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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/28/21

Yankees monitoring Freddie Freeman; Ten New Years’ resolutions; Brett Gardner, other veterans who could retire; Recounting ties between Yankees, Virginia Tech

Atlanta Braves World Series Parade Photo by Megan Varner/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Tim Dierkes: Many assumed that Freddie Freeman returning to the Braves would be a foregone conclusion. However, lack of traction between the two sides in contract talks that preceded the shutdown has thrown that belief into question. Bob Nightengale reported from the GM meetings that Freeman rejected Atlanta’s five-year, $135 million offer as he seeks at least a sixth guaranteed year.

Could that open the door for New York to pounce? Jon Heyman seems to think so, as he speculates that the Yankees, Dodgers, and Blue Jays are at the front of the queue of teams looking to pry the five-time All-Star away from the only major league team he’s known. While he will almost certainly cost less than Carlos Correa in years and dollars, the Yankees are ultimately an imperfect fit for the lefty first baseman given the more glaring holes on the roster.

North Jersey Media Group | Pete Caldera: With the New Year only four days away, Caldera rolled out his annual list of 2022 resolutions for the Yankees. The first nine items focus on individual players from Gerrit Cole to Gleyber Torres to Joey Gallo, while the final resolution concerns GM Brian Cashman and the tall task he faces in fixing the Yankees roster once the new CBA is ratified.

MLB Trade Rumors | Tim Dierkes: While this year’s free agency class was headlined by a quintet of superstar shortstops, there is also a significant contingent of older players who find themselves without a team. Dierkes takes a look at eight veterans who could consider retirement should their markets dry up when free agency resumes. On the list are a pair of former Yankees: Brett Gardner and J.A. Happ.

The Virginian-Pilot | Steve Lyttle: Finally, we have a piece that traces the connection between the Yankees and Virginia Tech. In the wake of the horrific 2007 shooting that took the lives of 32 students on the Virginia Tech campus, the Yankees made a $1 million donation to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. The team also honored first responders before a game at Yankee Stadium and played an exhibition against the collegiate squad on the Blacksburg campus.

New York Yankees v Virginia Tech Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Virginia Tech will add another memory to the relationship between the school and the Yankees as they prepare to play in the Pinstripe Bowl against Maryland at Yankee Stadium tomorrow.