On Tuesday, the Carlos Correa saga finally ended. Well, wait. Everything’s pending a physical … so we might be in another three-week holding pattern. Nonetheless, the All-Star shortstop agreed to a six-year, $200 million contract with the Minnesota Twins after the dealings with the New York Mets reached a boiling point.
This agreement should materialize much faster, because the Twins are familiar with Correa’s medicals after signing him last offseason (and have reportedly already okayed his troublesome ankle scans). But we must ask — as many other New York Yankees fans are — why weren’t Hal Steinbrenner and Brian Cashman involved here if the price dropped over $100 million?
There are reportedly escalators in Correa’s new deal with the Twins that could take the total value up to $270 million, but still, that would be $90 million less than Aaron Judge, $55 million less than Giancarlo Stanton, and $54 million less than Gerrit Cole.
Though the Yankees’ payroll would’ve ballooned to ~$320 million, they would’ve had an immediate shortstop solution with Correa for 2023 and then a path for him to eventually take over for Josh Donaldson/DJ LeMahieu at third. Better yet, they could’ve had Correa for his entire prime while avoiding an onerous 10-plus-year contract.
OK, well now that we’ve gotten the pros out of the way, we’re happy to smash them all to bits because Correa was never coming to the Yankees, regardless of the scenario!
Why didn’t the Yankees get involved with Carlos Correa at the Twins’ price?
First of all, do you think the Yankees want another injury-related issue on this team? The concerns regarding his ankle were so severe that Correa could only land a three-year deal last offseason (well, really a one-year deal), was ditched by the Giants this offseason, and then couldn’t convince the Mets to go over $157.5 million guaranteed (though Steve Cohen was willing to max it out at $315 million while the Twins came in at $270 million).
The Yankees have had injury concerns with all of their top players, with the exception of Cole, in recent years. Some might even say they took a risk with Carlos Rodón due to his history of being unable to stay on the field. Adding another marquee option that may not be available just creates a more precarious championship window.
Then you have the many other roadblocks that have been repeated over the last year and a half, which … fine, we’ll run through them quickly.
-The 2017 Astros cheating scandal (and potentially 2019!) directly ruined the Yankees’ championship hopes.
-The Yankees are confident in Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe, which is much more understandable now that we’ve seen them grow another year in 2022.
-The Yankees made multiple financial mistakes, most notably trading for Josh Donaldson and extending Aaron Hicks. Every team has limitations (except for the Mets). The Yankees have to live with some of their blunders.
-Adding Correa to the Yankees’ roster only elevates the pressure. Higher expectations and a greater chance of being a laughingstock when they come up short.
-The Yankees do not need All-Stars at every position or a $300 million+ payroll to be a true contender. They need to make better decisions at the margins.
–The Yankees reportedly turned down Correa not too long ago, likely under the assumption there’d be a deal of similar dollar figures discussed. Why would they all of a sudden change their mind?
-Correa’s played in more than 136 games in a single season just two times. Last year, he was OPS’ing .780 on Sept. 7 before salvaging his season on a tear while playing meaningless baseball for the eliminated Twins.
-The Yankees undoubtedly need some louder voices/domineering characters to an extent, but Correa’s moxie certainly doesn’t jibe with what this buttoned-up organization is looking for.
-How open would Correa have been to moving to third base eventually? Sure, he’d do it for Francisco Lindor … but would he have done it for Peraza or Anthony Volpe? Certainly doubt it!
Correa was never a fit with the Yankees. This dates back to last year, even when they had a glaring, unresolved shortstop vacancy.
Do some of us wish it were different? I’d take Correa on my baseball team right now and “figure it out” with the rest of the roster. But tricking yourself into thinking the Yankees would’ve acquiesced and done a 180 is the definition of delusion.