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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/16/23

Bombers secure teenage sensation Mayea in IFA; Montas hits the shelf with shoulder inflammation; Can Cabrera build on hot finish to last season?

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Championship Series - New York Yankees v Houston Astros - Game One Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images | Jesse Sanchez: The international free agent signing period opened yesterday and the Yankees quickly came to an agreement with their top target, signing outfielder Brando Mayea for $4.4 million. The 17-year-old (who has also gone by “Brandon”) was born in Cuba and trains in the Dominican Republic, and was ranked in the top-10 of international prospects by multiple outlets. His signing follows a trend of the Yankees allotting the majority of their international bonus pool money to one player, having done the same with Jasson Domínguez and Roderick Arias in the last few signing periods. Marcus has the full write-up of Mayea’s signing here, so be sure to check it out.

New York Post | Dan Martin and Jon Heyman: Frankie Montas’ arrival in pinstripes was rather disastrous, the righty making eight starts with a 6.35 ERA while also landing on the IL with inflammation in the same shoulder that cause him to miss three weeks with the A’s. Now we’re left to wonder whether the shoulder ever healed, as in case you missed the news from Saturday, he’s set to miss at least the first month of the season with another bout of inflammation in his pitching shoulder. That still leaves plenty of time for Montas to make good on his trade deadline move from Oakland, but to this point the blockbuster for the 29-year-old has gone far from how the Yankees had hoped. | Thomas Harrigan: Oswaldo Cabrera opened eyes with his above-average bat and masterful defensive work in the outfield corners following his late-season call-up in 2022. He especially turned it on in September, with six home runs and a 135 wRC+, landing on Harrigan’s list of 10 players to watch based on strong finishes to the season. Hopefully the Yankees will give him the opportunity to build on his rookie campaign, though it’s dismaying to hear that the Yankees seemingly favor Aaron Hicks to start in left with Aaron Boone viewing Cabrera as a super utilityman.