Yankees are Favorite to Sign Shortstop Carlos Correa, Despite Role in Infamous Astros Cheating Scandal & Taking Shots At Jeter
After losing out on shortstop Corey Seager, pressure is mounting on the New York Yankees to make a blockbuster move. While the Yankees brass have said that Carlos Correa’s role in the Astros sign- stealing scandal would not factor in to the decision to give him a contract for his market value, rumored to be in the $300 million dollar range, some Yankees players may feel different.
Correa’s participation in the sign-stealing scandal contributed to the Yankees’ ALCS demise in 2017 and maybe 2019 and fans have never forgotten it.
But both Yankees GM Brian Cashman and Manager Aaron Boone have praised Correa for his massive growth potential and outstanding talent.
“Great player,” Boone said in a presser earlier this month. “I think he’s obviously in the prime of his career or entering the prime of his career and part of what is a very special shortstop class. I think he’s a guy that has really developed into a leader over these last several seasons with the Astros. And he’s going to be in high demand for good reason based on the player he is between the lines and also the intangible things that you’ve seen him grow into over the years, at least across the diamond.”
However, Correa has not been shy about running his mouth, most recently taking a shot at Yankees Legend Derek Jeter by reportedly saying the former shortstop didn’t deserve his Gold Gloves.
Plus, Yankees players like Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton may not be so thrilled with Correa in their midst behind the scenes. Both have spoken out about the Astros cheating scandal.
Boone said earlier this month that before committing to a colossal contract with Correa, the club would make sure the players all felt good about it.
“Anytime we’re involved with a free agent, a free agent that’s going to attract a lot of years and dollars, we’re all going to feel really good about it (before committing to a signing),” Boone said. “So there’s a lot that goes into that and I think that’s part of what goes on when you’re talking to free agents or recruiting free agents. You want to really get to know who they are and what they are, and also (have them know) who we are and what we’re about. So that’s a process, and as much a part of the process as ultimately settling on a contract.”
Correa was rumored to be locked in with the Detroit Tigers where he would’ve been reunited with Manager A.J. Hinch, who was fired by the Astros in the wake of the sign-stealing scandal. While there was no evidence he encouraged it, it was widely known that Hinch knew what was going on and did not stop it.
Astros Owner Jim Crane said after firing Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow, “Neither one of them started this but neither one of them did anything about it.” Hinch was given the second most severe suspension on a Manager for in-game conduct in baseball history.
But instead of committing to Correa, the Tigers signed Javier Baez to a multi-year deal worth $140 million dollars which is being billed as riskier but more sensible.
Now, with few free agents left, Correa’s price has skyrocketed as Yankees fans plead with the organization on social media to scoop him up. The Yankees are a top candidate for Correa this winter because they are one of the few clubs that can increase their payroll to sign a star like Correa. Plus now with the Mets blockbuster moves, the pressure is on the Yankees to do something big. Baseball insider Jon Heyman reported that Correa is content to wait for the right deal even if it means waiting through the lockout. If money is the key to his heart than the Yankees are his best suitor. There is rumor the Cubs are also in the running, but Correa may be up for the challenge to come and try to outshine Derek Jeter, and try to make himself the Short Stop King of New York. Certainly, the pressure is on Brian Cashman from the New York media giants to make a big move for the hometown.
Amid the free agent frenzy, the Yankees have been pretty quiet, overshadowed by big moves from the New York Mets franchise including the signing of pitcher Max Scherzer.
After losing two big players, including Scherzer, the Dodgers are also in the running to sign Correa.
Reporter Mike Rodriguez tweeted that the Yankees and Cubs remain the frontrunners due to the fluidity of their negotiations. But the Yankees have deeper pockets. The Yankees are valued at nearly two billion dollars more than the Cubs according to Forbes estimates earlier this year that has the Yankees at a cool $5.25 Billion dollar valuation.
However, Sportico valued the Yankees as the most valuable franchise at over $6 billion and the Cubs in ninth place at just over $4 billion.
If money talks, expect Correa to be walking to New York. It will come down to how badly the franchise wants him.
Meanwhile, a lengthy lockout is expected as owners and the players union bicker over whether to make major changes to arbitration, salary floors, playoff eligibility and hash out other game altering issues.