For the folks out there who believe the New York Yankees will sign Carlos Correa, God Bless. The positive energy is admirable … we just can’t get on board with it.
Ownership has made it a point to get under the luxury tax threshold two out of the last four years. We’ve heard rumblings about the team saving “spending” for Aaron Judge’s eventual contract extension. Before Gerrit Cole’s $324 million contract, the Yankees’ last marquee free agent contract was Masahiro Tanaka’s seven-year, $155 million deal back in 2014.
Outside of who the Yankees used to be, what recent evidence suggests they’ll dish out another $300-plus million contract to a controversial player who’d be blocking the organization’s top prospect?
The Yankees usually do one of two things: they blow the competition away with an offer that can’t be refused or they hang around just long enough for the price to drop only for them to lose the desired target. Nobody’s taking a discount to play for the Yankees anymore.
And speaking of discounts, that seems to be the only way the Yankees will pay for Correa, if you believe MLB insider Andy Martino.
In a recent mailbag article, Martino answered a number of questions, with the most intriguing having to do with Correa and Oakland Athletics first baseman Matt Olson.
The latest MLB buzz suggests there’s no way the Yankees sign Carlos Correa.
"“The Yankees seem more likely to make a trade with the Oakland Athletics than to sign Carlos Correa. The only way I imagine them doing the latter is if Correa’s market sinks to the $200 million range or lower. And at that level, you’d expect several other teams, including the Houston Astros, to be involved.“If Correa signs elsewhere as expected, the Yanks could bolster their offense at first base, either by trading for Matt Olson or signing Freddie Freeman. Then they would fill shortstop with Andrelton Simmons or, sure, a guy like Elvis Andrus, though Andrus makes a lot of money for his level of production. Metrics disagree about the quality of his defense.”"
We’re not sure why Martino is even imagining Correa’s market dipping drastically enough to end up landing him $125 million fewer dollars than Corey Seager, but that just goes to show how unlikely this pairing is. An unforeseen turn of events would convince the Yankees to pounce? Yup, them and about 15 other teams.
Also, if the Yankees were truly interested in Correa, you wouldn’t be hearing this many rumors about potential stopgap options. You wouldn’t be hearing about competitive balance tax concerns. You wouldn’t be watching them trade Luis Cessa in a “salary dump” to save $1 million and then not spend it.
Could this all be smoke for Brian Cashman and Co. to better position themselves on the market? Sure, we won’t rule anything out … but we just find it hard to believe that’s a seamless plan a juggernaut like the Yankees would spend an unnecessary amount of time trying to pull off.