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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/29/21

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone not sweating the lack of MLB experience of his coaches; should the Bombers consider Kris Bryant?; Luis Castillo a “perfect” fit; Yanks’ top five 2021 stories.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

SI.com | Gary Phillips: The Yankees recently announced their coaching staff, and manager Aaron Boone, Mike Harkey, and Eric Chávez are the only ones with major league experience as players. That doesn’t bother the skipper at all.

The rest of the group includes Luis Rojas, Carlos Mendoza, Dillon Lawson, Casey Dykes, Matt Blake, Desi Druschel, Travis Chapman and Tanner Swanson. However, Boone suggests times have changes, and prior MLB experience as players is no longer as important as other things. In fact, considering coaches that didn’t play in MLB could open the door for a new generation of quality coaches that were blocked off previously.

SNY | Scott Thompson: The Yankees’ most pressing needs are shortstops, a center fielder, and some starting pitching. However, that doesn’t mean they should completely ignore the rest of the market. Thompson suggests Kris Bryant as a versatile option to divide his playing time between third base and the outfield corners.

The former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP winner slashed .265/.353/.481 with 25 home runs and 73 RBI in 2021 between the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants. He remains a name to watch, but there will be competition for his services.

SI.com | Max Goodman: The Yankees really need to add at least a couple of starters once the lockout is lifted. Once again, the name Luis Castillo was mentioned around the web as a “perfect target” for the Bombers.

He has been a dominant starter for years, and while he finished the 2021 campaign with an underwhelming 3.98 ERA, a lot of that can be attributed to the Reds’ experiment of deploying third baseman Eugenio Suárez as a shortstop. Castillo, a pitcher that generates lots of groundballs, really suffered from it. That idea was quickly abandoned, and Castillo got better — since June, he compiled a 2.73 ERA. He will cost a lot prospect-wise, but could prove to be a savvy addition if the Yankees manage to pry him from the Reds.

SNY | Scott Thompson: It was an eventful 2021 for the Yankees, one that didn’t result in the outcome most fans would have preferred. It was a wild ride, though, and Thompson wrote the five most interesting stories of the year for the Bombers. Among those included are Corey Kluber’s no-hitter, Gerrit Cole’s sticky stuff controversy, the trade deadline activity, and more.