Carlos Correa has maintained he wants to remain with the Astros past 2021, but on Monday he said contract extension talks with the team are "nowhere."
"Right now there's no talks about it," Correa said after the Astros first full squad workout in West Palm Beach, FL. "I haven't heard from them since the arbitration was settled, so that's where we are right now."
The Astros avoided arbitration with Correa by settling on an $11.7 million contract for 2021 on February 6. The two sides had been nearly $3 million apart when they exchanged contract figures the month before making it seem as if talks on a long-term deal were headed in the right direction, but with no apparent progress made, Correa made it clear he doesn't want this situation to linger.
“If the Astros are gonna extend me I would like to get it done before the season starts," he said. "Once the season starts I feel so good, my body feels so great and I feel like I'm going to have such a great season that once the season starts I don't want to be involved and distracted with those conversations."
Correa, an All Star in 2017, didn't sound like someone who feels any pressure to get a deal done before opening day.
"I’m not scared of free agency," he declared. But at the same time, like I’ve said before, I feel like this is the team that I grew up in. I feel like this is my team and I feel like I belong here, but they gotta feel the same way and if they feel the same way and we can get something done that would be great, and if we don't, I understand it's how business works and we'll just have to move on."
If he does hit the market this winter, Correa could be one of five All Star shortstops available under the age of 30, along with Francisco Lindor, Trevor Story, Corey Seager, and Javy Baez, but as he pointed out on Monday, at the age of 27, he'd be the youngest of the five and he has some positional flexibility.
"I think it's great that so many great shortstops are going to be in free agency. Like I said, I'm the youngest out of them all, and I'm the one, I feel like with Lindor that can do both, offensively and defensively at a high level and I always have the option of going to third base if it's needed."
Correa played in 58-of-60 games during the 2020 regular season and batted .264 with five home runs and 25 RBI and was a Gold Glove finalist. His bat came alive during the postseason as he smacked six homers in 13 games while batting .362.