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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/11/22

MLB is back! How does the new CBA affect the Yankees?; How the Yanks should address the roster now that they can make moves; Will Freddie Freeman be in pinstripes soon?; Bombers showed interest in Michael Conforto before the lockout.

Tampa Bay Rays v New York Yankees Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: Baseball is back! The new CBA comes with some changes to the game. How will this affect the Yankees? The luxury tax threshold is now up to $230 million this season, which means teams can spend more on upgrading the roster without being penalized. The universal DH is now implemented and rookies will earn a higher salary.

North Jersey | Pete Caldera: Now that the lockout is over, the Yankees can once again focus on improving the roster. They’ll have to address the shortstop position, what to do at first base, and adding to the starting rotation. While also figuring out what to do in those areas, New York also has to give thought about extending its best player in Aaron Judge. Brian Cashman will have to hit the ground running. | Brendan Kuty: Speaking of upgrading at first base, the Yankees could have a ton of interest in Freddie Freeman, who is “definitely still on the table,” according to a source. In 159 games last season, Freeman hit .300 with 31 homers, 83 RBI and a .896 OPS, leading Atlanta to a World Series title. The lefty could thrive in Yankee Stadium and become a beloved New York figure extremely fast.

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: Before the lockout, the Yankees had interest in Mets former All-Star outfielder Michael Conforto. Although Conforto had a down season in 2021, the short porch in right could help the lefty slugger return to his old self. He does have an injury history, so that’s something that the Yanks will surely consider, but Conforto could potentially be an upgrade over an Aaron Hicks and Joey Gallo depending on if those two can bounce back in 2022.