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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 3/13/22

Rivalry between Mets and Yankees grows; stopgap shortstops coming off the board; Correa still quiet; unvaccinated Yankees can’t play in Toronto

New York Yankees v New York Mets Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

New York Daily News | Mike Lupica: Despite hype for the Nets and a very good Rangers team, New York is still a baseball town first and foremost. While there hasn’t been much rivalry — one Sunday Night Baseball game aside — between the Yankees and Mets in recent years, the expectations placed on both teams and their behavior this winter may change that. The Mets have spent big and landed another solid pitcher yesterday in Chris Bassitt, while the Yankees have stayed the course so far.

ESPN: I’m not necessarily sure the Yankees are going to go ahead with the “stopgap” shortstop option, but if they are, some of the main figures have come off the board. Andrelton Simmons signed with the Cubs on Friday, and yesterday, José Iglesias inked a deal with the Rockies while the Twins traded for Isiah Kiner-Falefa. Maybe the job is still Gio Urshela’s to lose, but the Yankees are running short on options with every day. | Pete Caldera: Speaking of shortstops, where oh where are the Carlos Correa rumors? Freddie Freeman seems to be down to two or three teams, but Correa’s camp has been relatively quiet in the early days of free agency 2.0. The Cubs apparently have kicked tires, and the Yankees were rumored to at least be keeping tabs on him, but it’s still anyone’s guess as to where the star shortstop ends up.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: You can expect that the Blue Jays will be a major threat to the AL East this season, and it’s possible that the Yankees will travel to Toronto without a couple of players. Canadian law will bar unvaccinated players from entering the country and MLB will place those players on the restricted list. The Yankees were one of the first teams to reach the 85-percent threshold for Tier I individuals getting vaccinated, but as of the end of last season, were not 100-percent vaccinated. Hopefully that’s changed in the winter — the AL East will be a dogfight and the team will need all hands on deck.