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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/19/22

Kahnle talks about his return to the pinstripes; Bader will sit out World Baseball Classic; Judge’s 62nd home run ball sells at $1.5 million in auction.

League Championship Series - Houston Astros v New York Yankees - Game Five Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Tommy Kanhle’s return to the Yankees was always a possibility in this offseason, but it came as quite a surprise when the news broke. We weren’t the only ones surprised though, as Kahnle was excited to learn that his former team still had interest after the reliever’s departure to Los Angeles. Kahnle describes himself as always viewing himself as a Yankee, and getting to be in the organization a third time is a blessing that he doesn’t take for granted.

The Times of Israel | Jacob Gurvis: Harrison Bader was originally scheduled to play for Israel in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but the outfielder opted to bow out recently. Bader cited his health over the past year and prioritizing staying healthy so that he could be patrolling center field for the Yankees over the opportunity to play in the international tournament this time around, though he didn’t rule out the possibility of playing in a future roster.

Sports Illustrated | Madison Williams: Aaron Judge’s historic home run ball has officially been sold to the highest bidder — at $1.5 million dollars. It’s a hefty amount for a single baseball, but this auction has to be a bit of a letdown for the man who originally caught it, Cory Youmans, who had a $3 million dollar offer to buy it outright before he chose to auction the ball. Youman turned that down, and now earned half as much without even factoring in the auction fees that’ll be attached — you can’t win all your bets I suppose.