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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/15/23

Yankees in early mix for big starters; Stanton’s agent fires back at Cashman; Rule 5 Draft protections made; Strength and conditioning not a concern to Yanks management; Torres among most interesting trade candidates

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees-Workouts Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

CBS Sports | Dayn Perry: MLB’s Jon Morosi reports that the Yankees are “among the most active teams” in the starting pitching market, and that they’ve shown interest in NPB star Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Phillies starter Aaron Nola. There’s been consistent buzz linking the Yankees to Yamamoto ever since Brian Cashman went to Japan and saw the 25-year-old right-hander toss a no-hitter. The Yankees’ biggest weaknesses are in their lineup, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to add the top pure pitching talent on the market this winter.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: The fallout from Cashman’s rant last week continues. The GM remarked on Giancarlo Stanton’s injuries, and yesterday, Stanton’s agent, Joel Wolfe, fired back. Wolfe told The Athletic:

I think it’s a good reminder for all free agents considering signing in New York both foreign and domestic that to play for that team you’ve got to be made of Teflon, both mentally and physically because you can never let your guard down even in the offseason

Notably, Wolfe also represents Yamamoto. It’s easy to find oneself wondering if the Yankee GM’s comments could eventually put the club in a sticky situation.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: Yesterday was the deadline for MLB teams to add minor leaguers to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft, and the Yankees made two additions: righty pitcher Clayton Beeter and catcher Agustin Ramirez. No one needed to be cut from the roster, as there were two open spots. Beeter is one of the team’s better pitching prospect and Ramirez adds to the catcher cluster that will probably be culled sooner rather than later.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: Phillips details the Yankees’ awful injury issues over the last few years, issues which Eric Cressey was brought in to alleviate after the 2019 season. The Yankees saw 30 players hit the IL in 2019, and they’ve continued to have huge chunks of their roster miss time, with 28 players seeing IL time in 2023. Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner have reiterated that the club doesn’t believe Cressey or his staff is to blame for the Yankees’ continued injury woes. The front office has argued that some of the team’s most important injuries from last year, such as Aaron Judge’s toe injury and Anthony Rizzo’s concussion, were essentially random, or out of the club’s control, such as the leg problems Nestor Cortes experienced while ramping up to pitch in the World Baseball Classic.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: Here’s a list of 25 top trade candidates for this winter, which includes both current Yankees and potential Yankee targets. Gleyber Torres lands within the top 10 players, as the second baseman is one year from free agency and plays on the infield dirt, where the Yankees have a number of players that could use at-bats. That said, moving Torres has always been fraught, with Torres profiling as one of the few dependable hitters in the Yankees’ thin lineup. Franco also lists a number of outfielders that could be traded; Juan Soto, Dylan Carlson, Max Kepler, Trent Grisham, and others. Given the Yankees’ dire needs in the outfield, the club could and should be in the mix for many of those names.