It is no secret that the New York Yankees desperately need a new shortstop to feature during the 2022 season. The consensus was that the Yankees would settle for a stopgap option during the lockout while Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza climbed the farm system.
However, with free agency opening back up, reports indicated that Carlos Correa was still on their priority list, presenting an interesting decision for general manager Brian Cashman and Co.
Do the Yankees remain committed to their youth and sign a player on a two-year contract, or do they swing for the fences and go with the monster deal worth over $300 million?
Based on how the market has already unfolded, the Yankees are already down two of their best stopgap options.
Yankees have already lost their top two stop-gap options at shortstop:
The Yankees were connected to Texas Rangers infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa during the lockout as a potential solution to their shortstop void. Defensively, Falefa is a fantastic shortstop that would’ve offered them above-average play in that category.
However, his offensive capabilities were limited, especially when it comes to his slugging. He posted a .271 average last season with eight homers and 53 RBIs, showcasing decent contact hitting. His offensive attributes don’t exactly fit the Yankees preferred strengths, which is why they likely didn’t jump into the trade market looking to acquire him. The Minnesota Twins ended up trading for Kiner-Falefa, giving up catcher Mitch Garver and another player in the process.
The cheapest stopgap option for the Yankees on the free-agent market would’ve been Andrelton Simmons, who signed a one-year, $4 million deal with incentives to join the Chicago Cubs.
Simmons and the Yankees would’ve been a stretch connection, to begin with, given his serious offensive limitations. Simmons has hit double-digit homers in the past, over three years ago when he smashed 11 back in 2018. His average dipped to .223 this past season, hitting three homers over 451 plate appearances. At 32 years old, Simmons seems to have taken a big dip in production, so the Yankees passing on him was a good decision.
However, with two of the top short-term options off the market, that leaves Carlos Correa and Trevor Story as the primary free agents to consider. If I were to put my money on it, I would imagine a Yankees will grab one of those two players, whether it be Correa on a massive deal or Story on a short-term but big-money contract.