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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/9/21

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Cashman must reevaluate the Yankees’ offensive approach; Search for new shortstop could go a couple ways; Andrew Heaney now a free agent; Staten Island baseball close to new name

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Now that the Yankees have been eliminated from the postseason, the question of where the team goes from here and how it can right itself hangs in the balance. For nearly two decades, the Yankees have depended on imbuing the lineup with slugging power, believing that the lineup’s ability to hit home runs outweighs the high strikeout rates that come with it. Clearly, that approach did not work in 2021. In the long offseason ahead, general manager Brian Cashman has the unenviable task of retooling the Yankees’ offensive philosophy and reshaping the group of players who will carry out that new approach.

NJ Advance Media | Mike Rosenstein: The Yankees need a new shortstop for the 2022 season after moving Gleyber Torres back to second base. Cashman has two main options: He can either settle for a short-term fix while waiting for highly-touted prospect Anthony Volpe to make it to the Majors, or he can sign one of the shortstops in the free agent market this offseason. That cohort includes Trevor Story, Corey Seager, and Javier Báez. If Cashman decides to go the latter route, Rosenstein argues that he might need to choose between signing right fielder Aaron Judge to a long-term contract and re-signing first baseman Anthony Rizzo. There are only so many resources to go around under Hal Steinbrenner’s self-imposed budget.

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees announced that left-handed starter Andrew Heaney has elected free agency in lieu of accepting an outright assignment to the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. Heaney pitched in 12 games for the Yankees this season, during which he gave up 13 home runs and posted a 7.32 ERA across 35 2/3 innings. After being relegated to mop-up duty in the bullpen, Heaney and the Yankees worked out a deal to option him late in the season. It will be interesting to see if Heaney generates any interest on the free agent market, considering his recent portfolio of work isn’t particularly unimpressive.

Ballpark Digest | Kevin Reichard: The Staten Island Yankees, once a short-season affiliate of the big league team, were eliminated last year when Minor League Baseball underwent a restructuring. But starting in 2022, the ballpark at St. George will host a new team that will compete in the independent Atlantic League. The ownership group of the new franchise has solicited fan suggestions for a new team name that “captures the spirit of the borough” and “reflects the strength and heritage of Staten Island.” The three finalists, chosen from among 2,000 submissions, were revealed earlier in the week: Ferry Hawks, Harbor Heroes, and Dragon Slayers. Voting ends next week and the final team name will be announced in mid-November.