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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/15/22

Behind the curtain of a tense 24 hours in San Diego; Carlos Rodón and the Yankees are far apart; a pair of minor league signings; another interview with Will Warren

MLB: Houston Astros at New York Yankees Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN+ | Buster Olney: Normally, I don’t like including a link behind a paywall as the lede, but there’s an exception to every rule, and well, if the 24-hour saga that saw the Twitter character Arson Judge wind up in San Francisco and the real human being named Aaron Judge remain in the Bronx does not break that rule, then no story ever will.

The night of Tuesday, December 6, 2022, was in my mind the darkest night in recent Yankees history. Yes, blowing a three-game lead in the ALCS was no fun, and I certainly didn’t enjoy getting swept in the 2012 and 2022 championship series. Playoff series happen every year, however — losing the best homegrown player in decades does not. But, while the baseball world waited with bated breath for Aaron Judge’s decision, what was going on behind the scenes in San Diego, California? That is what Olney tackles — and while I dare not spoil the journey for those with ESPN+ (although thankfully, we all know the conclusion), I encourage everybody who can to read this peek behind the curtain.

CBS Sports | Matt Snyder & Mike Axisa: Of course, returning Judge to the fold did not end the offseason; nay, it has only just begun. At this moment in time, the biggest fish that the Yankees are in pursuit of it is Carlos Rodón, although reports indicate that both sides are far apart at the moment. The left-hander, who is 30 years old, is reportedly looking for a seven-year deal worth upwards of $200 million, and it does not seem like the Yankees — or the Cardinals, the other major team that appears in on him — is inclined to give him both the years and annual salary. And so, the waiting game continues on.

MLB Trade Rumors | Steve Adams: Although all is quiet on the Rodón front, the hot stove has been heating up elsewhere. The Yankees agreed to minor league contracts with first baseman/outfielder Jake Bauers and pitcher Art Warren yesterday. Those who read our daily minor league reports should be familiar with Bauers, as he was in the Yankees farm system last year before being traded to the Reds for cash during the summer; he represents important left-handed depth at first base and in left.

Warren, however, is the more interesting case, as his deal is actually a two-year deal that includes an invitation to spring training … in 2024. The 29-year-old right-hander underwent Tommy John surgery to repair a torn UCL in September, which all but guarantees he will miss the 2023 season; as such, this is a move not for 2023, but for beyond.

FanGraphs | David Laurila: Speaking of looking beyond the upcoming season, although he has not gotten the same amount of attention as his teammates, pitcher Will Warren has rapidly flown through the Yankees farm system since being selected in the eighth round of the 2020 draft. But Warren may not be unknown for too much longer — after sitting down with prior to the Winter Meetings, he spoke with FanGraphs, this time focusing on the changes he made during the season that led to his breakout.