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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/20/22

Michael Taylor enters trade market while Yankees continue search for outfielders; Boras winning the offseason; Yanks can, should go young (and cheap) at some positions; Montas eyeing bounceback; Yanks make minor league depth signings.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

NJ Advance Media | Mike Rosenstein: Michael A. Taylor, who won the Gold Glove award in 2021, just hit the trade market according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Taylor, 31, doesn’t offer much with the bat. He hit .254 with nine home runs in 2022. Per Rosenstein, “the Yankees are set in center with Gold Glover Harrison Bader, but putting Taylor in left, with Judge, a former Gold Glove nominee, in right, would give New York plenty of protection in the outfield.”

For more on Taylor as a possible Yankees trade target, check out my colleague John’s article from yesterday.

Newsday | David Lennon: The 2022-23 MLB offseason has been particularly impressive in terms of money given away by teams to free agents. And when we refer to players on the market, superagent Scott Boras is often behind those deals.

He has been identified by Lennon as the biggest winner of the offseason so far. “If negotiating that trio of record-breaking AAVs (average annual value) was Boras’ Mona Lisa [he was referring to Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon in 2019], then this offseason’s handiwork must be his Sistine Chapel, as he’s already signed 10 players for a total of $1.172 billion,” Lennon wrote.

Carlos Correa, Xander Bogaerts, Brandon Nimmo, Carlos Rodon, and several other high-profile free agents are Boras’ clients, so yeah — he won big.

NY Post | Joel Sherman: The Yankees are flirting with the top luxury tax threshold, and Sherman wonders if the team can find a way to save some bucks by giving prominent roles to young players in pre-arbitration years:

“(…) moving Gleyber Torres or Isiah Kiner-Falefa becomes more probable. Either or both would open middle-infield opportunities for Oswaldo Cabrera, Oswald Peraza and Anthony Volpe (’s No. 5 prospect),” he wrote.

Having those three players, or at least two of them, with important roles will help lessen the hit of contracts such as Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge’s, and others. The Yanks can also have cheap players in the bullpen and in the rotation. | Max Goodman: With the Yankees signing Rodón to a huge contract and the talented Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, and Luis Severino rounding out the rotation’s top four, many people are forgetting about New York’s prime trade deadline acquisition in 2022, Frankie Montas. The right-hander struggled during his time in the Bronx this season, with a 6.35 ERA. However, as Goodman notes, he will have much less pressure in 2023 and presumably better health, paving the way for a nice bounceback campaign.

“The light at the end of the tunnel for New York was that Montas had one more year of control, a full season in pinstripes and a fresh start to show what he’s capable of. After all, we’re talking about a pitcher that posted a 3.37 ERA over 32 starts in 2021, finishing sixth on the AL Cy Young ballot,” he said.

MLB Trade Rumors | Simon Hampton: The Yankees signed outfielder Michael Hermosillo and pitcher Demarcus Evans to minor league contracts. The former has shown he can hit in the high minors but is yet to prove himself in MLB, while the latter has high strikeout potential but also a walk problem.