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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/27/16

Umps fight back vs. pitch framing, Refsnyder's rank among second base prospects, and why the Yankees haven't signed any MLB free agents.

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FanGraphs | Jeff Sullivan: Brian McCann's pitch framing numbers took a dip last year, but so did those of other highly regarded "framers." This could be the result of home plate umpires correcting for their past errors. | Jonathan Mayo: Rob Refsnyder ranks ninth among baseball's top 10 prospects at second base.

LoHud | Chad Jennings: The 2018 free agent class looks incredible right now, but three years is a long way away. It's not 2018 that appears to be hindering the Yankees' off-season strategy though; it seems to be the residual effects from the 2013-14 off-season.

CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: The Yankees are the only team in baseball that has not signed a single major league contract this off-season. Neat. | Bryan Hoch: Starlin Castro adds another dimension to the lineup in that he can bat just about anywhere and slot in well. As Hoch notes, his contact-oriented approach is useful wherever he ends up on an everyday basis