Multiple Reports Say the Yankees Are Out on the Top Shortstops – Are We Really Buying That?

I’m gonna lead with a rumor season truism that isn’t SUPER helpful, but is maybe better than nothing. Whenever you see the same report suddenly coming from multiple sources all at the same time, you know one of two things for sure. Either (A) the reports are simply true, and everyone is suddenly talking about it behind the scenes because sources are content to make that truth known, or (B) someone is out there working overtime to plant a misdirection.

Like I said, it’s not SUPER helpful because those two poles amount to it’s totally true unless it’s completely not, but the middle ground third option is a vast sea of blurry “kind of”s and “maybe”s and partial truths. At least the two extremes offer a framework through which we can try to evaluate the reporting.

Here’s the gist of the reporting that has exploded over the past few days: the New York Yankees are totally not going after the top of the shortstop free agent market, and prefer instead to get some kind of short-term, stop-gap in place for 2022. There have now been reports roughly saying the same thing from the New York Post and the New York Daily News (as well as writers from the Post and SNY suggesting that the Yankees are at least out on Carlos Correa).

Quickly and widely, word was: the Yankees aren’t going to be aggressive, top-of-the-market, $300 million bidders on a free agent shortstop. The fact that all these reports dropped in such a short span definitely means something. The question is what exactly.

So let’s run that through the framework discussed above.

Option A: It’s just true. 

As Joel Sherman lays out, even though the Yankees clearly have a need at shortstop, they do have some reasons not to be the top bidder in November. For one thing, it remains possible that the market doesn’t develop as hoped for the non-Correa/Seager options, and the Yankees could swoop in late. For another thing, the Yankees may want to lock up Aaron Judge to a monster deal. For still another thing, the Yankees do have a couple very legit shortstop prospects that are nearer-term, and do at least factor modestly into the conversation.

Option B: Someone wants this out there. 

It’s not too hard to come up with a couple suspects on this front. Perhaps the Yankees are SUPER high on one of the top shortstops, and they simply want to make sure their presence in the market isn’t used against them. Or maybe they are SUPER high on one of the top shortstops but simply don’t want to lock anything down before the new CBA is in place, just in case it fundamentally changes the luxury tax calculation.

The other suspect? A club that’s big on Correa or Seager that doesn’t want their target waiting around for the Yankees to get involved. So you plant the seed that, hey, the Yankees are never getting involved so there’s no use waiting until February, and then maybe you can steer the negotiations a little more successfully.

Either way, I tend to think it’s a little more likely this is coming directly from a source (or sources) with the Yankees, given the reporting out of New York. And of the options, I kinda feel like this is the Yankees doing a little bit of soft shoe. Sure, having top shortstop prospects on the way gives you some coverage, but come on. It’s the Yankees. If they really wanted a particular 27-year-old(!) free agent, they aren’t going to let the presence of a prospect change the course. My guess is the Yankees want to get involved, but also want to do early-offseason work chipping away at the high end of the price tags. So although it is perhaps “true” that the Yankees aren’t going to start dropping $300 million offers immediately, I think they are the Option B source that wants this information out there right now because they know, eventually, they will in fact get involved in the bidding.

We’ll see. But for me, despite these reports indicating the Yankees aren’t going to be in on the top shortstops … I’m not really buying it. I think they just want that information out there for now, and by the end of the offseason, we’ll look back and realize it was mostly a lotta subterfuge.

written by

Brett Taylor is the Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and on LinkedIn here. Brett is also the founder of Bleacher Nation, which opened up shop in 2008 as an independent blog about the Chicago Cubs. Later growing to incorporate coverage of other Chicago sports, Bleacher Nation is now one of the largest regional sports blogs on the web.

more cubs news

Wake Up and Watch the Cubs Actually Succeed in All Phases

Good starting pitching, good offense, good defense, good baserunning, and good bullpenning? All in one game? This cannot be legal. But the Cubs did it in their 5-1 win over the Cardinals yesterday. Enjoy all the phases if you missed...

Enhanced Box Score: Cubs 5, Cardinals 1 – June 15, 2024

Although it looked like the Cubs were about to follow The Script once again today, they finally made some critical edits. They did get the great starting pitching performance that has frequently been available to them, with Shōta Imanaga pitching...

Cubs Roster Move: Wicks to the IL, Thompson to the Bullpen

As expected, lefty Jordan Wicks goes back on the Injured List today, this time with an oblique issue. It has to be frustrating for him to only have just returned from the forearm strain, and then go right back on...

Pre-Gamin’: Cardinals at Cubs (1:20 CT) – Lineups, Broadcast Info, Game Thread

CUBS LINEUP — The Cubs are now a season-low four games under .500 and a season-high 7.5 games out of first place. And it's mid-June. If the turnaround doesn't happen soon, it's probably not going to happen at all. But...

