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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/23/20

Cashman details negotiations with LeMahieu; Clarke Schmidt on his 2020 season; Gauging the Yankees’ interest in Sugano

2019 ALCS Game 3 - Houston Astros v. New York Yankees Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Hopefully Santa Cashman will be delivering DJ LeMahieu under our trees, and not a lump of coal. He reset the negotiations the other day in an interview, saying there was “no guarantee” that things would work out. Although he reiterated that the team wants LeMahieu back, his optimism was lukewarm at best. Kuty also wrote a piece that’s worth checking out with some quotes from Cashman’s appearance on MLB Network Radio, in which he described his general negotiation strategy and his own “naughty and nice” lists.

New York Daily News | Kristie Ackert: Budding Yankees prospect Clarke Schmidt spoke with the YES Network earlier this week, and evaluated his first MLB season. Although it didn’t go as he’d hoped (7.11 ERA in three appearances and one start), he says his confidence actually grew because he proved to himself that he could get MLB hitters out. Whether Schmidt opens the season in the rotation or makes a Deivi García-like impact down the stretch, Yankees fans will probably see plenty more of Schmidt in 2021.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: Free agent arm Tomoyuki Sugano is one of the most intriguing pitchers on the market this winter. Although Sherman says that the Yankees could pursue Sugano, it’s unlikely to be serious interest until there’s a resolution on DJ LeMahieu’s status. Given the team’s intent to stay under the $210 million luxury tax cap, Sugano might only be an option if LeMahieu signs elsewhere. With this in mind, Sherman suggests the crosstown Mets as one of Sugano’s best fits.