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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/17/19

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The Yankees need to make a decision for the backup catcher spot; Under the radar free agents for Cashman to consider; Frazier’s trade value is complicated

MLB: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: The elbow injury suffered by Aaron Hicks might have opened some doors in the Yankees’ outfield, but it’s still unclear where Clint Frazier will fit in next season. Frazier has been a topic of discussion at the GM Meetings in Arizona, and there seems to be an overall feeling that his trade market isn’t quite as strong as it was last offseason. With that being said, Davidoff cites one executive who thinks Frazier’s trade value is still high because of his bat. Some feel that Frazier could break out in a different environment outside New York, but Cashman points to the impressive stretches Frazier put together last season while the team was decimated with injuries. This offseason marks an important crossroads in Frazier’s MLB career. Cashman has historically believed in Frazier’s upside, but he’ll have to decide if he still fits into the Yankees’ future plans over the next few months.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: While everyone is trying to figure out how much money the Yankees are willing to throw at Gerrit Cole, there are always under the radar free agents the team will explore. With what appeared to be a deep infield already, nobody expected the Yankees to sign DJ LeMahieu last season, and look how that worked out. Miller highlights six free agents the Yankees could kick the tires on, including former Yankee Russell Martin and rival Red Sox utility man Brock Holt.

New York Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees have emphasized the importance of keeping Gary Sanchez healthy throughout the course of the MLB season, and the backup catcher will be relied upon to start a significant number of games in 2020. Austin Romine is a free agent, and Kyle Higashioka is out of minor league options, so the Yankees have a big decision to make moving forward. Cashman has said they’re comfortable with Higashioka as their backup catcher, but the offer they extend to Romine this offseason will be telling of how much he and the Yankees front office truly believe that. This should be one of the more interesting developments of the Yankees’ offseason.