Yankees Need to Target Carlos Correa Despite Fans’ Dismayby Ben Fadden November 13, 2021 0 comments
Most likely, Carlos Correa‘s last game with the Houston Astros was Game 6 of the World Series. His tenure in Texas involved a lot of winning but also carried plenty of controversies. He now hits the market as the best shortstop available. Coincidentally, shortstop is a big position of need for the New York Yankees, though some fans don’t want Correa because he was involved in the 2017 cheating scandal that propelled the Astros over the Yankees. Fans might also be mad because Aaron Judge was robbed of the 2017 MVP. Instead, Jose Altuve took home the hardware before it came out that he and the team cheated.
However, the Yankees should still go after Correa regardless of what their fans think. Brian Cashman seems to agree. “[Correa] is just a very talented player, obviously. Puts up numbers with the best of them,” Cashman told reporters at the GM meetings this week. “He’s obviously had an incredible career thus far. Certainly not afraid. He’s pushed forward, regardless of the circumstances. He’s clearly not afraid because [the sign-stealing fallout] has not affected his play.”
Correa is 27 years old, so he’s in the middle of his prime compared to other shortstops on the market. He is also healthy once again, playing in nearly 150 games in 2021. This past season, Correa placed third in WAR (5.8) among all shortstops, which was at least two wins above Corey Seager, Javier Baez, and Trevor Story.
The former No. 1 pick is even getting better: he improved his 2021 home run, RBI, and runs scored totals compared to 2019. Correa reached his second All-Star Game and won the Gold Glove for A.L. shortstops this year, which is a welcome sight for Yankees fans who have seen Gleyber Torres struggle defensively over the past couple of years.
“But the Fans Don’t Want Correa”
Some fans might not want Correa because they’re understandably still mad at him for his role in the 2017 cheating scandal. But if he helps them win, they will like him. Yankees fans won’t forget what he did, but they won’t stop cheering for the pinstripes just because Correa is on the squad. Cashman knows this and is entering conversations with Correa’s representation in the right mindset. The Yankees general manager noted that the fans’ reaction to the sign-stealing scandal “is not going to enter [his] calculus right now.”
Yankees fans hated Roger Clemens because he was a former Boston Red Sox star, but when he was in the 1999 and 2000 parades, the fans didn’t care. He helped them win. Correa can help the Yankees win, too. Some might want the Bronx Bombers to bring back Anthony Rizzo over signing Correa. However, the Yankees need a shortstop more than they need another first baseman. DJ LeMahieu can play first base fine. An infield of Gio Urshela, Correa, Torres, and LeMahieu is better than the one that Aaron Boone had in the 2021 A.L. Wild Card Game (Urshela, Andrew Velazquez, Torres, and Rizzo).
If the Yankees don’t sign Correa, their offseason won’t necessarily be considered a failure. As mentioned already, there are other talented shortstops out there such as Story, Seager, and Semien. They could even bring in Andrelton Simmons for one year to shore up the defense.
With that said, Correa is the best shortstop available and the Yankees have enough resources to bring him in.
Follow Ben Fadden on Twitter @ben_fadden
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images