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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/28/23

Yanks kept Yamamoto’s number; Soto’s price vs. Bellinger; Ausmus’ comments on Boone; Sheffield and the HoF; Former Yankee passes at 92

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Chiba Lotte Marines v Orix Buffaloes - Pacific League Climax Series Final Game 1 Photo by Sports Nippon/Getty Images

SNY | Andy Martino: It’s the little things that matter. At least that is what all of Yankees universe is telling themselves. Over the past year when it became clear that the Yankees would make a run at signing Yamamoto, they thought it would be a good idea to save the Orix Buffaloes ace’s number. It hasn’t been worn since the departed Andrew Benintendi’s season effectively ended in early September 2022. In the NPB, No. 18 is regarded as the number of the ace. While he won’t be with the Yankees, it is a gesture that shows the Yankees are serious of their pursuit of the most highly coveted starting pitcher on the market.

New York Post | Jon Heyman: In the latest installment of This Week in Scott Boras Propaganda, Heyman suggests that the Yankees should stop their pursuit of Juan Soto, due to the high cost. While I don’t doubt the Padres’ demand for acquiring Soto is high, this article comes at an interesting time. Reports suggest that a Soto trade is highly likely (at least somewhere). From Boras’ perspective, this is a perfect time to take back leverage from the Padres. By having Heyman report on the high price, it puts the Padres in a sticky situation. Regardless of the intention, it’s always interesting to see how Boras strategizes for his clients.

The Athletic | Brendan Kuty:* Brad Ausmus carried himself very well in his first media session with Yankees beat reporters. Kuty provided a summary of the session by focusing on three points: Ausmus’ perception of Aaron Boone, his use of data in decision making, and on what he brings to the table. Ausmus suggested he wants to get under the hood of Boone’s brain as a manager to better understand his decision making process. He outlined the differences in his use of a data as a player and manager. Then he talked about his value as a bench coach and understanding of what it means to hold the position.

*This is subscription-only, but feel free to read Bryan Hoch’s account as well.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Once again, Gary Sheffield has returned to Jaffe’s yearly installment of assessing each player’s JAWS on the ballot. Ignoring all context other than performance, Sheffield was a Hall of Fame-caliber player. He hit the living heck out of the ball for many year and has the career WAR, peak WAR, and JAWS to show for it.

Sheffield may be slightly lower then the average HoFer at his position, but the counting numbers help his case. Jaffe also provided all the context around Sheffield and why he likely won’t show much improvement in this, his final year on the BBWAA ballot.

Legacy | Chicago Sun-Times: One of the longest-living Yankees has passed away. Lou Skizas was signed by New York after graduating from Crane Tech in Chicago and worked his way up through the minors (playing alongside the likes of Mickey Mantle) to debut with them as a pinch-hitter in April 1956. He singled off Washington’s Chuck Stobbs in his first career at-bat, but his Yankees career lasted just six games before going back to the minors and getting dealt in one of many trades with the Kansas City A’s. Skizas stuck around as an outfielder and occasional third baseball through 1959, spending time in Detroit and back home with the White Sox. Following his retirement, he earned his Ph.D in kinesiology from the University of Illinois. Skizas was 92 when he passed away on November 17th.