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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/12/21

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Yankees have a series of decisions to make at first base; Cashman could pursue stopgap at shortstop rather than a star; Former manager Buck Showlater high on the Padres’ list; Could the Yankees take a look at Willson Contreras?

Brian Cashman of the New York Yankees may be the most active general manager in MLB. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NJ.com | Mike Rosenstein: Much like Yankee fans clamored for the team to back up the Brinks truck for Gerrit Cole two winters ago, many will push the club to target a star shortstop to solve their lineup woes this offseason. However, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Yankees insist they won’t be looking for a player the likes of Corey Seager, Trevor Story, and Carlos Correa, instead focusing on finding a stopgap before Anthony Volpe takes the reins in 2023. Perhaps we should hope that this is just another case in which Nightengale finds himself a little off base.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: The Chicago Cubs underwent a large teardown this past summer, but they didn’t end up trading their long-time catcher, Willson Contreras. MLBTR wonders if the Yankees could be among the teams interested if/when Chicago makes Contreras available. Contreras’ profile is not dissimilar to that of incumbent catcher Gary Sánchez; Contreras is just a year older, both are in line for similar arbitration salaries, and both are one year from free agency. The key difference, of course, is that Contreras has been a more productive player over the last few seasons than Sánchez.

Yahoo Sports | Anthony McCarron: The Yankees have hard choices to make at first base this offseason, and there’s seemingly no shortage of directions they could go. The team could re-sign Anthony Rizzo as a left-handed complement to their righty sluggers, while trading Luke Voit, or they could give a Voit his job back while letting Rizzo walk. They could jettison both Rizzo and Voit and shift DJ LeMahieu to first, an alignment they’ve used in the past. They could even target a completely different first baseman on the free agent market. One of Voit and Rizzo seems most likely to enter 2022 as the starter, but it’s anyone’s guess at this point what the Yankees choose to do.

NJ.com | Mike Rosenstein: Former Yankee manager Buck Showalter is reportedly high on the San Diego Padres’ list to become their next manager. In theory, this would mean the Yankees are less likely to nab Showalter should they move on from Aaron Boone, but in practice, it’s hard to imagine the Yankees would have too much interest in the man who helmed the team from 1992 to 1995. For a team that wants to push forward into the future, I’m not sure they’re best suited looking 26 years into the past.