The free-agent class in the upcoming MLB offseason is going to be loaded. Players like Kris Bryant, Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Freddie Freeman and Kevin Gausman, among others, should have offers from all over the baseball world.
But no other position will offer as much intrigue as shortstop, where five players—Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, Trevor Story, Marcus Semien and Javier Baez—represent one of the most talented crops of free agents at the position in...well, ever.
"After a year of limiting their spending, the expectation is that the Yankees will land a shortstop, and that will likely be either Seager or Correa -- perhaps with the intention of eventually shifting that player to another spot. New York's top prospect, shortstop Anthony Volpe, is expected to graduate to the big leagues sometime in the next two seasons. There is a lot of sentiment that Seager will need to move to another spot sooner rather than later over the course of a long-term deal."
One evaluator told Olney that Seager was tailor-made for New York.
"He's perfect for the Yankees, in what they need right now," that person said. "Left-handed hitter, big-market experience, a great hit tool. ... I have the same concerns about him that I do about Correa, about the games he's missed. But with [him], it's a bunch of different injuries, and not one major problem. ... He's going to need an almost near-immediate move to third base."
Seager, 27, hit .306 with 16 homers, 57 RBI, 54 runs and a .915 OPS in 95 games this season. There's no doubt he'd be a major upgrade for the Yankees, though the Los Angeles Dodgers will surely push to bring him back.
Correa, also 27, has long been a nemesis of the Yankees. He had another typically solid campaign in 2021, hitting .279 with 26 homers, 92 RBI and 104 runs in 148 games, posting a .850 OPS.
With the Houston Astros back in the World Series, Correa may be inclined to keep the team's core intact and return for the long haul. But if he tempts the market, it wouldn't be shocking to see the Yanks make a major play for his services.
Of course, another question for the Yankees is which players they'll bring back. One prospective free agent who reportedly wants to return to the team is Anthony Rizzo, whom the Yankees landed in a midseason trade:
Rizzo, 32, hit .249 with eight homers, 21 RBI and a .768 OPS in 49 games with the Yankees this season after spending the previous nine seasons with the Chicago Cubs. He's clearly on the wrong side of his prime years at this point, but he remains a solid enough option at first base and in the batter's box.
It wouldn't be surprising to see Rizzo return to New York, though it also likely won't be high on the team's priority list, with shortstop likely taking precedent and the need to bolster the rotation behind Cole Gerrit a major need as well.