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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/21/16

Right field weak spot in Yankees’ offense; Culver re-signed, O’Neill released; Goody traded to Cleveland; Betances and Holliday could be leaders

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Around the Empire

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: There were two positions on the Yankees that ranked last in OPS last season. First base and right field. First base should see a boost in production with Greg Bird manning the position instead of the corpse of Mark Teixeira and that gang of misfits. Right field, however, is more of a risk and could end up breaking the Yankees. They’ll be relying mostly on Aaron Judge to adjust, but if he falters Aaron Hicks and possibly Tyler Austin could be called into service. Neither of whom really inspire any confidence.

Pinstriped Prospects | Robert M. Pimpsner: The prodigal son returns. Cito Culver has come home. After he became a free agent this offseason, it was left to see whether the former first round pick would sign on elsewhere or get another shot with the Yankees, even though he practically has no bat. Additionally, the Yankees also release Michael O’Neill (Paul O’Neill’s nephew) from his contract. Merry Christmas?

Newsday | Neil Best: The Scranton Shuttle is officially out of commission. After he was DFA’d to make room for Aroldis Chapman, there was a small chance the Yankees would bring Nick Goody back. Now there is no chance, as he has officially been traded to Cleveland for Pit Binal (PTBNL) or Cash Considerations.

CBS New York | Ernie Palladino: With Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran all gone there was question about who would fill the “leadership” void on the Yankees. It seems that Dellin Betances and Matt Holliday are candidates to be leaders on this Yankee team. Betances led the way by graciously stepping aside for Chapman to reclaim the closer’s role. And Holliday has been a vocal leader on the Cardinals for the past eight seasons, so the team will look to him to bring some of those qualities to the Bronx.

Fun Questions

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Song of the Day

Christmas is All Around by Bill Nighy (Billy Mack?)

It’s Christmas Week on Pinstripe Alley. Today’s song comes from my favorite Christmas movie, Love Actually. The character, Billy Mack, rebrands his hit single “Love is All Around” to “Christmas is All Around.” We’re getting closer and closer to Christmas so this song makes sense. Christmas is all around us. I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes.