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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/9/22

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Yankees were on the verge of trading for Wheeler in 2019; Jameson Taillon reports no pain as he recovers from surgery; the Anthony Volpe love continues

Baltimore Orioles v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

SNY | Andy Martino: Trades between the crosstown rival Yankees and Mets, are rare, but the two teams were apparently on the verge of a major deal 2019. At the time, the Yankees were close to acquiring right-handed pitcher Zack Wheeler, but another player involved failed their medical exam, scuttling the deal. The Mets’ Brodie Van Wagenen was a bit of an unorthodox GM, though, so perhaps the future of Yankees-Mets trades will remain limited. Wheeler was never traded by the Mets, instead signing as a free agent with the Philadelphia Phillies, with whom he placed second in the NL Cy Young voting in 2021. Wheeler finished 2019 with a 3.48 FIP in 195.1 innings, both marks that probably would have helped the Yankees.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: Right-handed pitcher Jameson Taillon shared some good news on Twitter concerning his recovery from right ankle surgery. Just over two months post-operation, Taillon is throwing bullpens from flat ground and on Friday, posted on Twitter that he’s feeling no pain. The earlier Taillon can be ready to pitch in 2022 the better, as the starting rotation is still fairly uncertain aside from Gerrit Cole and Jordan Montgomery. Taillon showed the ability to be effective last season, and the team could use a lot more of that.

MLB.com | Jim Callis and Sam Dykstra: The accolades and praise continue to come in for Yankees shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe. Callis predicts that Volpe will be the No. 1-ranked prospect in baseball at the end of the 2022 season. However, he does also say that he doesn’t expect the Yankees to call him up next season, or at most, to not give him enough playing time to remove his rookie status (that definitely seems like a safe bet). The praise for Volpe from inside and outside the organization continues to add an interesting wrinkle to the Yankees’ pursuit of a solution at shortstop this offseason.