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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/20/22

Yankees miss out on Correa, though could be targeting Story; New catcher Rortvedt may miss the start of the season with an oblique injury; Cole’s thoughts on the “Zombie Runner.”

Colorado Rockies v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

CBS Sports | Dayn Perry: With Carlos Correa signed, that leaves Trevor Story as the last shortstop standing in need of a contract, and it’s being suggested that the Yankees might be interested in signing him to a deal similar to Correa’s. That would shift Isiah Kiner-Falefa away from being the presumed starter at that position. The Red Sox and Astros, now of course looking for a new shortstop, are listed as other potential suitors. If the Yankees wouldn’t pay for Correa in the short-term, it might be surprising to see them sign Story. With spring training games having begun, it’s assumed Story will need to sign soon.

Update: Annnnnd Story is now signing with the Red Sox. Whoops.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: The Minnesota Twins stunned the baseball world by signing Correa, arguably the crown jewel of this year’s free agent class, to a three-year contract worth $35.1 million per year, with opt-outs after the first two years. Though he will certainly be an expensive player, the length of the deal minimizes the risk — you might even say that the bigger risk is for Minnesota, in that he will put up star numbers, then leave shortly, giving them a hole at shortstop again.

If the Yankees could pay the remaining $50 million of Josh Donaldson’s Twins contract, they clearly could have afforded Correa. Freddie Freeman, a former MVP, also went to the Los Angeles Dodgers despite reported interest by the Yankees. The length of his contract and his age makes his deal riskier, but the Yankees once again seemed to have pulled themselves out of the running for a star due to price. Sherman points out that both of those contracts can’t be judged just yet — perhaps the Yankees will come out looking prudent. Still, it’s odd to see the Yankees losing out on players to Minnesota.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: The trade with the Twins earlier in the week has already hit a hitch, as catcher Ben Rortvedt, part of the Yankees’ return, has been shut down with an oblique injury. He’s at risk of missing Opening Day, as he’s not currently hitting. Rortvedt was expected to open the season splitting time at catcher with Kyle Higashioka, but now it seems like the team might need to bring a different catcher north (veteran Rob Brantly was the third catcher last year and seems most likely). Oblique injuries are known to be tricky to recover from, so Rortvedt’s status for the start of the 2022 campaign is definitely in doubt.

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: If you have concerns about the “zombie runner” rule that puts a runner on second base once extra innings begin, you’re in good company, as Gerrit Cole also has some issues with it. However, he does like the concept itself and shortening the lengths of games — the issue is how it may effect the stat lines of the relievers who allow the ghost runners to score. Allowing that runner home is an unearned run for them, even though they didn’t put the runner on themselves. Although it doesn’t affect their ERA, it could end up hurt their earnings in arbitration. Trust Cole, who was heavily involved with the new CBA negotiations, to look at the business side of things.