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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/23/22

Lockout talks make marginal moves again; Paul O’Neill to have number retired; Draft pick had Tommy John surgery over the summer; Volpe wants to make it to MLB with Yankees, not be a trade chip; “growing belief” Freeman will leave Atlanta

MLB: JAN 28 MLB Lockout Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NY Post | Ken Davidoff: Day two of the lockout negotiation superweek came and went with little to report on. The union has slightly modified its offer recently, giving in a little on Super Two status requirements while seeking slightly more in minimum salary for players. Consequently, the league is annoyed by this and made an attempt again for a third-party arbitrator to step in, which the union declined. The vitally important CBT has yet to be seriously discussed. The two sides will be back at it again today, and hopefully this week hammers out enough of the issues to keep the regular season on schedule. | Bryan Koch: Paul O’Neill’s No. 21 has effectively been in retirement since The Warrior stepped off the field, but the team will make it official and add his jersey to the list of retired numbers out in Monument Park this year. O’Neill previously had a plaque commemorated in Monument Park back in 2014, but will now become the 23rd former Yankee to have his jersey honored and stored away for good. The No. 21 jersey was infamously handed out to LaTroy Hawkins briefly in 2008, but fan sentiment steered Hawkins towards a number swap soon after.

CBS Sports | RotoWire Staff: The Yankees selected Brendan Beck with their second round pick in last year’s draft, but the 23-year-old never pitched in the minors last season. It was a bit of a mystery as to why, but on Tuesday, we learned that Beck underwent Tommy John surgery over the summer prior to a planned ramp-up to appear for Low-A Tampa. Beck is going to be out for most of this season recovering from the procedure, but at least now we know what was going on with the young pitcher.

NY Post | Dan Martin: You rarely see prospects ranked in the top 10 traded away, and Anthony Volpe hopes that stays true. The Yankees’ No. 1 prospect wants to make it to the big leagues with the team he grew up rooting for, instead of being dangled as a trade chip. It certainly seems like the organization hopes for the same thing, and with any luck Volpe will be ready for a call-up by next year.

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: The lockout has all official transactions frozen, but teams are certainly prepping for the frenzy that will occur once the freeze is lifted. Freddie Freeman is one of the biggest names left on the market, and rumors are abound about what his plans are once he’s free to negotiate with teams again. The latest reports seem to indicate that it’s growing more and more unlikely that Freeman will return to Atlanta, where he just won a World Series, and instead seek greener pastures. The Yankees have been one of several teams linked to Freeman throughout the offseason, and could stand poised to land the superstar first baseman if it all lines up.