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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 10/12/23

Hal Steinbrenner says that changes are coming; Randy Levine speaks about revenue sharing and small-market teams; will Yanks pursue Jung Hoo Lee?

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MiLB: AUG 24 - Florida Complex League - Pirates at Yankees Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

ESPN | Associated Press: Speaking on a panel at a Sportico conference, Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner vowed that the organization will be “making some changes” this winter. Fifteen team officials met last week with instructions to challenge every team philosophy and practice; according to Steinbrenner, they have already identified areas of improvement. While he did not explicitly say so, those discussions may be part of the reason the organization is planning to upgrade facilities in the team clubhouse this year, including the addition of new sleeping rooms, physical therapy equipment, and improved dining areas. | Jimmy Hascup: Team president Randy Levine also spoke at the conference. While that is often a scary moment for Yankees fans — the team executive has an unfortunate habit of sticking his foot in his mouth with tone-deaf comments — in this case, he is right on the money. Highlighting the infamous Wild Card Series where the Tampa Bay Rays had fewer than 20,000 fans in the seats, Levine pointed out the financial difficulty of the league propping up “two Florida teams averaging 15,000 fans” and emphasized the need for teams to be more self-sustaining. Out of context, this seems like yet another tone-deaf comment from Levine; when you consider how many team owners pocket revenue-sharing money rather than investing this money into their rosters, it becomes an awkwardly-phrased trying-to-be-subtle condemnation of owners allowing the Yankees, Red Sox, and Dodgers to subsidize their payrolls to increase profits while crying poverty.

The Athletic | Chris Kirschner and Brendan Kuty: This mailbag from The Athletic’s two reporters on the Yankees beat provides some good nuggets about the Bombers’ postseason plans. In particular, while Yoshinobu Yamamoto has captured much of the international attention throughout the league, there’s another international free agent that the Yankees may pursue: KBO outfielder Jung Hoo Lee, whose lefty swing is a perfect match for the short porch.

Sports Illustrated | Patrick McAvoy: With the end of the regular season comfortably in the rearview mirror but the offseason not yet underway, we are in the awkward period where articles about the Yankees pontificate about possibility without taking much of a stand on anything. In this case, McAvoy reports comments from SNY’s Phillip Martinez that says the Yankees may trade Gleyber Torres this winter or at next summer’s trade deadline, or they may not. (You know, because there are other possible outcomes.)

The winter meetings can’t come soon enough.