CARLSBAD, Calif. — The Yankees will not ignore the narrative surrounding Carlos Correa as they dive deeper into this free-agent market.
They’re just ignoring it for the moment.
As he departed Major League Baseball’s general managers’ meetings on Thursday morning, Yankees GM Brian Cashman explained his thinking on Correa and all potential acquisitions this early in the offseason (an offseason widely expected to be postponed by a lengthy owners’ lockout).
“I’m here just to kind of assess all available players in the marketplace and then just get as much information as I can for free agents and potential trade people,” Cashman said. “So things like (fan or player sentiment) is not part of that process. To me, just making sure I understand what’s available, what’s the price point of acquisition and then communicate all of that back to ownership as well as my baseball ops team so we can pref them out and then gravitate to what’s realistic or not.
“So obviously what occurred in the past, which is obviously part of that background, it’s certainly not part of that initial process for me.”
Cashman has said repeatedly the Yankees want a shortstop after their failed deployment of Gleyber Torres there; Torres appears likely to stay with the club as its primary second baseman. Correa tops an elite class of free-agent shortstops that also includes Javier Baez, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Trevor Story. This past week, Cashman said he had come “close” to meeting and/or communicating with all of this quintet’s representatives, but “not all yet. I’ll get there.” Seager and Semien share an agent in Scott Boras.
Correa started for the 2017 Astros, who were found guilty of stealing opponents’ signs illegally throughout their championship season. The Astros eliminated the Yankees in a seven-game American League Championship Series in which Houston held the homefield advantage. Yankees star Aaron Judge in particular has continued to express his anger over what transpired.
“The bottom line is, is he a great player? The answer to that is yes,” Cashman said of Correa. “He’s a free agent. So my job is to assess him as well as the others that are available and then act accordingly. Players’ medicals, their performance, their personalities, their history, all of those things play a part on every individual player. You try to get that information on every player. Some are very public and obvious, some are less. And then you pref them out with the available people and how it might fit your payroll structure.”