Just a few short days ago, Dodgers fans were rationalizing their chief rivals signing King Antagonist Carlos Correa to a 13-year deal.
Now? They're waking up wondering how the whole shebang blew up in the Giants' faces, turning a rough offseason into something beyond expectations.
San Francisco's argument for "winning the offseason" back in October was predicated on an overload of money, combined with Yankees superstar Aaron Judge's potential desires to return to his "hometown" (considering MLB has yet to expand to Linden, CA, we assume they meant San Fran).
Sure, the roster wasn't as strong as those sported by the Dodgers or Padres, but the Giants were one year removed from an all-time strange 107-win season. They could sell their championship pedigree from the early 2010s, as long as no one checked the active roster. If Judge joined in, you could almost see it if you squinted.
Instead, the team made a questionably early commitment to Joc Pederson by feeding him the qualifying offer, which he gleefully accepted. Then, they brought in supplementary pieces like Mitch Haniger and Ross Stripling. Fine. That is fine.
Unfortunately, Judge chose to stay in New York, ex-Giant Carlos Rodón joined him on the Yankees, and after the shortstop dust settled, Farhan Zaidi was nearly forced to give a 13-year deal worth $350 million to Correa, just so they could exit the offseason with some form of centerpiece (while upsetting the apple cart and moving Brandon Crawford).
Bad turned to financially strained, which turned to worse on Tuesday, when the Giants struck Correa's intro press conference and corresponding radio interviews from the record. Per sources, the team now has an issue to resolve with the shortstop's medicals. This can't possibly fall apart ... right?
Well, it did. And there has to be something more to the story, as Steve Cohen likely laid it on thick with Correa for the past week looking for any sort of loophole or excuse to blow this thing up. And he and the shortstop eventually found it.
Carlos Correa Giants deal falls apart; Mets take advantage, Dodgers happy?
It was hard to fathom a Giants-Correa deal collapsing entirely on Tuesday, but everything that's ever happened, at one point, had "never happened before". Clearly, the issue was important enough to blindside the Giants and force them to coldly cancel their media circus on Tuesday -- either that, or Correa is a one-of-a-kind weasel who never fully gave up on playing in New York.
Per The Chronicle's Susan Slusser, the issue isn't with Correa's back, a preexisting area of concern that contributed significantly toward the shortstop missing 241 games since his debut as a full-timer. Whatever the team found, it either led to Zaidi trying to knock years off the deal, or Correa going out of his way to open the forbidden door to Steve Cohen out of anger and frustration (or execute what might've been his plan all along).
We already knew Cohen's late interest wasn't just a negotiating tactic. He genuinely had interest in Correa at around $300 million before the Giants made their faux-splash, an offer he determined did not qualify as "crazy". Once Correa's contract fell apart in the Bay, what did his market really look like? The Mets were the clear and only favorite (making the Dodgers breathe a sigh of relief they won't be seeing the shortstop 12-13 times per year).
That sigh will be short, though, because he'd be heading to a budding East Coast behemoth instead. Maybe it was best all along not to blow a hole in the universe and start from scratch here.