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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/25/21

Wells impressing in AFL; Yankees eyeing Verlander, Manaea; Cole and Gardy bumped heads

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports | Randy Miller: Austin Wells, the Yankees’ first round pick in 2020, has impressed with the bat in his stint in the Arizona Fall League this season, though questions still surround his future behind the plate. There’s been an open debate since he was drafted around whether he’ll stick at catcher or be moved to first base or left field, but from his own teammates, he seems more than adequate as a backstop for now. PSA and this MLB rundown seem to be a pretty good way to track the cumulative avalanche of rumors and hearsay around Yankees’ offseason rumors. To wit, links between the Yankees chasing Justin Verlander in a rebound effort, but perhaps more interestingly, targeting Athletics’ lefty Sean Manaea, entering his final season of team control and coming off a 3.91 ERA and 3.65 FIP.

SNY | Scott Thompson: Not a huge fan of having to talk about this, but it is the offseason and there’s only so much free agency speculation we can do. Apparently, Brett Gardner and Gerrit Cole had a heated exchange midseason after Gardy paraded around the clubhouse with pine tar on his hat. Cole, who became the poster boy — unfairly — for the use of tack this season, didn’t respond well, getting in Gardner’s face and telling him to quit it.

Gardner is known as the class, or rather clubhouse clown, so for Cole to react so defensively to a joke isn’t a great look, but this kind of reporting annoys me. Pro athletes bicker and disagree all the time, as long as the party in the wrong owns up to it, and the disagreement doesn’t leave the clubhouse, I really don’t care about it. Two senior members of the team disagreed over a joke, and the guy who escalated apologized the next day.