MINNEAPOLIS -- Carlos Correa was in San Francisco on Dec. 20 preparing for his introductory press conference after agreeing to a 13-year, $350 million contract with the Giants in free agency.
Nearly five months later -- after the Giants backed away from the deal over injury concerns, the New York Mets followed suit and he returned to the Minnesota Twins on a six-year, $200 million contract -- Correa will face San Francisco for the first time since experiencing one of the wildest offseasons in baseball history.
Before the series opener at Target Field, Correa said he’s not approaching the series any differently despite his opponent this week being the franchise he initially agreed to play for across the next decade-plus.
“Yeah it was definitely different,” Correa told reporters about his wild offseason. “It was very unexpected. But at the same time, it had to happen that way and I’m very happy that I’m here now today. Now that I’m in a stage with my son that I’m enjoying every single thing that he does now, it makes me really happy.
“It just makes me realize that I might not have wanted to play all the 13 years, because at some point I want to be a full-time father and I want to be present for my kid. Looking back at it now, me and my wife, we think it worked out for the best. Now I can make the decision after six years if I want to keep playing or not. Whenever I’m ready to be a full-time father and put baseball behind me, I can do that whenever I want to. I don’t have a contract holding me back for that long amount of time.”
Correa officially signed the six-year deal with the Twins on Jan. 11, several weeks after the Giants and Mets flagged his ankle as a large injury concern.
His first season of the contract has gotten off to a rough start. Correa batted .185/.261/.363 with 30 strikeouts in his first 32 games of the season, and he heard boos from Twins fans during a 0 for 5 performance May 9 against the San Diego Padres.
But after that game, Correa stood in front of the media and accepted the feedback, saying he deserved those boos. In a similar fashion, Correa has said nothing but the right things about the Giants organization after one of the weirdest offseason experiences in MLB history that changed the trajectory of his career.
“Really, really good people all around. Everybody I talked to was very welcoming and was very excited,” Correa said of the Giants on Monday. “It seemed like a really great group of guys that are very together and they are on the same page when it comes to going out there and getting their job done.
"They were fun conversations for sure.”
Brandon Crawford, who would have been moved to third base had the Giants and Correa made the deal official, is starting at shortstop for the series opener. Casey Schmitt, who likely wouldn't be seeing much playing time if Correa arrived in the Bay, is batting sixth and manning the hot corner.
RELATED: How all sides have fared months after Correa shocker
"From a character perspective, from a worth ethic perspective the teammate [Correa] has been over his career is really elite," Giants manager Gabe Kapler said Monday. "Top shelf. Carlos is going to get the best out of his ability.
"We obviously wish him a ton of success -- hopefully that happens after we leave town.”