CHICAGO — Carlos Correa stood on the top step of Guaranteed Rate Field's visiting dugout after the Twins beat the White Sox 10-1 to end the 2022 season.

He spent several minutes signing autographs, catching balls thrown down to him from the stands. He shook hands and even gave one fan his cap. He didn't even play in Wednesday's season finale, so this could have been his final public act as the Twins' shortstop.

"I never lie to you. The decision, it's very simple: I'm going to have some conversations with the front office here and see where their headspace is at," Correa said, "and where they're at in terms of, I talked about marriage, in terms of building a long-term relationship. And then we go from there.

"But we all know ... the game enough to know what my decision is going to be like."

This isn't the first time Correa has addressed his future with the Twins. When he came to the team during spring training this year, he was set to make $35.1 million per year for three seasons. But his unusual contract gives him opt-out power after this year and next, meaning his stay in the Twin Cities might have been for just this postseason-less year.

“He's going to have every opportunity in the world, probably, at his fingertips. He just needs to decide what he wants exactly, ”
Rocco Baldelli on Carlos Correa

When the Twins and Correa agreed to the deal, many expected this was just a tie-over agreement. The lockout had complicated free agency, and fellow shortstop Corey Seager had locked down a monster deal before the game shut down, garnering $325 million through 10 years with the Rangers.

Correa wants a similar commitment. And after the Twins' final home game of the season, he shifted the focus back on the Twins, rather infamously invoking a metaphor of doling out whatever money necessary at the Dior store to acquire a coveted luxury product (him being the goods, the Twins being the purchasers).

Throughout the season, Correa gave many signs of hope he could remain in Minnesota. He mentioned how much he enjoyed becoming a respected leader and voice in the Twins' clubhouse. He recounted how happy his wife, pregnant with their second child, and almost 1-year-old son Kylo are in the city and with the rest of the Twins' families.

But the contract has to be right, and it would be a huge financial obligation for the small-market Twins.

Should he not return, he'll be one of the big names in a talented pool of shortstop free agents, including the Dodgers' Trea Turner and Boston's Xander Bogaerts. Correa was stellar in the dying months of the season, even though it was not enough to put the Twins into the playoffs, and finished the year with a .291 batting average, 64 RBI and 5.4 WAR. Defensively, he was outstanding.

"He's done everything that a guy can do," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "He's going to have every opportunity in the world, probably, at his fingertips. He just needs to decide what he wants exactly, and what's the best situation for him."

And Correa has been honest that might not include the Twins.

"I want to make sure that my son and my family are taken care of," Correa said. "Hopefully, the Twins can see the player that I am, the person that I am, the passion that I have for this game and the love that I have for this game. And we can get into some serious conversations."