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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/20/22

Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson are on the trade block; DJ LeMahieu’s toe injury to be reevaluated in six weeks; Aaron Judge surprises fans on Jimmy Fallon

MLB: Chicago Cubs at New York Yankees Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Despite having all eyes on the Aaron Judge sweepstakes, the Yankees still have an offseason to get through. According to Joel Sherman (original article for New York Post Sports+ subscribers only), part of that plan includes trying to “part ways with two veterans that struggled in pinstripes this season,” Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson. With both players owed more than $30 million in 2023 and Hicks still under contract through 2025, that is going to be a tall task, and might entail receiving a bad contract in return (such as Washington’s Patrick Corbin). | Brendan Kuty: One of the Yankees’ major storylines of the final two months of the season was DJ LeMahieu’s toe injury, which resulted in the infielder struggling before finally hitting the injured list in September before ultimately being left off the postseason roster. Unfortunately, that storyline appears to have no end in sight, as the Yankees will reevaluate in six weeks whether or not LeMahieu needs surgery. For what it’s worth, DJ’s foot currently feels much better than it did in early October, but as Brian Cashman noted when speaking to reporters, he’s not currently playing baseball; what will happen once he starts to ramp up for the season remains to be seen. | Bryan Hoch: On Friday night, Aaron Judge made a guest appearance NBC’s “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” for the second time in his career and first time since his 2017 rookie campaign. With Judge disguised as an umpire and Fallon as a catcher, fans at the MLB Flagship Store were invited to get their pictures taken “at bat at Yankee Stadium,” only to be surprised by the outfielder and talk show host. Needless to say, judging from the reactions of these fans, New Yorkers are desperately hoping that Judge re-signs with the team.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Although the Yankees opted to tender a contract to all pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players on their 40-man roster, a pair of former Yankees were not so lucky. First baseman Luke Voit and pitching prospect Alexander Vizcaíno were non-tender by the Nationals and Cubs, respectively, allowing both to hit free agency.