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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/25/22

Who is the Yankees’ starting shortstop?; Bombers interested in top-end starting pitchers; King opens up on season-ending injury; Boone, Cashman blame team health for ALCS sweep

Division Series - New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians - Game Three Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: The Yankees forwent the historic class of free agent shortstops last offseason, sticking with operation stopgap while waiting for Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe to develop. Despite the mediocre play from the short last season — New York received the seventh-least value from the shortstop position thanks to Isiah Kiner-Falefa’s travails at the plate and with the glove — Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman have already thrown their support behind Kiner-Falefa as the Opening Day starter in 2023. They also continue to reiterate their belief in Peraza and Volpe, with the former likely being given a chance to win the starting job early in the season to give the latter time to refine his play after struggling in his first taste of Triple-A at the end of 2022.

New York Post | Jon Heyman: The Yankees’ focus will be firmly focused on Aaron Judge this winter, but he’s not the only free agent they have their eyes on. After Judge, the front office are prioritizing bolstering their already solid starting rotation. Heyman names Carlos Rodón and Justin Verlander as the two ace pitchers the Yankees have the most interest in, with Kodai Senga and Jameson Taillon also on the team’s radar. Verlander is the reigning AL Cy Young winner, AL ERA king, and a World Series champion while Rodón finished first in strikeout rate (33.4 percent) and second in fWAR (6.2) in MLB. Heyman also mentions a potential reunion with Taillon and a re-ignition of trade talks with the Marlins for Pablo López.

NJ Advance Media | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees lost Michael King to season-ending elbow surgery and the Yankees’ ace reliever has opened up on his harrowing experience leading up to the MRI and surgery. He was concerned that the MRI would reveal damage to his UCL on top of the fractured elbow thus necessitating Tommy John surgery, and was relieved to find that the ligament was intact. This opens an avenue for him to be ready by Opening Day — an outcome far less likely had he needed TJS. In encouraging news, the righty reliever recently started a throwing program and is on schedule in his rehab.

New York Daily News | Matthew Roberson: The Yankees extended their streak to 13 straight seasons without appearing in a World Series — the second-longest such streak since becoming the Yankees. There are plenty of culprits to blame for this drought, but Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman seem convinced that injury is the principal suspect. Particularly as it pertains to this season, the Yankees manager and GM maintain that the team lost too many of its impact performers from their historic first half to have a chance in the playoffs. It’s a rather defeatist attitude that attempts to escape responsibility for the team failing to have adequate depth to cover for the possibility of injury that every team, not just the Yankees, deals with every season.