See more of the story

Carlos Correa, whose $35.1 million salary in 2022 was the largest ever paid by the Twins, has decided not to play out the final two seasons of his contract in Minnesota, the MLB Players Association announced Monday.

Correa's decision to opt out was a formality; the Twins understood the day they signed the 28-year-old shortstop last March to a shocking three-year $105.3 million contract that it was essentially a one-year deal if Correa lived up to his All-Star reputation. He did, fortifying the Twins' infield defense while providing a team-high 47 extra-base hits.

Correa insisted all season that he wants to return to Minnesota permanently. But he also plans to seek a contract with far more guaranteed money, perhaps approaching the 10-year, $325 million deal that Corey Seager signed with Texas last season.

"When I go to the mall and I go to the Dior store, and I want something, I get it," Correa memorably said after a game in September. "I ask how much it costs, and I buy it. So if you really want something, you just go get it. So yeah, I'm the product here. If they want my product, they've just got to come and get it."

The Twins have never offered such a rich contract to any player, though President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said last month that the team was having discussions about a new contract. "We'll continue to try and be creative and have conversations with him and see where that takes us," Falvey said.

Where it likely takes them is to a familiar position: looking for a new shortstop. If Correa signs with another team, the Twins will utilize their fourth everyday shortstop in four years next season. Their hopes that former No. 1 overall pick Royce Lewis could someday man the position have been delayed and perhaps dashed by knee injuries that have cost him most of the past two seasons.