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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/20/2020

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Aaron Judge on the trading block?; re-imagining the 2004 ALCS; payroll in 2021 and beyond

Division Series - New York Yankees v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Five Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

NJ.com | Joe Giglio: Would you trade Aaron Judge? The former Rookie of the Year will be 29 next April, and this offseason will likely see his biggest raise as he enters his second season of arbitration. Given that and the Yankees’ lack of starting pitching options, the team could make him available over the winter for the right suitor. Judge has been the face of the franchise since arriving in 2016, trading him would truly signal that nobody is untouchable in MLB.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: It’s one of the great tragedies of modern baseball that we’ll never know what happened in the 2004 ALCS, the series that famously just ended after six games. Davidoff presents an interesting alternative history, though, where the Yankees side with a modern strategy, using an opener for Game Seven instead of planned starter Kevin Brown. It would have been a career-threatening move for Joe Torre, but sending Felix Heredia out for the first instead of Brown could have been the key to the series.

Yahoo Sports | Scott Thompson: With at least three major open slots on the roster, between the rotation and the lineup, the Yankees will likely have to spend in the winter. The question becomes how much, as the team is likely to have about $25 million to play with under the CBT threshold. If the team is committed to staying below the threshold, that makes it awfully difficult to imagine bringing back both Masahiro Tanaka and DJ LeMahieu.