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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/4/20

Yankees interested in Michael Brantley; Staten Island Yanks fold and sue MLB; weighing the pros and cons of Kyle Schwarber

League Championship - Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros - Game Five Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Connor Byrne: The latest rumor heard by ESPN’s Buster Olney connects the Yankees to outfielder Michael Brantley. The four-time All-Star is one of the most consistent hitters in baseball, producing a 125 OPS+ in the last three years with very similar numbers in each season, and his lefty swing would surely be enticing to match up with the Yankee Stadium short porch. Brantley was not extended a qualifying offer either, so he’d come without a draft pick attached. The problem, of course, is that he’s an outfielder and the Yankees are a little crammed with those. Olney suggested that Brantley might very well just be a Plan B should the team fail to re-sign DJ LeMahieu.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: The Staten Island Yankees were one of many minor league teams abandoned by their MLB affiliate earlier in the offseason, and with no viable solution in sight, the team announced that it would be ceasing operations and filing a (reported) $20 million lawsuit against MLB and the Yankees. It’s a shitty situation, especially considering that the S.I. Yanks were established in 1999 with the whole point of their existence being their close connection to the Yankees. That the Yankees couldn’t figure out some way to keep them active is an embarrassment, particularly given that $71 million of their own fans’ taxpayer money went into building the Richmond County Bank Ballpark complex (which is a gem) in the first place. Sigh. | Pete Caldera: The Cubs non-tendered 2016 World Series hero Kyle Schwarber on Tuesday night. Should the Yankees have any interest? He hit 94 homers between 2017-19 before slumping through a shaky 2020. Caldera weighs the pros and cons of the Yankees adding Schwarber, though like Brantley, it’s a bit of a roster crunch. | Bryan Hoch: The average Yankees fan is probably at least somewhat familiar with the team’s ban* on long hair and most beards, but most probably don’t know the exact origins. Hoch tells the story of the policy, which dates back to George Steinbrenner’s first spring training of ownership in 1973. Even after his passing, it lives on through his kids.

*Editor’s note: It’s still a dumb and patronizing policy that shouldn’t exist in the year 2020. Let the Jordan Montgomerys of the world look good, dangit.