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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/9/21

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Yanks make Rule 5 picks with MLB edition planned for future; A missing element of the lockout negotiations; Two Yankee minor league clubs purchased; Brooks Kriske heads to Japan

Oakland Athletics v New York Yankees Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: As we covered yesterday afternoon, the Yankees made their Rule 5 Draft picks, adding pitchers Steven Jennings and Manny Ramirez to their system while losing Brian Keller to the Red Sox. However, this was only the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft; the lockout sent the MLB part — the more famous one with alumni like Roberto Clemente and Johan Santana — into uncertainty. It was unclear whether there would be a 2020-21 offseason edition, but reportedly, it will indeed happen. Expect it to take place shortly after a new CBA is agreed upon.

Now, to just snap my fingers and make that happen...

Yahoo! Sports | Hannah Keyser: Speaking of said lockout, one voice that isn’t going to be heard much during the negotiations is that of the fans. As Keyser notes, concessions will be made here and there, and baseball writ large could certainly make changes to help gain back some of the sport’s popularity. With both sides already at the table, it’s a perfect opportunity to do so. Commissioner Rob Manfred is supposed to be a steward of the sport, after all. And yet, while pace of play could be improved to create a more compelling game, it doesn’t feel like looking ahead to baseball’s long-term future will be a priority. Fun.

Baseball America | JJ Cooper: There’s a shake-up ahead across minor league baseball ownership. Endeavor Group Holdings will reportedly purchase nine teams under its new subsidiary, Diamond Baseball Holdings, and two Yankees clubs are included: the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and the High-A Hudson Valley Renegades. It’s a big purchase — one that with multiple teams under one umbrella, wouldn’t have been possible before MLB took over the minors — but it’s likely that this is just Endeavor’s opening salvo. Cooper reported in a separate article explaining the meaning of the plans that multiple MiLB insiders expect the company to eventually own “30-40” of the 120 affiliated teams.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: Let us all collectively bid farewell to Brooks Kriske, the former Yankees reliever who was given too many chances to validate his 40-man roster spot in 2021. Yes, he already left the organization when the team designated him for assignment in September, but that was simply departing for the Orioles. Now, Kriske is heading overseas. If all goes according to plan, the 27-year-old will spend 2022 in Japan with the NPB’s Yokohama DeNA BayStars.

I say this with sincerity: I hope Kriske figures it out. It wasn’t fun to watch him struggle on the mound, and it would be pretty cool if he created a great comeback story for himself by figuring out how to truly harness the strikeout talent in his right arm.