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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/18/22

Yankees make top two draft picks; Injury updates on Severino, Castro; Yanks, Mets among entrants in Soto sweepstakes; Attention on Volpe and Waldichuk after the Futures Game

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Editor’s note: The top Yankees news is, of course, the team making its first and second round picks of the 2022 MLB Draft. You can read our write-ups on No. 25 overall pick Spencer Jones (Vanderbilt outfielder) here and No. 61 overall pick Drew Thorpe (Cal Poly pitcher) here.

New York Post | Dan Martin: Considering his lengthy injury history, there were worst-case scenarios abound when Luis Severino left his last start with what’s been identified as a lat stain. However, manager Aaron Boone has said that the current plan is for Sevy to be shut down for only two weeks, and potentially less depending on how he feels. Of course, the pain persisting could drive that timeline back out, but it is encouraging to hear that it might not be long before he begins ramping back up. Reliever Miguel Castro, on the other hand, will be shut down for four weeks after hitting the IL with a strained shoulder.

New York Post | Jon Heyman: Do you want Juan Soto on your team? So does everyone. The incredible young Washington Nationals outfielder is apparently on the trade block now after turning down an extension, and the impact he would have on any team is head-spinning — especially a good team like the Yankees, where opposing pitchers couldn’t pitch around him nearly as much as they do now. He’ll have plenty of suitors, including the Yankees and the Mets, though the Mets may be at a disadvantage since they’re in the Nats’ division. Heyman says the Nats would want at least the team’s top four prospects, and may attach Patrick Corbin to Soto to clear his contract. Honestly, the top four prospects is probably light for Soto, who isn’t a free agent until after 2024.

The New York Times | James Wagner: (Subscription required.) The Times doesn’t do a whole lot on baseball, so a whole story on New York’s top prospect stands out. Tuesday’s Futures Game, where Anthony Volpe went hitless, was a chance to shine another spotlight on a player receiving plenty of scrutiny. GM Brian Cashman describes how his attitude, skills, and family mark him as a future star. Volpe’s childhood dream of playing shortstop for the Yankees is probably not too far off.

NJ Advance Media | Randy Miller: Left-handed pitcher Ken Waldichuk is not as famous a prospect as Volpe, but he’s raised his profile a lot this season, including by closing out the Futures Game on Saturday. Waldichuk’s stuff has been playing up because his fastball velocity has increased markedly, which he attributes to a training program he’s participating in and work on his mechanics. He’s now ranked as the team’s top pitching prospect according to MLB Pipeline, and within the top 100 overall. A role like the ones that JP Sears or Clarke Schmidt have played this year isn’t out of the question for Waldichuk in 2023.