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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/2/23

Jeter sings Seager’s praises; Predicting offseason roster moves; Projecting the Yankees’ 2024 payroll; Reviewing Yankees’ non-tender candidates; Mets interview Mendoza for manager

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World Series - Texas Rangers v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Five Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images | Anthony Castrovince: The Rangers are 2023 World Series champions! After a dominant offensive display in Game 4 put Texas on the precipice of the first title in franchise history, they finished off the job with a gritty 5-0 victory over the Diamondbacks, taking the Fall Classic, four games to one. A handful of former Yankees will be owners of a new ring shortly, including Jordan Montgomery, Nathan Eovaldi, Andrew Heaney, Aroldis Chapman, the IL’d Ian Kennedy, and Baby Bomber alum Ezequiel Duran, so an extra congratulations goes out to them.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: Corey Seager picked up his second World Series MVP award — the first won with the Dodgers in 2020 — and once again Yankees fans are left to rue their team’s decision not to pursue the superstar shortstop prior to the 2022 season. He’s got quite the admirer in Derek Jeter, who had this to say on the Fox broadcast following the Rangers’ Game 4 victory:

“This guy’s my favorite player, man. He is fun to watch. He’s as locked in as anyone at the plate, and he doesn’t just get hits. He does damage. Why do you continue to pitch to him?”

The 27-year-old two-time World Series champion is one shy of Jeter’s 20 postseason home runs — a record for a shortstop — and has hit more out of the park in the playoffs than Reggie Jackson. He finishes this postseason with a 1.133 OPS, blasting six home runs and 12 RBI, three of those home runs coming in the World Series. His lefty bat and postseason pedigree would have done wonders on the Yankees’ roster, but instead they opted for a gradual combination of Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Anthony Volpe for their long-term shortstop plans. | Bryan Hoch: Hoch conducted a comprehensive review of all of the roster decisions facing the Yankees this offseason, and needless to say the Yankees have a lot to consider in the coming months. Seven players are scheduled to hit free agency, and the Yankees have to decide whether to bring back guys like Luis Severino, Frankie Montas and IKF. Hoch also speculates on which external reinforcements the Yankees could pursue in free agency and via trade — mentioning names like Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Juan Soto, Cody Bellinger, Corbin Burnes, and Shane Bieber — as well as the players the Yankees might be willing to part with in a swap. He concludes by taking a look at the prospects who could be added to the 40-man roster, with Clayton Beeter the most likely candidate to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.

The Athletic | Chris Kirschner (sub req’d): If you are wondering how the Yankees will respond to missing the playoffs for the first time in seven years, it might be instructive to look at the team’s winter activity in the offseasons following the previous campaigns that ended without a postseason appearance. As Gary Phillips (and Josh) detailed yesterday, New York was quiet after missing the playoffs in 2014 and 2016 but shelled out big bucks following the 2008 and 2013 seasons.

The Yankees currently have $188 million committed between guaranteed salaries and dead money owed to Aaron Hicks and Josh Donaldson, and that’s before considering their arbitration-eligible players. Kirschner tabs Gleyber Torres, Clay Holmes, Nestor Cortes, Jose Trevino, Michael King, Clarke Schmidt, and Jonathan Loáisiga as locks to be tendered contracts this winter, which in addition to salaries for pre-arbitration players puts the Yankees at a projected $223.6 million for 16 roster spots, leaving them less than $14 million to spend on the unfilled ten spots before hitting the first Competitive Balance Tax (CBT) threshold. Therefore, the Yankees are forced to exceed the tax threshold if they want to field a competitive roster in 2024 — something which stands in direct opposition to the apparent desire to reset tax offender status every three years, 2024 coming up next in that cycle.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: The Yankees have 17 players eligible for arbitration in 2024 and a handful are due hefty raises on their 2023 salaries. This has led to speculation that as many as 11 of those players could be non-tender candidates this offseason. This includes a pair of catchers in Jose Trevino and Kyle Higashioka, the former having missed the majority of the season to injury and the latter due a substantial salary for a backup catcher. Elsewhere down the list, Domingo Germán and Lou Trivino stand out as likely candidates. Both are projected to earn at least $4 million in 2024 — Germán ended the year on the restricted list as he sought treatment for alcohol abuse while Trivino missed the entire season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: The Mets are in search of a manager after dismissing Buck Showalter upon the season’s conclusion and Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza has appeared on their radar. The 43-year-old — who has been with the Yankees since 2009 — interviewed for the role, but should have competition as Craig Counsell is viewed as the favorite given all the years he spent managing under former Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns, who is now in that same role for the Mets. It’s not the first time Mendoza has interviewed for a managerial opening, meeting with Cleveland as they seek Terry Francona’s replacement, as well as the Red Sox, Tigers and White Sox over the last three years.