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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/16/19

Yankees talking Hader, not Betances; Babe Ruth bat sells for $1 million; Corey Kluber and Madison Bumgarner on the move

MLB: Spring Training-Detroit Tigers at New York Yankees Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Brendan Kuty: Now that the Yankees have Gerrit Cole on board, there will undoubtedly be a bit of a domino effect in regards to other trades and free agency decisions. The Yankees are reportedly not having active dialogue with Dellin Betances, who looks increasingly likely to sign elsewhere. Instead, they seem to be more focused on the trade market for relief pitching, reportedly engaging in talks with the Brewers around all-star relief pitcher Josh Hader. They’re also looking into potentially reuniting Cole with Martin Maldonado, his personal catcher during much of his time in Houston.

ESPN: The bat used by Babe Ruth to hit his 500th career home run was sold at auction on Saturday for more than $1 million. Ruth became the first player to hit 500 home runs on August 11, 1929 against the Cleveland Indians at League Park. He gifted the autographed bat to a friend in the 1940’s and it’s been in their family for nearly 75 years. The buyer of the bat has not yet been identified by SCP Auctions.

The Ringer | Zack Kram: Yesterday brought yet another chunk of hot stove activity. Most notably, Cleveland traded two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber to the Rangers. The light package coming back from Texas makes it seem that Cleveland was motivated by little more than a desire to cut payroll.

Also of importance was the Diamondbacksfive-year, $85-million agreement with Madison Bumgarner. The deal takes another top option off the market. The Yankees were unlikely to target either Kluber or Bumgarner, but it’s worth noting how the market is thinning.