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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 11/7/23

The Soto sweepstakes are on; Ranking the top FAs; Tigers’ coach a potential fit; Germán elects free agency; Yankees add another catcher

MLB: San Diego Padres at Chicago White Sox Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Sports Illustrated | Pat McAvoy: As MLB clubs prepare for the first big item on the offseason calendar, the annual GM meetings, the Yankees will be setting their sights on Juan Soto. The Padres seem destined to deal the superstar outfielder ahead of his final year of team control, and multiple reports have now placed the Yankees, if nothing else, very interested in working out a deal. Short of Shohei Ohtani himself, there’s no move that would help the Yankees as much in 2024, but you know that San Diego knows that too.

MLBTR | Tim Dierkes, Anthony Franco, & Steve Adam: MLB Trade Rumors’ annual Top 50 Free Agents is back, and no surprise, Ohtani is top of the table, pegged to set records for both average annual value and total contract. The Yankees are projected to have a little bit of success in the broader auction, but the Dodgers seem the favorite to come away with the winter’s biggest singing.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: The Yankees are in the market for a new hitting coach, and may have their eyes on one of the architects of a terrific young offensive system. James Rowson, the Tigers’ assistant hitting coach, is reportedly one of the names strongly considered for the top job, after helping develop a crop of strong Tigers prospects and being a minor league coordinator in the Yankee system while Aaron Judge and other Baby Bombers were in development. No word yet (beyond vague speculations) on possible new bench coaches after Carlos Mendoza took the Mets’ manager job yesterday.

New York Post | Greg Joyce: After being outrighted off the roster last week, righthander Domingo Germán elected free agency. Most of you know just about everything about Germán’s season already, and while some team will likely try and find consistency in his stuff, it’s evident that a change of scenery was needed for both sides.

MLBTR | Anthony Franco & Nick Deeds: In the same flurry of moves that heralded Germán’s departure, the Yankees selected the contract of Carlos Narvaez rather than lose him as a minor league free agent. Narvaez is a bit of a conundrum as a hitter, walking 15 percent of the time but striking out 30 percent in 2023, but does show some pop when he makes contact. He is now the fifth catcher on the 40-man roster, indicating that some kind of a follow-up move should be coming. Ben Rortvedt is out of options, and there’s at least a modest chance that Kyle Higashioka has played his last game in pinstripes, given Austin Wells’ ascent.