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Around the Empire: New York Yankees News - 10/8/2014

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2015 free agent qualifying offer set, the AFL opens, and Greg Bird excels

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors | Jeff Todd: The qualifying offer to pending MLB free agents has officially been set at $15.3 million.

MLB.com | Teddy Cahill: In the Arizona Fall League opener last night, a pair of Yankees prospects impressed the crowd as Greg Bird went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a homer, and Tyler Austin notched a multi-hit debut as well. GregBirdGregBird.

LoHud | Chad Jennings: A quick rundown of the eight Yankees playing in the AFL on the Scottsdale Scorpions.

Forbes | Mike Ozanian: The Yankees were ranked as the number one brand in all of sports, increasing their value from $443 million to $521 million in 2014. (Thx Farewell Tour.)

LoHud | Chad Jennings: A look at the state of the organization at first base, from Mark Teixeira down to Connor Spencer.

It's About the Money | Brad Vietrogoski: The best and worst parts about the Yankees' outfield in 2014.