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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/27/18

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Sonny talks haven’t reached a peak yet; Yankees can offer short term opportunity for Machado; Britton is the most intriguing free agent reliever on the market

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

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Sonny Gray being put on the trading block was one of the first bits of offseason news we received. An actual deal, however, has yet to materialize. Brian Cashman has gone out of his way to make it clear Gray will not be with the team in 2019, but his asking price for Gray has had teams hesitating so far. One of the interested teams, the Reds, have balked at giving up Double-A or Triple-A level pitching prospects in return for Gray but remain in the discussion.

NY Post | Joel Sherman: Today in the recent Manny Machado/Bryce Harper news, the contenders for the superstars’ services could be divided into two categories: those with long-term money and those with short-term opportunities. The Phillies and White Sox fall into the former category, and the Yankees and Dodgers fall into the latter. While that’s not necessarily indicative of the offers they’ve presented, Sherman argues that their presence as super teams gives them this second option to entice the two, and potentially convince them to re-enter the market around their age-30 seasons.

MLB.com | David Adler: Zach Britton’s got an interesting market facing him, and for good reason. Britton bucks the trend of modern pitching, utilizing his sinker roughly 90% of the time, in an era where many others are opting for a knuckle-curve or slider alongside a four-seamer. Britton has been dominant with it, however, and his numbers surged back to form in the second half with the Yankees. This rebound indicates that he could be close to dominating like he did at his peak in 2016.