Report: Yankees’ pursuit for elite free-agent shortstop has a caveat

Alexander Wilson
brian cashman, yankees

There is no question the New York Yankees will be active in the shortstop free-agent market, but there is a caveat for any potential deals that general manager Brian Cashman makes. While adding a star talent like Carlos Correa looks excellent on paper, despite the cheating scandals and negative comments about Derek Jeter, his main vulnerability is that he presents a long-term solution at shortstop and not a stop-gap.

According to The Daily News, the Yankees prefer to settle on a stop-gap instead of a long-term solution, which changes everything.

It appears the Yankees will not be the team to hand out that deal, multiple industry sources have told the Daily News. … Sources have told The News that the Yankees don’t want to commit that much money to a shortstop. … The Yankees are expected to turn their attention elsewhere. … The Yankees are apparently comfortable going with a stopgap defensive shortstop while they wait for (Anthony) Volpe and (Oswald) Peraza to reach the majors.

The Yankees have several shortstop prospects rising through their minor-league system, including Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza. If either are able to become elite players at the position, the Yankees will need to rethink their strategy with any free agent acquisitions this off-season.
The hope is that one of their young studs will be playing SS at a starting level by 2023, so they will need two years of supplementary play until they need to make adjustments.
With that being the case, a few alternative options make more sense if Cashman is still looking to spend big money. First and foremost, Corey Seager presents a great option, as he projects to move to third base in the future. He’s coming off a season where he posted a .306 average with 16 homers and 57 RBIs. He has endured health complications in the past but offers diversity with his lefty bat and quality defense.
Another option that could fit the bill is Marcus Semien, who is coming off an incredible season with the Toronto Blue Jays. Over 162 games, Semien recorded a .265 average with 45 homers and 102 RBIs, both career-highs. He earned an All-Star appearance, Golden Glove, and Silver Slugger awards at 30-years-old in 2021. One of the best aspects of Semien is that he hasn’t missed a game in three seasons, showcasing impeccable health.
Marcus has dabbled at third base in the past, also playing 147 games at second base this past season. The Yankees can move him around due to his flexibility in the future, making him a solid option if they want to go that route. He would likely be a bit cheaper than Seager or Correa.
Ultimately, Correa doesn’t fit the bill if the Yankees are looking for a stop-gap at shortstop since he is a bonafide star at the SS spot and likely wouldn’t take well to transitioning after just two seasons with the team.