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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/23/20

Yankees land three players on top prospects list; MLB to test robot umps at spring training; Bombers sign Avilan; Astros to apologize for stealing sings...eventually

MLB: All Star Game-Futures Game David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

SNY | Scott Thompson: Baseball America released their top 100 prospects list yesterday, and three Yankees founds themselves named. Wunderkind outfielder Jasson Dominguez placed 38th, while pitchers Clarke Schmidt and Deivi Garcia placed 62nd and 65th, respectively. This showing represents a notable improvement for the Yankees’ farm system, as the group was shut out by Baseball America last year. | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees made a small signing on Wednesday, inking left-handed reliever Luis Avilan to a minor-league deal. The 30-year-old pitched to a 5.06 ERA (4.96 FIP) over 32 innings with the Mets last season. The southpaw has played for five teams since 2012, logging a career 3.28 ERA (3.41 FIP). While the future for a lefty-specialist doesn’t look great in today’s MLB, there’s no such thing as a bad minor-league deal.

ESPN | Buster Olney: Fear not, robophobics, androids have yet to take over civilization. They have, however, expanded their reach from the minor leagues to spring training. Commissioner Rob Manfred confirmed that certain Grapefruit League games will have an electronic strike zone. The umpires’ union appears on board, so this looks good to go. Maybe the Yankees will get to experience it—for Aaron Judge’s sake, let’s hope so. | Mike Rosenstein: Oh, hey, remember that time the Astros executed an elaborate sign-stealing scheme, got caught, then refused to make any attempts at contrition? Things are still going swimmingly on that front, as team owner Jim Crane told reporters they will issue an apology...after discussing it in spring training. The whole thing defies words at this point, which makes my life as an editor difficult. Get it together, Houston.