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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/31/22

Aaron Judge named AP Male Athlete of the Year; looking back on 2022; an interview with Austin Wells; New Year’s Resolutions for all 30 teams; Marwin to NPB

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Confetti Test - Times Square New Year’s Eve 2023 Celebration Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Associated Press | Mike Fitzpatrick: For the final day of 2022, it’s rather fitting that Aaron Judge received one final accolade, as he was named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for his record-breaking season. Rather fittingly, to earn the award, he narrowly beat last year’s AL MVP and AP Male Athlete of the Year Shohei Ohtani, who was also the runner-up for this year’s MVP award, by a score of 29 to 28 (Ohtani had more first-place votes from the panel of 40, but Judge’s 10 second place votes to Ohtani’s three carried it). With the latest honor, the new Yankees captain joins yet another select fraternity, as the only other Yankees players to receive this title were Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, and Ron Guidry. | Randy Miller: Prospect interviews are always fascinating to me. Sometimes, you learn about a prospect that you’ve never heard of but who is putting themselves on the map, as Will Warren did this year. And sometimes, you gain insight on a prospect that has been in the news for a while in a manner you never saw coming.

This interview with Yankees catching prospect Austin Wells definitely falls into the second category. Did you know the 2020 first round pick doesn’t just hunt hanging curveballs left across the middle of the zone, but in the offseason, he spends his time big game hunting? Neither did I, at least until now. Of course, the interview also has the standard stuff — Wells’ continued development behind the plate, the possibility of being invited to major league spring training this year, playing alongside his best friend Anthony Volpe, and of course, Aaron Judge’s contract extension.

CBS Sports | Dayn Perry: The New Year has traditionally been a time for a fresh start, an opportunity to give yourself a clean slate from which to build new habits or end old ones. For many people, this manifests in New Year’s Resolutions, and yesterday, Dayn Perry gave his list of Resolutions that each team in baseball should make this year. His list has a lot of variation, from those that in truth just condemned the organization (the A’s, Pirates, and Royals were all told “At least pretend to try”) to specific tasks teams should complete (the Red Sox were simply told to re-sign Rafael Devers). The Yankees, along with the Mets and Dodgers, were of course given the most difficult task of all, winning the World Series. | Bridget Hyland: The Yankees will need a new utility fielder next season, as Marwin González signed a contract with the NPB squad Orix Buffaloes in Japan. The former member of the Astros and Red Sox had a rather disappointing season in pinstripes, slashing just .185/.255/.321 in 85 games after a hot spring training that earned him a spot on the Opening Day roster.

The end of the year is also a time to look back. For those interested in reviewing this year in baseball, we have Sports Illustrated’s review of 2022, which does a good job of reminding us just how far we’ve come. Remember, as we rang in the New Year, baseball was finishing up the first month of what would be a three-month lockout; now, even the minor leaguers have officially unionized. If you’d like to play a game, The Athletic has you covered with an end-of-year quiz.