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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/17/22

Roderick Arias’s mentor thinks he can reach “Correa or Lindor’s level”; the three Yankees prospects with the most to prove in 2022; Yankees seen as a “speculative fit” for Bryant

MLB: JUL 10 Yankees at Orioles Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Listín Diario | Pedro Briceño: Roderick Arias is a happy young man. Considered perhaps the best international prospect available when the signing period started on Saturday, the Yankees gave him $4 million to secure his signature. His dedication and perseverance since he was a child has paid off, but he still has a long way to go before he fulfills his potential.

“Ever since I got here, I worked very hard until I reached my goal, and it has been worth it so far”, Arias said to Listín Diario, a Dominican paper, before signing his contract.

This article, in Spanish, has some details about his origins, and the moment when he, as an 11-year-old kid, went to Baseball Paulino Academy, owned by Daniel Paulino, and fell in love with his complex in San Pedro de Macorís.

Speaking of Paulino, he thinks young Roderick can be in the same class as fellow Latin shortstops Carlos Correa or Francisco Lindor. “This guy isn’t afraid to put in the hard work, and he owns so many qualities that instructors didn’t hesitate much when they saw him,” he said.

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees have lots and lots of quality prospects, but some of them have been around for a long time, and results have been mixed: for one reason or another, they haven’t been able to take that next step in their development.

Deivi García had a rough 2021 season after a rather promising 2020. Clarke Schmidt lost most of the year with elbow issues, and Estevan Florial needs to prove he can make enough contact to not be a liability at the plate. Those are, per NJ Advance Media, the three Yankees prospects with the most to prove in 2022.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald Lots of teams will follow Kris Bryant’s market closely once the lockout is lifted. The Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, New York Mets, Los Angeles Angels, San Diego Padres, Philadelphia Phillies, Houston Astros, and San Francisco Giants have shown varying degrees of interest in the former MVP and World Series champion.

While the Yankees’ primary need is a shortstop, there is a non-zero chance they consider Bryant to play third base, first base, and even some left field. MLB Trade Rumors puts the Bombers in the “speculative fits” category, and writes:

“The Yanks have been a sleeping giant so far in this offseason, seemingly pushing major moves until after they could get a look at the new CBA. DJ LeMahieu is the best fit for third base duties at the moment, though he could also defer to Bryant and move over to first base, especially if the club pulls the trigger on a Luke Voit trade. Like the Blue Jays and Red Sox, the Yankees were also connected to Seiya Suzuki, suggesting they could also find a way to work Bryant into the outfield mix, perhaps in combination with a Joey Gallo trade.”