Predicting the New York Yankees will actually open their wallets when the MLB lockout ends in July 2024? OK, you’ve got our attention. Now hold onto it.
Though October and November were mostly filled with broken promises, near-misses, and whatever that was with Matt Olson, some MLB insiders weren’t deterred by New York’s silence.
After all, several premium options are still available on both the trade market and in free agency. Olson and the A’s are still out there. Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Seiya Suzuki and Kyle Schwarber are options for money alone. All the Yankees would have to do is engage their fully-operational Death Star.
But … would the Yankees really dive back into the pool on the verge of Spring Training beginning? Even after their only move of the offseason was penny-pinching to slice $1 million off Joely Rodriguez’s salary?
We say no. Ex-GM Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required) is a believer.
He claims, in his re-ranking of the top 25 free agents still available, that the Yankees will ultimately sneak into the bidding for Carlos Correa and secure the No. 1 prize still on the market.
Bowden also makes a point of saying the Yankees are, in fact, one of the two teams other than the Atlanta Braves that contacted coveted first base free agent Freddie Freeman prior to the lockout (alongside the Los Angeles Dodgers).
Are the Yankees really going to sneak in and sign Carlos Correa and Freddie Freeman?
Granted, this is only slightly more ironclad than the mysterious and awful AI-generated (?) article that popped up this week citing Yankees fan and director of ESPN’s “The Captain” Randy Wilkins. Wilkins noted that he’s heard from sources the Yankees were close to an exciting move, of some sort, pre-lockout; the robot who wrote this article just assumed that was Correa, and confidently wrote it 100 times.
There’s a bit more nuance to Bowden’s case (though not all that much) — with Correa’s market still failing to materialize, he believes that the Yankees might stop their firm denials eventually and make the obvious leap. They do care about getting better, don’t they?
Per Bowden, Correa’s preference is still a return to the Astros. Perhaps both he and Story settle for lucrative short-term deals in the worst offseason in recent memory? Unlikely, but … possible.
For now, we’ll just have to take the word of any MLB insiders who predict positive things for the Yankees, and throw the opinion of anyone who doubts us directly into the garbage can. What else can we do?