Pitchers and catchers will begin reporting to spring training in roughly one month, but despite the late offseason hour we still have hot stove rumors to address. Let’s do that now for Tuesday. 

Correa lands back in Minnesota

Carlos Correa’s free agency saga took a drastic and final(?) turn on Tuesday as the star infielder agreed to his third different deal of the winter with a third different team. Correa, this time, appears heading back to Minnesota as he agreed to a six-year, $200 million deal with the Twins. Negotiations between Correa and the Mets stalled and ultimately fell apart despite an agreement reached on Dec. 21.

The Mets had concerns over a serious ankle injury that Correa suffered as a minor leaguer (the same concerns that wrecked Correa’s free-agent deal with the Giants earlier this winter) and wanted to rework a deal that was originally worth $315 million.

Correa spent 2022 with the Twins. He signed a three-year, $105.3 million contract with two opt outs with Minnesota last offseason, and after a strong 2022, he exercised the first opt out to test free agency. 

The Marlins have agreed to terms with veteran starter Johnny Cueto on a one-year, $8.5 million deal with an option for 2024, the New York Post reports. Cueto, who turns 37 in February, is coming off a strong 2022 season for the White Sox in which he pitched to a 3.35 ERA and 3.09 K/BB ratio in 158 1/3 innings. The Marlins have a good deal of rotation depth at the moment, and the addition of the veteran Cueto may presage a trade of one of their younger starting pitchers in exchange for help on offense. 

Nationals reach deal with Dickerson

The Nationals have agreed to terms with veteran outfielder Corey Dickerson on what’s likely a one-year contract, the Washington Post reports. A left-handed hitter and one-time All-Star, the 33-year-old Dickerson spent 2022 with the Cardinals. In 96 games for St. Louis, he slashed .267/.300/.399 with six home runs and 17 doubles. Over the last three seasons, he’s put up an OPS+ of 97. 

Padres interested in Cruz

The Padres are among the teams that have shown interest in free agent designated hitter Nelson Cruz, reports Jon Heyman

Cruz is now 42 and has finally started to show signs of age catching up with him. He hit .234/.313/.337 (90 OPS+) with 10 homers and 64 RBI in 507 plate appearances for the Nationals last season. He hit 32 homers in 2021, 16 in 184 at-bats in 2020 and 41 in just 120 games in 2019, so he’s shown a remarkable ability to keep pounding the longball even at advanced ages by baseball standards. 

That is to say that it might be worth a shot on a one-year deal just in case Cruz bounces back with one more vintage power season. 

As things stand, Matt Carpenter looks like the Padres’ designated hitter, but a Cruz/Carpenter platoon (Carpenter swings lefty while Cruz is a righty) seems intriguing. 

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