Correa was one of three members of the 2017 World Series champion Astros who chose not to attend, joining reliever Ken Giles and fellow Puerto Rican native Carlos Beltran. The team cited "family obligations" as the reason behind Correa's and Giles' absences. Beltran, who retired after the series, had already made his choice known in February.
On Tuesday, with his team back at camp in Florida, the 23-year-old Correa told reporters his skipping the ceremony had nothing to do with politics, according to The Associated Press. There had been some speculation that he didn't attend because of disagreements with President Donald Trump's policies.
While the rest of his teammates were being feted by the president, Correa revealed that he - along with his parents and fiancee - spent Monday gathering and arranging for supplies to be delivered to his homeland of Puerto Rico, where citizens are still reeling from damage caused by Hurricane Maria last fall.
"It was not politics or anything," Correa said. "It was just that the day off was perfect to be able to provide some help for the people in Puerto Rico in need.
"I don't only represent the Houston Astros, I don't only represent my family, but I also represent the American citizens that are living in Puerto Rico. I just want to bring some awareness to what is going on."
Correa, the only Puerto Rican player to have been drafted first overall, has been at the forefront of efforts to help Puerto Ricans affected by the hurricane. In October, he sent a charter plane full of supplies to the U.S. territory with help from Astros owner Jim Crane.
Beltran had previously stated that his absence was also not politically motivated, although he did openly express his disappointment in the Trump administration's slow response to Puerto Rico's situation.