The New York Yankees have a big decision ahead of them at the shortstop position, as they have several elite options on the free-agent market to target.
General manager Brian Cashman is expected to be given the green light to spend on a big name, but whether that is Houston Astros star Carlos Correa or Los Angeles stud infielder Corey Seager has yet to be seen.
Correa projects as a long-term solution at shortstop, while Seager has the potential to move to third base, where prospect Anthony Volpe will have clearance at SS. There are several key differences between the two, who are both 27 years old and were selected in the 2012 June Amateur Draft. Correa was the 1st overall pick, and Seager was selected 12th, so both had lofty expectations.
Carlos is coming off a stellar campaign with Houston, hitting .279 with 26 homers and 92 RBIs. Correa has a patient approach at the plate, rarely swinging at pitches outside of the zone. He also has a bit of power and fantastic athletic attributes, but his part in the sign-stealing fiasco could force the Yankees to look elsewhere.
Seager has had a clean career, void of any illegal cheating, but he falters in one category, and that is his health. Last season, he played in just 95 games. Seager was placed on the 60-day injured list with a hand injury, dealing with a lower back, left quad, and hamstring injury the prior two years. Most of his issues seem to be one-off, but missing a significant portion of last season should raise a red flag for the Yankees, who are looking for players with a clean bill of health.
Correa, on the other hand, was placed on the 10-day injured list due to COVID-19 protocols in 2021, rarely making an appearance on the injury report. Correa played in 148 games this past season, and his excellence during the postseason should also be attractive for the Yankees, as he hit .283 with one homer in nine RBIs. Seager hit a measly .188 with two homers and six RBIs, striking out in 26.4% of his at-bats.
Ultimately, the Yankees will have to make a difficult decision â€” Correa is clearly the better player but with far more baggage. Considering they signed Gerrit Cole to a monstrous deal, the team’s ethical values have never stopped them from making big transactions in the past.