Ranking star free agents Brian Cashman passed on by embarrassment level

The Yankees should be ashamed.

Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants
Texas Rangers v San Francisco Giants / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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Corey Seager, 2021-22 offseason

The Yankees took a principled stand last offseason during the Winter of Shortstops that they believe in Anthony Volpe. It was admirable. It showed guts. It might pay off by providing the Bombers with a star shortstop on a rookie contract.

But Volpe, even at his best, cannot play two or three positions at the same time, as Gisele famously said about Tom Brady. Corey Seager, a beautiful lefty swinger who won 2020 NLCS/World Series MVP honors, was up for grabs that offseason, replete with concerns that his overgrown frame might not stick at shortstop long-term.

That's great! Sounds awesome! Bummer for other shortstop-needy teams, but not for the Yankees! The Yanks employed both Volpe and Oswald Peraza in the minors, at that point. If they'd signed Seager, they could trade Peraza to fill additional holes, use their newly-acquired talent at short in 2022 (and possibly 2023), then move him off the position once Volpe showed promise. Volpe could even be the starting second baseman in '23 and 2024 while Seager showed him how it was done! Wow. Imagine having a playoff-tested mentor who could slide right over like Cal Ripken Jr. when the time was right?

Nope. Seager went to the Texas Rangers for 10 years and $325 million, a number the Yankees clearly vowed to not even approach. So far, he's still a shortstop, and has racked up 5.3 bWAR, 22 bombs and a .351 average. Calculating for Yankee Stadium's dimensions, that translates roughly to ... carry the three ... 89 homers, a .512 average and the 2022 World Series title. Sadly, once Seager's contract was destined to begin with a "three," you knew the Yankees wouldn't compete, content to roll out the "homegrown talent" portion of the plan only without a powerhouse insurance policy.