Toff did not expect to sign Korea with the Minnesota Twins.
“I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting that,” Altove said on Sunday. “Obviously we will miss him. He is a great player and a great man within the club. He was one of our leaders.”
Correa reached a $105.3 million three-year deal with the twins on Friday night. Shortstop has been the most in-demand free proxy left on the market.
Altuve, a seven-time All-Star and AL MVP 2017, and Correa, a two-time All-Star, have been mainstays in the Houston defense and at the top of the standings since 2015. The duo helped lead the Astros to their only World Championship title in 2017 and travels Returning to the series in 2019 and 2021.
Korea’s career .277 hitter hit 133 home runs, beat 0.279 with 26 Homer and 92 RBI hits last season and also won his first Golden Glove.
“Now that he’s on another team, I’m so happy for him,” Altove said. “He’s got a great deal. Happy for him. I know he’s going to play well. He’ll make the twins even better.”
Altove, 31, said that he and Korea, 27, vowed to stay close via frequent phone calls and video chats.
“We’ve had dinner many times,” said Tov. “We spent a lot of time in the rooms together talking about different things. And that’s what I’m going to miss the most.”
A few days before Correa’s decision, Houston manager Dusty Baker was commissioned Jeremy Pena The first contestant to start the opening day. Widely considered one of the Astros’ best prospects, Pena is a career .291 hitter in the minors. He hit 0.287 with 10 Globes in 30 games at Triple-A Sugar Land last season.
Pena, 24, and son of former major league Jeronimo Pena, has a locker at the Astros club next to the Altuve.
“I’m happy for Jeremy because he might get the chance to come in and play in the major leagues and prove himself as a daily player,” Altov said.
While Baker would have liked Correa to be in the lineup, his signature cleared a bit of the fog that had been spreading at Camp Houston this spring.
“No one likes to be in an uncertain situation,” Becker said. “Everyone loves clarity.”
However, some habits are hard to break.
The players who arrived at the club on Sunday morning before the Astros Washington’s exhibition game saw a familiar name written into the cleanup spot on today’s squad card: Correa.
Becker’s decision to suspend his Premier League players from early matches this spring allowed Carlos’s side, JC, to start the designated batting against the Nationals.
JC hit 0.310 with nine pub owners and 57 RBI last season in 101 games split between Class A Fayetteville and High Class A Asheville.
JC has now learned to play catcher, and he enjoyed a six-stroke and four-game last season, his first as a minor.
“That’s a lot of hits,” Becker said.
• Young citizen Darren Baker pulled out his squad card for a pre-match exchange with his dad Dusty. Darren and Dusty hugged over the house board, then posed for pictures together and with the judges. Darren later entered the game and played second base.
“Prone to fits of apathy. Introvert. Award-winning internet evangelist. Extreme beer expert.”