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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/18/19

Yankees sign Adam Ottavino to solidify uber-bullpen; Sonny Gray trade talks reaching a fever-pitch?; Clint Frazier ready to win an outfield job; Yankees’ payroll is up, but league-wide spending is down.

San Diego Padres v Colorado Rockies Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

CBS Sports | Dayn Perry: If you haven’t heard, the Yankees made another signing yesterday, inking free-agent reliever Adam Ottavino to a three-year, $27 million deal. Ottavino will join a star-studded relief corps, solidifying the Yankees’ super-bullpen along with Dellin Betances, Aroldis Chapman, and Zach Britton, among others. Following DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki, Ottavino is the third former Rockie to join the Yankees this winter.

Yahoo Sports | Craig Calcaterra: The rumors are swirling again around Sonny Gray. The right-hander has been openly shopped all winter, and it looked as if a trade was imminent yesterday afternoon. Nonetheless, he remains on the Yankees, with the Athletics and Padres in the race, per Andy Martino. Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have emerged as a surprise suitor as well.

New York Post | Kyle Schnitzer: Clint Frazier suffered through a difficult, injury-riddled 2018, but the young outfielder tweeted yesterday that he’s been cleared for spring training after a long battle with concussion-like symptoms. Frazier indicated he was ready to show what he can do and “win an outfield job.” It should be exciting to actually see Frazier at full strength this spring.

FanGraphs | Craig Edwards: Here’s an interesting look from FanGraphs at falling league-wide payroll. Of note is the fact that the Yankees currently project to run an Opening Day payroll $30 million greater than last year. However, that increase, of course, comes after a payroll slash that got the Yankees beneath the luxury tax threshold. Even this increase leaves the Yankees far below the payroll standards they set a decade ago, which must be one small driver of the current ice-cold labor market that threatens to upend the league in the coming years.