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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/3/21

The Rob Manfred show; Yankees roster faces holes in transaction freeze; club linked to Freddie Freeman.

MLB: World Series-Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Matthew Roberson: We’re officially in a lockout, and perhaps the biggest problem facing the health of the sport is the attitude of the owner’s representative. Rob Manfred has been nothing short of a clown in the early stages of this work stoppage — whatever you think about the MLBPA, Manfred’s “letter to baseball fans” reeks of insincerity and condescension. This is the first MLB work stoppage in the social media age, meaning fans are more visible and plugged in than ever; the league can’t try and pretend like the consumer base is stupid.

New York Post | Dan Martin: One of the conditions of this work stoppage is that there’s a transaction freeze, and teams technically aren’t even allowed to speak to players, free agents or otherwise. This presents an obvious challenge for a club like the Yankees, that still has very significant holes in the roster. Those holes become harder to fill with less and less official communication between the various camps. | Mike Rosenstein: Speaking of holes on the roster, the Yankees could probably use an upgrade at first base. According to reports, the club was knocking on the door of 2020 NL MVP Freddie Freeman, joining a two-team bid against Atlanta and the Dodgers, both of whom are expected to have an inside track over the Yankees. Still, stranger things have happened, and it’s hard to argue Freeman wouldn’t be an upgrade for the club.