If I were the general manager of the New York Yankees, my first move in the offseason would be to make sure that Aaron Judge knows the Yankees will beat or match any offer he receives from another team. After that is taken care of, the first person I would call is Scott Boras. If you don’t already know from last offseason, Boras is the agent of the now-former Twin, Carlos Correa. You may think that Trea Turner is the better player, and that may very well be true. However, Correa would be my personal preference to slot into this Yankees lineup.
I may have already laid out the case for Turner, but I didn’t mention Correa much in it. He comes into his second free agency appearance in as many years, and despite that, he is still two years younger than Turner. Historically, he is the superior defender. Turner may have faired better in 2022 in terms of OAA, but to me, there is no question that Correa — the reigning AL Platinum Glove winner until Jose Trevino took his crown — is one of the best defenders in the game. Turner is obviously the superior athlete, but Correa’s instincts, hands, and arm strength are rivaled by only a few in the game.
It’s rare that a player of this ilk is available for strictly money two years in a row. In fact, I can’t think of a comparison in the last decade or so. This year, Correa doesn’t have a qualifying offer attached to him either. That furthers the incentive to add him to your roster and not worry about the potential of losing your second and fifth highest draft picks.
For the second consecutive season, Correa played knowing how important his performance would be for his future wealth, and he did not disappoint. His 140 wRC+ in 590 plate appearances put him atop all shortstops in baseball. He provides a well-rounded approach with power to all fields, and most importantly, he has proven time and time again he is not affected by facing the best pitching in the postseason. His 130 wRC+ in the postseason is identical to his career mark of 130 in the regular season. The Yankees have often been on the other side of that. It would be nice to flip the script and have that performance on their own team.
On top of the performance, Correa’s charisma and knack for leadership would only help the team that is preparing to call up two prospects in Anthony Volpe and Oswald Peraza looking to make a splash on a World Series contending team. Folks around the Twins organization applauded Correa as a person even though he was only there for a short stint while banking $30+ million.
Then, there are a few other factors as well. The Yankees’ kryptonite that is the Astros is present and as a strong as ever. If they were to acquire one of the igniters of that dynasty, maybe it would bring the confidence and energy needed to finally overcome their many losses. It’s a stretch, but at this point, the stretch of one of the best shortstops in baseball is fine with me.
Of course, there is the financial aspect as well. Correa’s Puerto Rican heritage and roots would immediately take the city by storm. It’s been years since we’ve had a Puerto Rican star in a city where the roots run deep. Correa is the type of player that would be immediately loved and inevitably stick around the franchise after his retirement. We got a brief taste of what he can do on a TV broadcast, and it was impressive. It all makes sense.
Lastly, you may think I’m ignoring the whole “Correa was on the cheating Astros” aspect, but I truly don’t care and to be perfectly frank about my own thoughts on the matter, neither should you. He is a phenomenal player and great fit to play in New York. With him, I’m confident the team could beat the Astros or any other team. I know it might not be likely, but for the second straight year, I will hope Hal opens up his checkbook.