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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/27/21

Orioles listening on Cedric Mullins; Didi Gregorius option as stopgap; Non-tender deadline looming; Josh Breaux left unprotected; Post-mortem on Gleyber Torres’ 2021 season

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

NESN | Jenna Ciccotelli: Yesterday, it was reported that the Orioles were willing to listen to offers for their star centerfielder Cedric Mullins, and Ciccotelli identified the Yankees as one of the teams that could be interested. Mullins broke out in a big way last season thanks largely to his decision to forgo switch-hitting, instead focusing solely on batting lefty. The change paid huge dividends as Mullins batted .291/.360/.518 with 30 home runs, 30 stolen bases, a 136 wRC+ and the sixth-highest fWAR (5.3) in the AL en route to a ninth-place AL MVP finish. Under team control for the next four seasons, Mullins could cost the most of any trade candidate on the market.

Sports Illustrated | Gary Phillips: We’re only three days away from MLB’s tender deadline, and the Yankees have some tough decisions on players with escalating arbitration salaries. Phillips identifies Miguel Andújar, Luke Voit, and Gary Sánchez as the most likely candidates to be non-tendered, and if the Yankees were to do so with all three players, they would save roughly $15 million towards next season’s luxury tax number per Cot’s arbitration projections.

NJ Advance Media | Mike Rosenstein: Didi Gregorius had an injury-plagued 2021 season, and the Phillies could be looking to dump the aging shortstop and his $14 million salary. It’s been reported that the Yankees may pursue a stopgap shortstop this winter instead of a big ticket free agent, so Rosenstein proposes that they at least touch base with their former player. The question is how much sense that would make, considering Gregorius is a downgrade both offensively and defensively from Gleyber Torres, whose move off the position created the need this offseason in the first place.

NJ Advance Media | Mike Rosenstein: The Yankees notoriously failed to protect Garrett Whitlock from the Rule 5 Draft last winter and he only went on to become a top reliever in the league with the Red Sox. New York are in danger of making a similar mistake this offseason, this time leaving catching prospect Josh Breaux unprotected. Breaux is the Yankees’ number 18 prospect per MLB Pipeline, and profiles similarly to Gary Sánchez.

New York Daily News | Matthew Roberson: The aforementioned Gleyber Torres had a miserable 2021 campaign, and Roberson does a deep dive into the roots of his problems. On the offensive side, Torres’ power became almost nonexistent. Defensively, Torres’ limited range both to his left and to his right make him untenable at shortstop.