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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/23/20

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Blue Jays interested in Happ again; Zack Britton brings on- and off-field value; Former Yankee named Phillies pitching coach

Toronto Blue Jays v Boston Red Sox Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

SNY | Coby Green: J.A. Happ is generating interest as one of the top lefty starters available on the market, even going into his age-38 season. Jon Morosi is reporting that the Toronto Blue Jays are interested in Happ, again. Happ has spent parts of six seasons over two stints with the Blue Jays, who may look to him to fortify the back end of their rotation as the team looks to continue its rise in the AL East. If he stays in the division, I don’t think that the Yankees’ bats would mind too much.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Zack Britton wasn’t sure if he’d be back in pinstripes with the uncertain financial landscape around baseball, but he is very glad to be back as a Yankee. Signed for two more years at $27 million, Britton not only brings value as one of the Yankees’ top bullpen arms, but also as their union rep in the MLB Players Association. Britton was privy to insider conversations, served as the messenger for his teammates, and helped negotiate games vs. the Orioles after early-season schedule changes. No one knows what the 2021 season will look like, but Britton stands to help the Yankees in multiple ways.

Philadelphia Inquirer | Scott Lauber: Here’s a name for Yankees fans with exceptionally good memories. Caleb Cotham, a 33-year-old who appeared in 12 games for the Yankees under Joe Girardi in 2015 and was a part of the Aroldis Chapman trade with Cincinnati, has been named the Phillies’ pitching coach. He will now serve on Girardi’s staff in Philadelphia, and brings a decidedly data-driven approach to his pitching analysis. Cotham got an endorsement from his old manager, as well as Trevor Bauer, who he worked with in Cincinnati. Here’s to wishing him best of luck in his new role, as well as to memories of the 2015 Yankees, a fun team whose season ended too soon.