In case Brian Cashman’s Tuesday proclamation that he’d already engaged with two agents for this year’s free agent shortstops had you worried about Jonathan Villar and Andrelton Simmons, the GM made it clear on Wednesday that the New York Yankees are going to pursue Carlos Correa.
In fact, that pursuit already seems to have taken several steps forward.
All things considered, Correa is the objective best fit long-term, as long as you consider the pending arrival of Anthony Volpe/Oswald Peraza to be exactly what it is: a nice problem to have, and something we’ll address in a year or two.
Signing Corey Seager, the Yankees’ other clear preference at short, only to move him to third base to accommodate someone we haven’t met yet, is much less clean. Perhaps Volpe moves to second and Gleyber Torres goes. Perhaps Luis Castillo shows up in the locker room one day. The best rosters have lots of talent and lots of moving parts.
There is one sticking point with Correa, though. Isn’t he … an Astro? Don’t they … cheat?
Cashman addressed that on Wednesday with effusive praise and a warning for the naysayers.
Turns out the GM doesn’t really care what some segments of the fan base think about associating with the ‘Stros, which he made abundantly clear in an interview with Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle this week.
Yankees GM Brian Cashman clearly is in pursuit of Carlos Correa.
Yeah, Cash doesn’t usually go out of his way to praise a free agent or pre-justify his pursuit like this. He’s all in.
In terms of how plainly “unafraid” Correa is of both the big stage and the big moments, that much is clear. You don’t need Cashman telling you that after yet another postseason full of watch-pointing and majestic homers. He’s also done it to the Yankees repeatedly throughout the 2017 and 2019 postseasons. We’re good on that.
To hear it come from Cashman’s mouth, though, it’s obvious New York intends to heavily pursue the market’s best shortstop, preexisting concerns be damned.
Listening to the fans in general terms is probably a wise move. If they’re concerned, you should be, too. But listening to them on personnel moves? If Cashman worried about fan reaction, you would’ve had a blank check delivered to DJ LeMahieu last offseason and Gerrit Cole’s money in Patrick Corbin’s pocket.
It’s a somewhat uncomfortable reality that the Yankees might end up with the Cheatin’ Astros’ best offensive player and pitcher just two years later, but what was the Roger Clemens acquisition in 1999 if not a different shade of the same thing? Wade Boggs? Johnny Damon?! Winning teams win.
Mostly, we simply remain worried that money might be an obstacle considering the team was more than willing to duck a year of Gerrit Cole’s prime just to avoid the luxury tax at all costs last year. Karmically, last season’s sloppy effort ended the way it should’ve. Cashman can speak all he wants about his budgetary “latitude,” but these Correa comments and anti-fan-service quotes sell us on a rededication to winning more than any “Fully Operational Death Star” comment ever has.
Bottom line? Cashman loves Correa, and he probably loves Seager, too.
Acquire talent. Figure out the rest later after you’ve won a championship. Seems like a “win at all costs” plan to us.