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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/27/21

The Yankees are taking a new, high-risk strategy to rotation building; the 2021 MLB Hall of Fame class will be empty; court case on illegal ball-doctoring substances has been thrown out

Texas Rangers Summer Workouts Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images | Mike Lupica: The acquisitions of Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon represent a “bold new strategy” for the Yankees’ pitching staff. Rather than trying to steer clear of players with injury history, the team has instead embraced uncertainty, hoping for significant contributions from four guys who combined for one inning last season: Kluber, Taillon, Luis Severino, and Domingo Germán, in addition to the young Jordan Montgomery and prospects Deivi García and Clarke Schmidt. It’s a bold strategy, but should it pay off, the Yankees will have one of the best rotations in baseball.

CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: For the second time in nine years, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted in an empty class into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, with no players receiving the minimum 75 percent of the vote needed for enshrinement into the Hall. This has happened on nine previous occasions: 1945, 1950, 1958, 1960, 1965, 1971, 1996, and 2013. Despite the empty class, there will still be a ceremony this year, as the Hall of Fame class of 2020 — Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons, and Marvin Miller — did not have their ceremony last season due to the pandemic. | Mike Rosenstein: A potentially “sticky” situation for Yankees ace Gerrit Cole may just have been avoided, as a Los Angeles court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Brian Harkins, the former Angels’ visiting clubhouse manager. While Cole himself was not directly involved in the investigation, he was connected via a text message allegedly asking for an illegal ball-doctoring substance. In fact, he was one of the many high-profile pitchers throughout the league — including Max Scherzer, Justin Verlander, Felix Hernandez, Adam Wainwright, and new Yankee Corey Kluber — named in the case, as Harkins claimed he was being made a public scapegoat to avoid an MLB-wide scandal. The case may not be over, however, as Harkins plans to appeal the dismissal.