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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/26/21

Free agent pitchers could cost Yankees a pretty penny; Freeman a possibility but not probable; Yanks could target Willson Contreras for catching upgrade; Boone helps out with Stadium food drive.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

NY Daily News | Matthew Roberson: The free agent market has been moving for pitchers, with Eduardo Rodriguez, Justin Verlander, and Steven Matz among several names to have signed already. The signs are pointing to a player-friendly field so far, and if the Yankees are looking to get any upgrades here they’re going to have to open up Hal’s wallet to do so. | Mike Rosenstein: Freddie Freeman continues to sit and field attention from several MLB clubs, and the Yankees are one of the teams in on his services. Freeman certainly seems to have a beneficial market building, with archrivals in the east (Yankees and Red Sox) as well as the west (Dodgers and Giants) bidding, but it’s going to be hard to pry him away from his career-long home in Atlanta.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: The Yankees have made it clear that Gary Sánchez isn’t guaranteed to be the starter next year, but with a weak free agent market for catchers there hasn’t been much traction towards finding a new starting backstop. It is possible that the Yankees look to make a trade though, and if they do then Willson Contreras would be a solid fit. Contreras is one of the few remaining holdovers from the Cubs’ championship core, and the two teams just got together to negotiate the Anthony Rizzo deal, so they’re certainly familiar with the Yankees’ farm system.

NY Daily News | Matthew Roberson: Earlier this week, manager Aaron Boone was at Yankee Stadium assisting with handing out food for the team’s monthly Food Bank distribution ahead of Thanksgiving. Boone felt that the timing was right to help people get food on the table ahead of the holidays, and said that it was “a reminder not to take for granted, at all, the things that some of us deem simple.”