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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/15/22

New York may focus just on re-signing Judge and Rizzo; Astros also eyeing Rizzo; Predictions roll in for Judge’s payday; Rival Rays could move some big pieces ahead of 40-man deadline

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Championship Series - Houston Astros v New York Yankees - Game Three Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

The Athletic | Ken Rosenthal: Rosenthal writes broadly about the state of MLB and its free agent market. As plugged in as anyone, he opines that the Yankees seem likely to go heavy on re-signing Judge and Anthony Rizzo, and perhaps leave the offseason at about that:

The Yankees [want] to keep Judge and probably Anthony Rizzo. Sign both, add another left-handed bat and supplement the pitching, then mix in the young infielders that club officials keep hyping.

That doesn’t sound like a bad winter for New York, nor does it sound like a bonanza. Rosenthal cautions anyone expecting heavyweights like the Dodgers and Yankees to wield their full financial weight during this offseason, citing concerns from the players’ union that expanded playoffs will discourage big-market teams from spending.

CBS Sports | Matt Snyder: Reports have surfaced that the Astros also have Rizzo in their sights. Incumbent first baseman Yuli Gurriel is also a free agent and coming off an awful 2022, so it makes sense the defending champs would be looking to upgrade at the position. It would be a tough look for the Yankees to lose a key piece to the team that’s been their bogey man for years now.

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: News from around the division, as rumors are swirling that the division rival Rays are looking to sell off some pieces. Tampa faces similar 40-man roster crunch problems that the Yankees do, with names like Yonny Chirinos, Shawn Armstrong, and even Tyler Glasnow coming up. The Rays have never been shy about moving players once they start to make real money, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them trade talent to trim their roster and payroll. | Bridget Hyland: It’s the time of year when everyone tries to guesstimate how much free agents will fetch on the market, and predictions are starting to roll in. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden has predictions for the premier New York free agents, pegging Aaron Judge for an eight-year, $330-million deal, and Jacob deGrom for two years and $90 million. That’s one of the higher AAV predictions I’ve seen for Judge, as such a deal would pay him over $40 million yearly across the span of the contract.

New York Daily News | Matthew Roberson: The Yankees and Aaron Hicks are at a crossroads. Roberson runs down the situation, as the Yankees have to decide whether to try to attach a prospect to Hicks in an effort to move him, to outright release him and eat the $30 million he’s still owed, or simply just keep him on the roster and see what happens. Hicks’ skills have eroded the last couple years, with decent defense in left and a disciplined batting eye all that really remains. The outfielder has lost all ability to hit the ball with authority and has seen his speed regress as well.