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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/12/19

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Yankees sign DJ LeMahieu; Zach Britton explains why he returned to New York; Luis Severino headed to arbitration; Yankees settle with other players

Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

NY Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees signed an infielder yesterday, but it was not who many Yankees fans were hoping for. The club inked veteran second baseman DJ LeMahieu to a two-year, $24 million deal. Now that the Yankees have a full infield, this all but shuts the door on a potential deal with Manny Machado. While LeMahieu does have some value, his acquisition is far less impactful than Machado would have been. The Yankees plan to use LeMahieu as an everyday utility man, bouncing between first, second, and third base. It’s not Machado, but it’s better than nothing.

NY Post | Dan Martin: Before the Yankees signed LeMahieu, they officially announced the signing of Zach Britton to a four-year, $53 million contract. Both the player and the team have options on the deal, which can be as brief as a two-year pact. Yesterday, Britton said he passed up the chance to close for other teams in order to return to the Yankees’ dynamic bullpen. Britton also spoke about his health following last year’s Achilles surgery and evaluated his 2018 season as a whole.

North Jersey: The Yankees were also busy avoiding arbitration with several of their own players on Friday. The team locked up almost all of its arbitration-eligible class, including Greg Bird, Austin Romine and Aaron Hicks. One more player of note in particular is Dellin Betances, who agreed to a $7.125 million 2019 salary. Betances is a free agent to be and has gone through arbitration with the Yankees before, but avoided mediation this year.

Newsday | Laura Albanese: However, the team couldn’t avoid arbitration with all of its players. Luis Severino and the Yankees could not come to terms, meaning they are likely headed for arbitration. After making slightly over $600,000 last year, Severino was projected to make a healthy $5.1 million this year. It is unknown what the team and player each offered, but the two parties can continue to negotiate up until the arbitration hearings in February.