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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 8/19/21

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Volpe, Dominguez among MLB’s top 20 prospects; Voit not giving up starting job lightly; Rizzo, Chapman activated; Germán throws bullpen; latest CBA negotiations for 2022; Larsen’s ashes spread at site of perfecto

2021 Sirius XM Futures Game Photo by Rob Tringali/MLB Photos via Getty Images

MLB.com: MLB Pipeline gave a midseason update to its Top 100 Prospects list, and a few Baby Bombers made some big gains. Shortstop Anthony Volpe is all the way up to No. 15, continuing his outstanding 2021 surge. The Yankees’ top pick in the 2019 MLB Draft has hit .299/.433/.602 with 28 doubles, 19 homers, and 27 steals in 83 games between High-A Hudson Valley and Low-A Tampa. Not far behind Volpe is an 18-year-old at No. 17, Jasson Dominguez, and the third Yankee on the list is another strong infield prospect, Oswald Peraza at No. 64.

ESPN | David Schoenfield: Luke Voit is not ceding the Yankees’ first-base job without offering his own thoughts on the situation. After homering as part of the Yankees’ doubleheader sweep on Tuesday, Voit acknowledged that he still understands why the team acquired Anthony Rizzo, but the 2020 home run leader doesn’t want to be totally left out of the picture. Given his defensive advantage, Rizzo should probably start in front of Voit, but I have no problems at all with Voit declaring his desire to play. It’s only natural for an athlete, and thanks to the DH, it’s not like a defensive alignment including all of the Yankees’ top mashers is impossible to configure.

Yahoo Sports | Scott Thompson: Speaking of Rizzo, the Yankees formally announced his activation from the COVID-IL prior to last night’s game, with manager Aaron Boone saying that he would make sure that Voit still plays “a big role” going forward. Closer Aroldis Chapman also returned off the more standard 10-day IL, as he was out for a week and half with elbow inflammation.

To make room for the two big names, the Yankees sent outfielder Jonathan Davis and reliever Nick Nelson back to Triple-A. Outfielder Trey Amburgey was also officially optioned off the IL to Scranton, where he was already playing. The next player to come off the IL could be Domingo Germán, who threw a successful bullpen yesterday, though it hasn’t been revealed whether he needs a rehab assignment or not.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: If you have an Athletic subscription, I would recommend reading the original report, but if you don’t, this MLBTR summary will do the job. The Athletic’s sources revealed that MLB has offered a combined $180 million luxury tax threshold with a $100 million floor to the MLBPA. The positive sign to take from this is that it’s the first offer in a negotiation, and a much-needed floor to force sub-$100M payroll teams to spend is already on the table. The negative is that owners who can absolutely afford the minor penalties are already skirting the current $210 million luxury tax threshold anyway by treating it as a soft cap, and dropping it even lower is going in the wrong direction. Rest assured, we have a long way to go to ensure that there is baseball in 2022.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: The 65th anniversary of Don Larsen’s World Series perfect game is just a couple months away, and he would’ve turned 92 on August 7th. He passed away on New Year’s Day 2020, but his family still had his ashes. So when an opportunity came up for Larsen’s grandson, Justin, to visit New York around then, the former Yankee’s agent had — you’ll excuse me because I can’t resist — the perfect suggestion for where to lay part of him to rest. The rough location of the old Yankee Stadium mound is still intact at Macombs Dam Park at 161st and Rivera, so the younger Larsen scattered ashes there on his grandfather’s birthday.


Lastly, this is minor news, but the official 2022 Yankees spring training schedule is out. Read more about it in Pinstripe Alley’s story on the release here.