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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/30/19

The latest on Cole’s free agency; Where Gregorius and Betances might land; Villar a free agent in shocking move

Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Recent headlines in the Gerrit Cole saga suggested that the right-hander prefers to pitch on the West Coast. The Yankees, however, believe they have a strong relationship with Cole and his family, dating back to their courting of him in the 2008 MLB Draft. It’s tough to predict where the ace will sign, but the Yankees appear to be making a strong effort. | Mike Rosenstein: The Yankees have a few of their core players on the open market. Shortstop Didi Gregorius and reliever Dellin Betances are both free agents. Rosenstein names the Phillies and Reds among potential landing spots for Gregorius, while he echoes John Harper’s belief that Betances could wind up pitching for the Mets.

New York Post: In a surprising turn of events, the Orioles put Jonathan Villar, their best player, on outright waivers earlier this week. The O’s didn’t find him worth the $10.4 million he was projected to earn through arbitration. No other team in the league did, either, as the Birds reportedly shopped him heavily in July and earlier this offseason. The shortstop, a four-win player, hit .274/.339/.453 with 24 home runs (107 wRC+). Maybe he becomes an option for the Yankees if Gregorius signs elsewhere?