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Carlos Correa declines qualifying offer from Astros

Shortstop is expected to be highly sought after this offseason in free agency.

Carlos Correa #1 of the Houston Astros celebrates after hitting an RBI double against the Atlanta Braves during the third inning in Game Five of the World Series at Truist Park on October 31, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Free agent SS Carlos Correa has officially declined his $18.4 million qualifying offer from the Houston Astros on Monday afternoon. This isn’t a surprising move by Correa, who is expected to be one of the top free agents on the market this offseason. The Astros have already offered Correa a five-year contract to return to the club. Chances are he’ll be able to land a much more lucrative deal from another team in free agency.

The New York Yankees, Texas Rangers, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers are among the teams interested in signing Correa. The Yankees appear to be the frontrunner with the ability to ink Correa to a pretty massive deal while providing him with plenty of protection in the lineup with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton. The Yanks could then shift Gleyber Torres back to second base full time with Correa at short.

The Tigers have an edge with AJ Hinch as manager. He helped the team win the World Series with Correa apart of the team back in 2017. The Rangers and Twins have voids at shortstop which Correa would help fill, plus both teams are a bit lower profile where Correa wouldn’t be under a ton of pressure.