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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/24/23

The warts of Bellinger; under-the-radar possible moves; reuniting with Monty, Montas?

MLB: Chicago Cubs at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

New York Post | Jon Heyman: In many ways, Cody Bellinger seems like a perfect fit for the Yankees. He hits left-handed, plays a solid center field and at 28 should still have a couple of seasons left before entering a real decline phase. Despite these pros, the Yankees are reportedly concerned about Bellinger’s underlying offensive performance, in particular his hard hit and barrel rate. Despite a strong 2023, Belli was in the bottom quartile of both metrics, key indicators of the potential to drive the ball going forward.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: Should the Yankees steer clear of Bellinger or the other top names that can be acquired this winter, like Juan Soto or Yoshinobu Yamamoto, there are plenty of under-the-radar targets that could improve the roster. Cleveland Guardians ace Shane Bieber has just one more year of control remaining, making him a possible trade asset, and KBO star Jung-Hoo Lee’s bat-to-ball ability should raise eyebrows among Yankee brass as well.

Bleacher Report | Jack Murray: To top off the free agent speculation, the Yankees have reportedly inquired about a reunion with both Jordan Montgomery and Frankie Montas. Gumby, dealt away at the 2022 trade deadline, will be looking to cash in after a tremendous second half with the Rangers, culminating in a World Series ring. Montas, meanwhile, may make more sense on a prove-it type deal, as the onetime fireballer looks to rebuild value after throwing just 40 innings in Yankee pinstripes over a year and a half.