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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/24/19

What the Yankees offered to Manny Machado; The Yankee farm system is stronger than it looks; The Yankees try out hypnosis

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees’ (failed) pursuit of superstar infielder Manny Machado has been, shall we say, a polarizing topic this winter. There has been much speculation about what the Yankees actually were willing to do to get Macahdo in pinstripes, and according to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the Yankees put between $220 and $240 million on the table back in December. Obviously, that wasn’t enough, and the Yankees moved on to contingency plans, with Machado ending up $300 million richer in San Diego. | Randy Miller: The Yankee farm system may seem diminished, but don’t tell that to Brian Cashman. Though they sit in the 27th spot on MiLB’s 2019 rankings, he believes that he has a much deeper talent pool than that. While many of the top players in the system have recently been promoted to the major leagues or traded away, it’s the pitching prospects in the lower levels that give Cashman confidence. He discussed this during a 30-minute interview with beat writers at length, saying:

I believe our system is one of the stronger ones in the game. It’s just the timing of everything. [The top talent] just happens to be at the lower levels. We are very pitching deep with a lot of high-end young arms.

I’m not saying the system rankings are wrong. I will tell you this: As long as our guys stay healthy and develop the way we think they’re capable of developing, the system rankings are going to be radically different next year. Why? Because those guys that are in rookie ball or are in low-A are going to be graduating [to higher levels] … because those [farm system] rankings are normally a reflection of Double-A to Triple-A level mostly, when guys start to get closer to the big-league level. Our system is not top heavy right now.

Take that, 2019 MiLB rankings. | Bryan Hoch: Aaron Boone wanted to start the season a little differently this year. A day before the first game of spring training, the team got together for a hypnosis session with mindset specialist and motivational speaker, Ricky Kalmon. Bonding exercises like this date back to 2009 when the team took a day off practice for a billiards tournament that (we all know) very directly resulted in a World Series. Hopefully this year’s activity has the same outcome, even if it looked more like a scene out of HBO’s True Detective.