Feb 22, 2021; West Palm Beach, Florida, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) takes infield practice during spring training workouts at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The clock is ticking for the Houston Astros if they hope to re-sign shortstop Carlos Correa.

This offseason, the Houston Astros lost starting center fielder George Springer to the Toronto Blue Jays, who signed him to a six-year, $150 million deal. Next offseason, the Astros face the possibility of them losing shortstop Carlos Correa to free agency. But the young infielder gave his team a deadline to negotiate a new deal.

When speaking with the media at Spring Training on Monday, Correa said he would like to get a contract extension done by April 1. If no deal is reached, then Correa won’t negotiate until the end of the 2021 season.

The shortstop market is set by Fernando Tatis Jr.

Correa’s decision to set a deadline prior to the start of the 2021 campaign is a wise one for the young star. This past week, the shortstop market was set by Fernando Tatis Jr., who signed a massive 14-year, $340 million contract extension with the San Diego Padres. Why wouldn’t Correa want to test the open market, especially if he feels he is going to have a great season this year?

This past regular season with the Astros, Correa slashed .264/.326/.383 while recording five home runs ad 25 RBI. While those were not blow-away numbers for Correa, he made up for it in the postseason.

The Astros made an unprecedented run to the ALCS, where they were just one win away from reaching the World Series for the third time in four years. However, they fell just short in a 4-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays. Even so, Correa was arguably Houston’s best player during that run. In 13 games, he recorded a .362 batting average, .455 on-base percentage and .766 slugging percentage, while hitting six home runs and 17 RBI. One of those home runs was a walk-off in Game 5 of the ALCS to avoid elimination.

Correa is open for discussions throughout Spring Training. But if there is no deal by the time the Astros take the field for their regular-season opener against the Oakland Athletics, then he will reopen those negotiations next winter as a free agent.

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