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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/17/22

The biggest reason the owners and players remain miles apart; Giancarlo Stanton has made himself into a more versatile option going forward; Miguel Andújar among the best change-of-scenery candidates in the league

MLB: World Series-Atlanta Braves at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Score | Travis Sawchik: Here’s a comprehensive look at one of the biggest issues driving a wedge between the players and owners: the luxury tax system. Sawchik lays out the history of the luxury tax, and how the tax thresholds have severely lagged MLB revenue growth, particularly in recent years. Last year’s first CBT threshold came in at $210 million, roughly $70 million lower than the threshold would sit had it increased at the same rate as league revenues. That the owners have proposed bumping the first tax to just $214 million demonstrates how far apart the two sides are, and how little the league is willing to compromise when it comes to its soft salary cap.

NJ.com | Brenday Kuty: NJ’s Yankees reporters sat down for a roundtable on Giancarlo Stanton’s present and future with the Yankees. The slugger stayed largely healthy in 2021 and even flashed his still-present ability to play an adequate corner outfield, turning himself into a more versatile option for the team. Expect the Yankees to continue to heavily feature Stanton at DH to decrease his chances of injury, but as we reach the midpoint of Stanton’s contract, he’s shown he can still contribute in multiple ways.

CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: Axisa runs down some prime change-of-scenery candidates from around the majors, starting with the Yankees’ own Miguel Andújar. His 130 OPS+ rookie campaign feels like it happened a lifetime ago, but Andújar also just hasn’t had the chance to settle in and consistently play baseball for the last three seasons. Axisa also lists the Yankees as plausible suitors for players like Carter Kieboom and Victor Robles, talented up-the-middle players who could be had relatively easily because, well, they haven’t shown that they can hit at the major league level.