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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/7/21

If Posey belongs in Cooperstown, so do Munson and Posada; Judge and Higgy win BBWAA Awards; the Yankees’ depth in centerfield takes a hit; Will Correa end up in pinstripes now that he is unlikely to remain in Houston?

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Jorge Posada #20 | Mike Lupica: There has been lots of talk about Giants catcher Buster Posey and his Cooperstown-worthy credentials since the 34-year-old announced his retirement several days ago. In discussing Posey’s career stats and achievements, a number of Yankees fans have pointed out that Posey’s numbers are similar to those of Thurman Munson and Jorge Posada. There is certainly a case to be made for Munson and Posada—who played in the Steroid Era—belonging in Cooperstown. Lupica argues why he believes the Baseball Writers’ Association of America voters got it wrong with both Yankees catchers.

USA Today | Associated Press: On Friday, the New York chapter of the BBWAA voted on and announced the results of a number of end-of-season player awards (on Twitter Bryan Hoch expressed how much he enjoyed presiding over the process). The Yankees organization was well-represented among the winners. Aaron Judge was voted Sid Mercer/Dick Young New York Player of the Year, an accolade he previously won in 2018. To celebrate his induction into the Hall of Fame this past summer, Derek Jeter, now CEO of the Miami Marlins, took home the Joe DiMaggio Toast of the Town Award. Former Yankees assistant general manager Kim Ng, who is now the GM for the Marlins, won the Arthur & Milton Richman You Gotta Have Heart Award. Last but not least, Yankees catcher Kyle Higashioka took home the Ben Epstein/Dan Castellano Good Guy Award.

New York Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees’ center field depth took a hit this week in the wake of Brett Gardner turning down the player option on his contract. Moreover, the Pittsburgh Pirates claimed off waivers Greg Allen, the Triple-A centerfielder who filled in at the position this past July. The loss of those two leaves Aaron Hicks as the lone player capable of playing center field on a regular basis. Although the Yankees consider Hicks to be their starting centerfielder, Hicks is recovering from wrist surgery and has always been injury-prone. Hicks isn’t going anywhere—he has four more years remaining on his seven-year, $70 million deal—but the Yankees will need to prioritize acquiring a centerfielder this winter. With the outfielder free agent market as thin as it is this year, there aren’t a ton of options to choose from.

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: About a day before the official beginning of MLB’s free agent period, the news dropped that the Houston Astros presented shortstop Carlos Correa with a five-year, $160 million contract offer. Because Correa is expected to command a deal worth perhaps twice as much as that before the 2022 season, Houston’s comparatively low offer suggests the team isn’t placing a lot of importance on keeping Correa around in Houston. Considering the Yankees need a shortstop and Correa has publicly said he grew up idolizing Derek Jeter, Correa could be a viable option who Brian Cashman targets in the weeks to come.