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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/24/22

Yankees pick up an infield depth option, four others; choices still to be made for left field; could lefty became pieces of Yankees’ bullpen in 2023?; former Yankee prospect continues on sporting career in college football

Milwaukee Brewers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

New York Post | Dan Martin: The Yankees’ hot stove sizzled a bit on Friday with the news that the team had signed infielder Wilmer Difo. To be serious, the former National, Pirate, and Diamondback will provide infield depth via a minor league deal that features a July 1st opt out. As far as “break glass in case of emergency” depth pieces, it could be worse.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: If Difo doesn’t excite you, then how about a quartet of likely even less significant minor league deals? Per Baseball America, lefties Tanner Tully and Nick Ramirez have joined the organization, as has infielder Jake Westbrook. Oh yeah, old friend Ryan Weber is back, too.

New York Times | Gary Phillips: A couple options for left field for the Yankees went off the board on Friday free agent Michael Conforto went to the Giants, and Arizona trading Daulton Varsho to the Blue Jays. Despite that, there are still potentially deals out there, with one for the Pirates’ Bryan Reynolds still being the likely potential biggest. | Randy Miller: With the DFAing of Lucas Luetge, the Yankees don’t have many left-handed relievers left on the 40-man roster. However, one potential option they have hope for filling the void is already in-house. Matt Krook has yet to play in the majors and hasn’t put up dominant numbers in the minors, but his stuff has received good reviews. One of those reviews came from now former Yankee Matt Carpenter, who faced Krook during his attempts to rehab for the Yankees’ playoff run.

SB Nation | Mark Schofield: You might not remember Austin Aune, but he was a second-round draft pick by the Yankees back in 2012. However, after not making it to even the high levels of the minors, Aune left baseball and has since gone on to have a second act of his sporting career. Over the last two seasons, Aune has been the starting quarterback for the North Texas Mean Green in college football, and has led the team to Bowl appearances in both of the last two seasons. He still has eligibility left and is set to transfer and play another year in college, which will take him past his 30th birthday.