Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Aaron Boone addresses Yankees’ shortstop situation, says ‘landscape could change’ before Opening Day

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Coming into the offseason, New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman declared that his club would “address” the shortstop position. Spring training is about to begin, but so far the Yankees have failed to live up to that promise. 

Indeed, Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Sunday that Gio Urshela is currently the club’s starting shortstop. Boone, perhaps remembering when Cashman sold Bubba Crosby as the Yankees center fielder heading into 2006, did add a caveat, stating that “the landscape could change along the way,” according to MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch.

Urshela, 30 years old, finished last season as New York’s starting shortstop after the Yankees moved Gleyber Torres to second base and weathered Andrew Velazquez’s stretch as a regular. Urshela performed fine overall, hitting .267/.301/.419 (96 OPS+) with 14 home runs in 116 games, but he’s a natural third baseman whose presence could be required at the hot corner, depending on DJ LeMahieu’s health and what New York does elsewhere.

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The elephant in the room is that the Yankees have had steady reported interest in free-agent shortstop Carlos Correa. It’s unclear how serious Cashman is about signing Correa (though he did receive his medicals prior to the lockout), and he’s likely to face competition from the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros, among others. 

Correa, who entered the winter ranked by CBS Sports as the best player on the free-agent market, would provide the Yankees with another impact-level talent as they attempt to win their first American League East crown since 2019. He’s presumably seeking a contract similar to the one Francisco Lindor signed with the New York Mets last spring: 10 years, $341 million. He’s known to have rejected lesser offers from the Astros and the Detroit Tigers, who instead signed Javier Báez.

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