Good afternoon everyone, it’s time for another edition of the mailbag. From here on out, the mailbag will be running every two weeks, due to a slower amount of information trickling in and a lack of action going on. Without further ado, let’s open up the mailbag for more of your Yankees questions. Remember to send in your questions for our (bi)weekly call by e-mail to pinstripealleyblog [at] gmail [dot] com.
jjpf asks: It is my understanding that the MLB-MLBPA confrontation could be temporarily shelved if both sides agree to extend the terms of the last CBA while they continue to work out a new one. If this option is open, what’s your take on the possibility that it might be employed?
I don’t think this will be considered very long, for a few reasons. The status quo was already not working for both sides, so neither is inclined to continue it — even if that means putting the start of the season in jeopardy. Delaying the season is a strong tactical move, in the sense that it’ll put pressure on whoever gets the brunt of the blame for it happening — and our general consensus is that it’s on the owners, though who knows what the public perception will be — to end the lockout as soon as possible.
This pressure to make it work through a set timeline is what should push the two sides towards a deal, because otherwise an indefinite window favors the side that has the better half of the deal currently — and that’s the owners. MLB still has much to ask for from this new CBA, but the current structure is heavily favorable to them and likely only needs to secure a few of their choice demands to still be favored in the eventual deal that gets drafted. With all this in mind, it’s in the best interest of both sides to get a new deal done rather than rely on an extension of the old.
The idiot that said, “Harper is coming” asks: Who is the most likely starting shortstop for the 2022 Yankees on Opening Day? Actually, how about a consensus top three or top five most likely scenarios?
Since the lockout is nowhere close to ending at the moment, and that throws a wrench into the plans for acquiring a shortstop from outside of the organization, I’ll say that the most likely Opening Day shortstop at this moment is Gio Urshela. That doesn’t mean that Urshela is himself a likely answer, just that the odds are spread out too thin at the moment to confidently declare one man the answer.
From there, I think there’s something to the rumors of the team inquiring about Matt Chapman as a possible shortstop. He would fit in like Urshela does, except with a stronger resume on his side and more longevity should he stick around at third when the Yankees hope to promote their shortstop prospects from within. After that, Trevor Story would be a solid signing who probably doesn’t fit the mold as well since he’s a pure shortstop, and then we get to the true stopgaps like Andrelton Simmons and José Iglesias. Correa doesn’t enter the picture, even though he would be a massive signing, just because of how unreasonable it seems at this point to fit his contract with the Yankees’ budgeting plans.