Wicks Becomes Hendricks, Roberts and Roster Decisions, Wisdom Versus the Wind, and Other Cubs Bullets

The Cubs should just start cheating at this point. I'm not 100% on the how, but just figure it out. Craig Counsell says Jordan Wicks will get imaging on his oblique today and is likely to be placed on the...

Moises Ballesteros Hit For The Cycle!

Starting the day with something positive, since so much of what else is going on is ... not. Chicago Cubs prospect Moises Ballesteros, for whom you could make a strong argument as the best hitting prospect in the org, had...

Tennessee Walking Off At the Men’s College World Series Was Incredible! (I was there!)

I mentioned earlier this week in my Blackhawks bullets that my middle son's travel baseball team is playing in the enormous "Slumpbuster" tournament in/around Omaha this week/weekend and we made a stop to see the beautiful Charles Schwab Field, the...

Watch A Minor-League Sammy Sosa Hit an Inside the Park Homer Because You Deserve It

Take it from someone who writes far too many words about the Chicago Bulls – sometimes you need to look into the past to feel any sort of happiness. As the Chicago Cubs continue their remarkably frustrating play, a clip...

Enhanced Box Score: Cardinals 3, Cubs 0 – June 14, 2024

The Cubs lost their starting pitcher, barely even threatened to score, wasted a brilliant bullpen day, and lost the game. It's not quite the same 'ole story, but it might as well be. Jordan Wicks injured his oblique in the...

Jordan Wicks Just Had to Leave with the Athletic Trainer (UPDATE)

Just two appearances into his return from the Injured List (forearm), and having just taken over the rotation spot vacated by Ben Brown (neck stress reaction), something's not right with Jordan Wicks. And he had to leave today's game after...

Latest News

Astros vs. Tigers: Free Live Stream, TV Channel, How to Watch

Yordan Alvarez and the Houston Astros (32-39) host Riley Greene and the Detroit Tigers (34-36) on Sunday, with first pitch at 2:10 PM ET.Keep reading to see how to watch the Houston-Detroit matchup in the article below.When is Astros vs....

Mariners vs. Rangers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Texas Rangers (33-37 look to avoid the sweep when they visit the Seattle Mariners (42-31) in the final game of a three-game set. Oddsmakers have listed the Mariners as -144 favorites, while the Rangers are +122 underdogs to pick...

Dodgers vs. Royals Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, June 16, 2024

Mookie Betts, batting .307 this season, leads the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-29) into a matchup with one of the league's other top hitters, Bobby Witt Jr. (.326 AVG) and the Kansas City Royals (41-31). Betts and the Dodgers are -242...

Astros vs. Tigers Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, June 16, 2024

Following a four-hit effort last time out, Riley Greene leads the Detroit Tigers (34-36) into action as +112 underdogs against the Houston Astros (32-39). The game gets underway from Minute Maid Park at 2:10 PM ET on Sunday, live on...

Diamondbacks vs. White Sox Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Arizona Diamondbacks (34-37) host the Chicago White Sox (19-53) Sunday to close out a three-game series. The Diamondbacks are favored (-167) to win the rubber match, which starts at 4:10 PM ET from Chase Field.Jordan Montgomery gets the starting...

Giants vs. Angels Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, June 16, 2024

The Los Angeles Angels (28-42) hope to complete a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants (34-37) when the teams meet at 4:05 PM ET on Sunday. The Giants are -179 favorites to prevent the Angels from completing the sweep.Kyle...

Wake Up and Watch the Cubs Actually Succeed in All Phases

Good starting pitching, good offense, good defense, good baserunning, and good bullpenning? All in one game? This cannot be legal. But the Cubs did it in their 5-1 win over the Cardinals yesterday. Enjoy all the phases if you missed...

Pirates vs. Rockies Prediction: Expert Picks, Odds, Stats & Best Bets – Sunday, June 16, 2024

Following a four-hit effort last time out, Hunter Goodman leads the Colorado Rockies (25-45) into action as +145 underdogs against the Pittsburgh Pirates (33-37). First pitch from Coors Field at 3:10 PM ET on Sunday, live on COLR.Pittsburgh's Paul Skenes...

Mariners vs. Rangers Probable Starting Pitchers – June 16

The Seattle Mariners (42-31) and the Texas Rangers (33-37) meet on Sunday at 4:10 PM ET. The contest will be held at T-Mobile Park.This contest's pitching matchup is set, as the Mariners will send Logan Gilbert (3-4) to the mound,...

Giants vs. Angels Probable Starting Pitchers – June 16

The Los Angeles Angels (28-42) visit the San Francisco Giants (34-37) for a road game in San Francisco on Sunday. The contest begins at 4:05 PM ET.This contest's pitching matchup is set, as the Giants will send Kyle Harrison (4-3)...

more cubs news