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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/21/22

What it takes to “buy” a championship; an update on LeMahieu; remaining free agent options; A-Rod likely to fall short of Cooperstown; Carpenter to Padres

Hal Steinbrenner, the managing general partner of the New Yankees at spring training camp Photo by J. Conrad Williams Jr./Newsday RM via Getty Images

New York Daily News | Matthew Roberson: You can’t say the Yankees have had a bad offseason, bringing back Aaron Judge (whose return became official yesterday) and Anthony Rizzo, and adding Carlos Rodón to the rotation. As is often the case, though, there could be a complaint that the Yankees haven’t gone far enough, with many projecting the team to still not be the best in the American League. With few remaining quality free agent options, Hal Steinbrenner is in tough position to make any meaningful adds that could push his club up to the top of the AL table. | Randy Miller: DJ LeMahieu has played a “will-he/won’t-he” game with surgery for his injured toe this offseason, and we may finally have a resolution. Manager Aaron Boone suggested that the All Star would be able to avoid going under the knife and should be able to make the Opening Day roster — a big piece of getting the Yankee lineup as long as possible.

Sports Illustrated | Max Goodman: Max Kepler seems to be a likely Yankee target, but if the team turns back to free agency, there are a couple potential outfielders still on the market. Michael Conforto headlines the pack, with Jurickson Profar and AJ Pollock among the other names who could be patrolling left field in the Bronx.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Alex Rodriguez is maybe the best all-around baseball player I’ve ever seen, certainly on an extremely short list, and also may be the single most recognizable face of the Steroid Era. By virtually every metric, A-Rod blows away the Hall of Fame standard, but between his PED use and the drama surrounding his suspension, lawsuit, and eventual exit from baseball, it’s incredibly unlikely that the three-time MVP will find himself in Cooperstown on the second year of his eligibility. Rodriguez earned only about a third of the vote in his first year on the Hall of Fame ballot and doesn’t seem likely to make any significant gains.

Lastly, DH Matt Carpenter will not be returning to the Yankees in 2023. He signed with the Padres on a deal that guarantees him $12 million.