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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/6/22

Yankees expected to go after Freddie Freeman; Ken Waldichuk’s ascendance; Adrián González retires

2021 T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: All offseason long, the Yankees have been considered a potential landing spot for Freddie Freeman should he actually depart Atlanta. While I will personally believe that when I see it, the whispers are as alive as ever. Yesterday, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman said that the Yankees are expected to “take a run” at him whenever the lockout lifts. As we’ve chronicled, the fit is there if Freeman is up for it, as Luke Voit can’t exactly be counted on due to his injuries, Anthony Rizzo is also a free agent, and Matt Olson has also been discussed quite a bit, too.

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: Ken Waldichuk was one of the biggest risers in the Yankees’ system last year, as he went from a fifth-round pick who only pitched in the Rookie-Advanced league in 2019 to a strikeout artist in 2021. The now-24-year-old southpaw fanned 163 batters across just 110 innings between High-A and Double-A, and he spoke to Miller about his evolution, Andy Pettitte, surfing (yes, really), and what he’s doing to try to get even better this offseason — specifically, improving his mechanics.

MLB Trade Rumors | James Hicks: Departing from primarily Yankees news to the retirement of one of the best first basemen of the past 20 years, Adrián González officially called it a career on Saturday. He hung up the spikes after 2,050 hits, 317 homers, five All-Star appearances, and four Gold Gloves across a 15-year career, primarily with the Padres and Dodgers.

The retirement has been a few years in the works, as González hadn’t played in the majors since a brief stint with the Mets in 2018 after his Dodgers days. But Yankees fans will definitely remember him from his two years in Boston, when he was one of the best hitters in the league until being unloaded to the Dodgers in one of the most monumental trades of this century. (No, I still don’t fully forgive L.A. for it.) There was also the time that he lost a Home Run Derby to Robinson Canó. That was fun.