Minnesota with the potential to earn another $70 million in incentives if he hits plate appearance benchmarks at the end of the deal. The Twins are perhaps most familiar with Correa since he played for them in 2022 and had multiple physicals with them.
It’s believed the Mets consulted other outside doctors, as well, as is typically the case regarding any significant contract.
Mets GM Billy Eppler has declined comment regarding the Correa situation. HIPAA laws limit what teams can say publicly regarding medical situations.
People familiar with the Mets’ approach say that while there’s no way to determine how long his ankle may hold up, they had concern about exactly how long that may be. Drakos examined Correa in the player’s two-day Mets physical, but it was an MRI exam that raised the 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 he suffered an injury in the minors, with a metal plate inserted in that ankle during that surgery. Correa did have an issue after a slide in September when he said he felt “numb” in the area after a slide, but he proved to be OK.
“One thing I learned through the whole process is doctors have differences of opinions,” Correa said at the press conference to re-introduce him in the Twin Cities.
Correa indicated he was stunned the ankle became an issue in his interview with The Athletic.
“We did have other ankle specialists look at it and say it was going to be fine, orthopedists who know me, even the one who did the surgery on me,’’ Correa told the website. “They were looking at the functionality of the ankle, the way the ankle has been the past eight years. I’ve played at an elite level where my movement has never been compromised.’’
He added: “The one doctor that had never touched me or seen me or done a test on me, that was the one who said it wasn’t going to 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 going to stay at short, with Correa shifting to third base.
“Then the thing with the physical happened with the Mets and Scott started talking about [contract] language with their lawyers,’’ Correa said. “That’s when it looked like the deal was not going to get done, because of certain things with the language that were impossible to accomplish.”
Despite the roller-coaster ride this winter, Correa said he has no bitterness toward the Giants or the Mets, or the doctor who flunked him twice.
“Obviously, the doctors’ opinions give you an extra motivation to just go out there, perform and play out the whole contract in a beautiful way,’’ Correa said. “But proving to myself at the end of my career that all the work will pay off, that I was right, that’s all I honestly care about. There’s no hard feelings toward [the Giants’ and Mets’] organizations. There’s nothing but respect for them. Doctors have differences of opinion. That’s fine.”