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Carlos Correa used advanced stats to land record-breaking contract

Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa elaborated on how wielding advanced statistics allowed him to negotiate for the best possible contract. 

Negotiating for players’ rights through the CBA is one thing, but the work doesn’t stop there. MLB players are constantly negotiating for the best possible deal in professional baseball, and newly-acquired Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa utilized baseball’s love of advanced statistics to his advantage as he sought to become the highest-paid infielder by annual value.

Correa spoke with El Caribe journalist Yancen Pujols about how he used advanced statistics to prove his value to Twins ownership.

“Baseball has changed a lot,” Correa explained in the Spanish-language interview with Pujols. “Back in the day, the most important stats were home runs, AVG, RBI. Those stats no longer determine how good a player is because you can’t properly make projections with those stats. For example, a player who plays a lot in Colorado will hit more home runs than a player in Detroit. So if you take this player out of Colorado and want to sign this player for many years, you can’t focus on the home runs. You have to focus on the advanced stats, meaning BB%, barrel rate, K%, wOBA, wRC+.”

Carlos Correa explains how advanced stats made him the highest infielder in MLB

Rather than using his home run line, which as he noted, can vary depending on the altitude, Correa promoted his incredible WAR stat of 7.2. That, Correa said, solidified his argument to become the highest-paid infielder on the Twins.

“This game is evolving a lot: every five years, this sport changes a lot. They’re always trying to find ways to pay us players less, but we have to adjust to their new system so we can get paid what we’re actually worth. In other words, wOBA, wRC+, OPS+, those are the stats you want. Those are the stats that allow you to make projections. WAR—that’s the most important stat. So when I hit free agency, all the organizations knew I had put up 7.2 WAR. If I’m not mistaken, I was tied with Juan Soto. So that’s how the negotiations went down: when I said I wanted to be the highest paid infielder, they immediately accepted my offer.”

The Twins knew they were getting the league’s best in Correa, but the advanced stats, which correlate directly with win probability and franchise success, scientifically prove that Correa is worth his high price tag.

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