Could latest Corey Seager buzz change the Yankees’ stance in free agency?
Are you one of the New York Yankees fans worried about Corey Seager’s defense and long-term fit with the team should he sign a contract in the $300 million range?
Understandable. The concerns are there. Never in a million years would we be upset if the Yankees signed Seager, but in a free agent class that’s headlined by Carlos Correa, it’s easy to see why the attention has shifted a bit.
Seager’s lone productive postseason came in 2020, when he dominated the Padres, Braves and Rays with hardly any fans in attendance. Even with that incredible run, he still owns a weak .236 average and .777 OPS in 61 career playoff games.
Did we mention the injury concerns, which are worse than Correa’s? Seager has played in just 452 games since the start of 2017 compared to Correa’s 500. Not great for either, but Seager’s is worse, and he missed 67 games in his contract year.
Now, for the defense. That’s what this focus is all about. Out of Correa, Seager, Trevor Story and Javier Baez, Seager is the worst defender of the bunch. What’s been one of the Yankees’ biggest problems at the shortstop position? Reliable defense.
Throw in the fact it’s been reported Seager will probably be moved to third base (a position he’s only played six career games at) in the not-so-distant future, and you begin to question making this large of an investment.
And…let’s add the fact that he may not even want to switch positions even though that might be the best move for him, and now you’re really talking about a potential headache.
Is Corey Seager a worthwhile signing for the Yankees if he doesn’t move off shortstop?
Either scenario feels like a problem. Keep a mediocre defensive shortstop at shortstop despite declining defensive abilities? Sign a shortstop to a $300 million contract only to move him to third base within three years?
The only rebuttal here is that a move to third base would be advantageous for the Yankees since the organization can then swiftly insert Anthony Volpe or Oswald Peraza at shortstop. That plan coming to fruition sounds lovely in theory, but how effective will Seager be at third? Will either of those prospects pan out? Too many what-ifs to feel truly comfortable with it.
But now, if Seager doesn’t want to move off shortstop — which is totally OK, he’s free to request his desires! — does he remain the top option for the Yankees? Wouldn’t the better scenario be to go after a superior defender at shortstop while exploring the possibility of eventually moving Volpe or Peraza to second base?
Again, we’re not biased here. We’d take Seager in a heartbeat. But when you’re talking about practicality, it seems the 2020 World Series MVP coming to the Bronx could be a bit more complicated than it should be.