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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/23/21

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Yankees in on Rockies’ Trevor Story; Boone updates the status of six players on COVID-IL; Rays acquire Nelson Cruz; Keith Law lists two Yanks among top 50 prospects; Stanton to play the outfield at Fenway Park

MLB: Colorado Rockies at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted yesterday that the Yankees had checked in on Rockies shortstop Trevor Story. Other reports circulated that a team interested in Story was looking into moving him to center, but any interest from the Yankees likely stems from his ability to play short (and move Gleyber Torres elsewhere on the dirt). Acquiring Story would push the Yankees into the luxury tax, meaning Hal Steinbrenner would either have to set aside his plan to dip under the threshold, or Brian Cashman would have to convince Colorado to kick in some cash.

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone updated the status of the six players currently on the COVID-19 injured list. “We could potentially see Gio (Urshela) by the end of the (Red Sox) series,” he said. “I think he’s actually headed up here Friday or Saturday, so he could possibly be in play for us by the end of the weekend. Higgy (Kyle Higashioka) and (Aaron) Judge could be (in Boston) by the end of the weekend and go with us to Tampa, and (we’ll) see where we are when get there.” He also said that Néstor Cortés Jr. is doing well and could “potentially be in play” for the Boston series. Reliever Jonathan Loáisiga will likely beat them all and return first, while Wandy Peralta is trending for next week.

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: The Tampa Bay Rays made the first big move of the trade deadline by sending a couple of prospects to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for designated hitter Nelson Cruz. Right-hander Joe Ryan is one of the players going to Minnesota (alongside pitcher Drew Strotman), and he is a very good prospect, but Tampa is getting a bonafide slugger that increases their chances of making a deep playoff run this season. Cruz has a 141 wRC+ and a .907 OPS this year, and he is going to the Rays with minor league hurler Calvin Faucher in the two-for-two deal.

The Athletic | Keith Law: Keith Law of The Athletic updated his Top 50 Prospects list (subscription required), and a couple of Yankees made it. Unsurprisingly, outfielder Jasson Dominguez checked in at 35th. The other Yankees farmhand to make the top 50, at number 42, was 2019 first-round pick Anthony Volpe. Law says he looks like best Yankees’ first-rounder since Aaron Judge.

New York Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees are getting ready to play their regular designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton in the outfield. In fact, there is a “good chance” he is thrown to the fire this weekend against the Boston Red Sox, in front of the Green Monster. The last time Stanton played the field was in Game One of the American League Championship Series against the Houston Astros in 2019; he then lost several games with a quad injury and returned in Game Five.

Lastly, anyone who was, erm, lucky enough to watch the artistic stylings of reliever Brooks Kriske last night will be stunned to learn that he was demoted after the game. The team did not immediately announce a replacement, but they definitely need fresh arms.