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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/4/22

Several Yankees on the mend; Andújar optioned; Yankees trade for Jake Bauers; Former Baby Bomber dealt to Royals; Pitching coordinator compares prospect to Nestor Cortes

Los Angeles Angels v New York Yankees Photo by Elsa/Getty Images | Brendan Kuty: We got a slew of injury updates yesterday. Josh Donaldson returned from a shoulder issue, of course, and was in the starting lineup at third base. Giancarlo Stanton is also nearing a return, having gone through running drills in recent days. (Miguel Andújar was optioned to Triple-A after Friday’s game, seemingly opening Stanton’s roster spot.) Elsewhere, Zack Britton threw a bullpen session as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, and Domingo Germán is slated to throw a simulated game in the near future.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: A few days after being designated for assignment, Albert Abreu was traded from the Rangers to the Royals in exchange for minor league pitcher Yohanse Morel. The Yankees traded Abreu, once a top prospect received in exchange for Brian McCann, to Texas for Jose Trevino. Abreu struggled with the Rangers, while Trevino has ingratiated himself well in New York, playing his way to the top of the catcher depth chart.

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: It’s officially not too early to talk about trade deadline business, and Anderson runs down some of the top candidates to be moved this August. He highlights a pair of catchers who could make sense for the Yankees and could move: Willson Contreras and Sean Murphy. Contreras would profile as a nice bat-first rental for the Yankees, while Murphy is more of a long-term target.

Baseball America (subscription required): Here’s BA’s prospect notes on the AL East for this month, which featured a look at Yankees prospect T.J. Sikkema. Pitching coordinator Sam Briend likened Sikkema to Nestor Cortes in some ways, praising the way Sikkema deceives hitters. The young lefty also has a live arm, with a fastball that can run in the mid-90s. It certainly would be interesting if Sikkema could combine the deceptiveness of a Cortes with actual high heat. | Brendan Kuty: The Yankees also made a very minor move, acquiring Jake Bauers from the Reds for cash considerations. Bauers typically plays first base or left field. The 26-year-old has never really stuck in the majors, flitting between Tampa Bay, Cleveland, and Seattle, posting a .655 OPS in the process. He’ll likely report to Scranton and provide Triple-A depth.