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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/17/23

Yankees, Rays discussing Margot trade; Heyman “shocked” if Bellinger isn’t in New York, San Francisco, or Chicago next year; News from the owners’ meetings

Wild Card Series - Texas Rangers v Tampa Bay Rays - Game Two Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: Due to Jasson Domínguez’s surgery, Everson Pereira’s inability to get himself situated in his cup of coffee, and Oswaldo Cabrera’s disastrous 2023, the Yankees are in need of at least two outfielders heading into the winter. The Tampa Bay Rays, whose projected $126 million payroll exceeds their typical resting point by $40 million, are looking to shed salary. Outfielder Manuel Margot is due $10 million in 2024 and has a mutual option for 2025. Could there be a match there? Both teams think so, and have been in contact multiple times in the early stages of this winter about such a deal (as have the Mets).

Sports Illustrated | Patrick McAvoy: Speaking about available outfielders, Jon Heyman declared that he would be “shocked” if Cody Bellinger did not wind up in the Bronx, San Francisco, or the North Side next season. While this is the same Heyman who famously declared that Arson Judge was headed to San Francisco, it’s still something to keep in mind as the hot stove begins to ... well, I wouldn’t describe it as simmering just yet, but creep upwards of lukewarm.

ESPN: Major League Baseball announced the winners of the 2023 Most Valuable Player Awards last evening. To the surprise of nobody, Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuña Jr. took home the awards in a pair of unanimous votes. A pair of Yankees received down-ballot votes. Unanimous Cy Young winner Gerrit Cole finished 11th, receiving one fourth-place and one fifth-place vote. Despite missing 50 games, Aaron Judge finished four spots behind him, notching an eighth place and two ninth place votes; in total, 23 players received votes. It’s the first time since 2018 that a Yankee didn’t finish in the top four.

CBS Sports | R.J. Anderson: There have been rule changes abound in the usually-staid land of Major League Baseball over the last few years, with some (such as the three-batter minimum, universal DH) being received better by the fanbase than others (Manfred Man/Zombie Runner). The league, however, is reportedly looking at tweaking some of these changes, most notably in respect to the pitch clock. Such possible changes include reducing the clock with runners on base from 20 to 18 seconds, forbidding pitchers from delaying the clock by walking around the mound, and forcing pitchers who warm up to start the inning to face at least one batter.

Those are not the only reports out of the owners’ meetings, however. To the surprise of nobody and the disgrace of everybody involved, Major League Baseball officially approved the Oakland Athletics’ move to Las Vegas yesterday, with 2024 expected to be their final season in Oakland. Less publicly, the league may be quietly scuttling plans to play games in Paris in 2025, an extension of the London Series, due to an inability to find promoters.