Preview: It’s well known that the Yankees have had a problem at shortstop ever since the departure of legend Derek Jeter and fan-favorite Didi Gregorius. After the failure of Gleyber Torres’ implementation at the shortstop position, the team is still looking for a long-time answer. However, the 2021 MLB Free Agency presents many enticing options including Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa and Dodgers infielder Corey Seager. Correa has teased the possibility of dawning the pinstripes recently and Seager fits the mold of playing under the lights of Yankee Stadium. With this in mind, in this week’s point/counterpoint, the Daily Campus Sports Section will attempt to answer which all-star would be the best fit to dawn the Yankee pinstripes.
Evan: I’m pretty sure everyone can agree that the Yankee infield has many problems and shortstop is definitely a big hole. If I’m Brian Cashman, I would be leaning toward Correa in this situation. Now, why would I be selecting Correa over such a great hitter like Seager? First, I’m thinking of this from a money perspective. Correa will command a lot less to play in New York with his obvious interest in playing in the Bronx. New York would also be competing with Los Angeles to steal Seager away and with the deep pockets of the Dodgers, I don’t feel it would be smart especially with the Yankees looking to re-sign star outfielder Aaron Judge to a large deal. Correa is also slightly younger than Seager and that should certainly entice New York to have more confidence in the shortstop’s time in the league. What separates Correa from Seager is his defense and with Correa’s glove at the shortstop position for New York, that’s impressive and definitely better than Seager, who has had struggles fielding from the shortstop position. Plus, who wouldn’t want to see fellow Puerto-Rican Francisco Lindor and Correa compete in a Subway Series matchup? It’s a match made in heaven. The next step is for Correa to sign on the dotted line.
Ajeeth: I like Correa a lot too, and I think he fits New York like a glove, but I have concerns about how much he will actually command on the open market. There’s an argument to be made that he would cost a literal boatload of money because he looks to be the best free agent shortstop available this offseason over Trevor Story and the aforementioned Seager. Even if he wants to play in New York, there is a distinct possibility that he could get more elsewhere than what the Yankees might bargain for because a SS with the combined offensive and defensive prowess of Correa is extremely valuable in today’s MLB. So, I propose the Yankees choose Seager for a multitude of reasons. First, while Seager’s bat isn’t quite the same as it was in his rookie and sophomore years, he still hits for average and puts the ball in play while being a lefty, an offensive archetype that is sorely lacking in the Yanks organization. Second, he will be bundles cheaper than Correa because the Dodgers already have Trea Turner and Chris Taylor to plug that whole at shortstop, making Seager expendable for them. The financial flexibility the Yankees get from signing Seager over Correa will allow them to add depth to other parts of the roster, like the bullpen, which was a mess for most of the 2021 season.
Evan: I would argue that Correa is worth it considering where New York is headed right now. New York needs a one-year rental right now and Correa is perfect for that exact job. The Yankees are targeting their shortstop of the future in Anthony Volpe to be ready for starting time in 2023. While the Dodgers want to keep Trea Turner and Chris Taylor under contract, and both are very valuable, I would argue that Seager is just as valuable and the team would be willing to outbid any team to keep that core together, essentially skyrocketing his value above Correa’s. The Dodgers are pushing the agenda that they intend to bring the same squad back for 2022 regardless of the outcome in the current MLB playoffs. While the left-handed bat is certainly enticing for a team that would need it, you need to grab a talented guy like Correa regardless of his right-handed playstyle. For the bullpen, the team currently has many pieces they can flip for other bullpen pitchers like Luke Voit or even a healthy Aaron Hicks. If the team decides to keep Correa beyond 2022, there’s room to make that happen, especially if he can perform under the lights of Yankee Stadium.
Ajeeth: Here’s my biggest problem with what the point you just made: There is no way Carlos Correa signs a one-year deal with any team. He’s young and has produced at a high level for almost his entire career. Plus, he has connections with teams like the Tigers (via A.J. Hinch) and the Red Sox (via Alex Cora) who both desperately need help in the middle of the infield for the long-term, teams that would absolutely sign him to a 5-10 year contract for a massive sum of money. If the Yankees really want Correa, they’ll have to cough up big bucks in order to entice a player of Correa’s caliber to play in New York. And even if they do, there are still holes on this team that need to be fixed. Going for an option like Seager gives the Yankees the flexibility to choose how they fix their team. I honestly think that Seager gives the Yankees more of what they need right now, with a good mix of contact and power from the left side of the plate. And on top of that, the Yankees might be able to make Seager’s contract short enough so that they can let him go when Volpe comes up! I think that Seager, all things considered, makes the best fit for this team in the here and now.