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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/18/22

Nasty Nestor throws immaculate inning in wasted start; Anthony Volpe hits first homer; Heyman doesn’t see Cohen going after Judge; Francesa wants Mullins batting leadoff for the Yanks; Yankees are enamored with Jose Trevino

MLB: New York Yankees at Baltimore Orioles Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports | Bryan Hoch: The Yankees’ offense isn’t producing much these days, but their pitching staff has been impressing. In New York’s 5-0 loss against Baltimore on Sunday, Nestor Cortes hurled five scoreless frames with 12 strikeouts. One of the innings, the fourth, was immaculate: nine pitches, nine strikes, three strikeouts. “It’s fun to be out there every single time when you’re on a roll like that,” Cortés said. “It just makes it a little sweeter. It’s unfortunate we didn’t come out with the ‘W’ today.”

MLB Pipeline: Yankees uber-prospect Anthony Volpe had been off to a slow start, but finally hit his first home run of the season with the Double-A Somerset Patriots on Sunday, in grand style: he blew the game open by homering with three men on base. The Patriots won 11-4, but even with the grand slam, Volpe is still hitting .156/.243/.313 for the season, with a .556 OPS.

NY Post | Jon Heyman: With Yankees’ star Aaron Judge set to hit free agency following this season after rejecting a $213.5 million extension on Opening Day, one would think that the big-spending New York Mets, the crosstown rivals, would be ready to pounce once free agency starts in October. MLB insider Jon Heyman, however, isn’t counting on it. Mets’ owner Steve Cohen, worth around $15 billion, could certainly afford him, but per the new Post columnist, he is telling folks “he thinks the Yankees made a very fair offer to Judge.”

That means he could think twice about matching the offer, and that wouldn’t be enough because Judge would choose the Yankees in case the offers are similar. In addition, Heyman thinks the Mets’ outfield situation is strong and cited a source that said Cohen “wouldn’t do that to the Yankees.”

NJ Advance Media | Kevin Manahan: The Yankees’ offense isn’t off to the best of starts, and people are already thinking about possible solutions. Former WFAN host Mike Francesa thinks one specific player wearing pinstripes would be of great help: he is eager to see Baltimore Orioles center fielder Cedric Mullins batting leadoff for the Bombers, as he tweeted it this weekend. “If I could place a player, within reason, in the Yankee lineup. It would be Mullins in CF, batting leadoff. Perfect fit,” he said.

He is not wrong: that trade is within the realm of possibilities in the short-term. However, prying Mullins, who was two homers, a steal, and eight RBI already, from Baltimore would be extremely hard. He is under cheap team control for the next four seasons, and is coming off a 30-30 season with superb center field defense. He’s the kind of player a franchise like the Orioles should build around, so any trade involving him would be costly: Anthony Volpe, Jasson Dominguez-plus costly.

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: Jose Trevino, who came over to New York in a recent trade with the Texas Rangers, is universally loved around the Yankees clubhouse. His framing is elite, he is a good game-caller, and he has a good rapport with pitchers. Miller explains how he took the blame for Cedric Mullins’ two-run homer off Jameson Taillon on Saturday, and the pitcher himself said he really enjoys working with him.