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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/17/20

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Cashman concurs that LeMahieu is “this winter’s priority”; Yankees sign infielder Andrew Velazquez; Cashman offers support to Sánchez

MLB: Miami Marlins at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: While nothing noteworthy has happened between the Yankees and DJ LeMahieu this offseason, Brian Cashman has reiterated the Yankees’ strong interest in retaining the infielder (as Aaron Boone did yesterday). “I promise you that we’re working on it,” Cashman said. “He’s a priority; he’s this winter’s priority. The overall priority is to make sure that we somehow find a way to field a team that can push through and ultimately represent the American League in a World Series and find a way to win it.”

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: The Yankees signed infielder Andrew Velazquez to a minor league deal. The Bronx native played 40 games for the Baltimore Orioles in 2020, which included 19 starts at shortstop. He figured to provide some depth in the infield next year and could be competition for Tyler Wade for the backup infield role.

NY Post | Dan Martin: It seems as though Gary Sánchez will be New York’s starting catcher, even after an atrocious 2020 season. However, Brian Cashman said Kyle Higashioka has “a chance to compete to be an everyday guy” and that he’s received plenty of calls about the backup catcher but has no plans of trading him. Cashman said Sánchez would “have to prove 2020 was an aberration.”