1. Carlos Correa
Most of you hate him … but that’s just because he’s not here yet. Carlos Correa is likely eyeing to be the game’s highest-paid shortstop and the Yankees have reportedly been in contact with him. Like we said earlier, hope is not lost. Other teams acted fast over this last week because they absolutely had to. The Yankees, though urgency would’ve been appreciated, have the luxury of waiting around for their guys if they so please … assuming they’re playing their cards right. They just better not let all of their targets get away.
Correa would fill so many needs and is almost a quintessential free agent target for the Yankees. He’s the best out there, he’s a rival who spoiled years of New York baseball, and he brings character and energy that’s desperately needed on this roster.
Now, signing Correa — unless he were to somehow take a massive short-term deal and hit free agency again before he turns 30 — would more than likely keep the Yankees’ top shortstop prospects from beginning their quest to start a new era of Bomber baseball. However, might Correa move to third in a few years? Maybe Peraza can play second base and Volpe can play third? There could be other ways to make this work for all parties involved.
They’d be poaching Correa from a direct rival, too, so it’d be an addition at a serious cost for the competition. His postseason presence is undeniable (.272 average and .849 OPS in 79 games) and he just won his first Gold Glove. He’s got plenty of prime left ahead.
A glaring concern here, however, is availability. He missed a ton of games from 2017-2019 and has played in only more than 150 games in a season once. He’s played three “full” seasons out of his seven, with one of them being the shortened 2020. To be fair, though, one of his abbreviated ones was his 99-game rookie campaign.
There’s a lot to like here and the Yankees could quite frankly save their offseason by adding a multi-pronged spark like Correa. But they’re not alone in the bidding and they might have to come to terms with changing their long-term vision or shifting Correa out of position despite paying him to be a shortstop.
But if you really break it down, it’s not a difficult decision. Sign him if you like the price, wait for the prospects to develop, and either trade them or figure out a new plan. At this very moment, they’re all unproven commodities, and you cannot be eyeing 2024 in hopes of a 20-year-old and a 21-year-old being the next face of your franchise.