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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/11/23

The Yankees and Dodgers have made a trade, apparently, even if we don’t know what it is; Boras on Cole’s opt-out; the fallout from the Shohei Ohtani signing

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Division Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Los Angeles Dodgers - Game Two Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Nick Deeds: According to reports from Ken Rosenthal and Joel Sherman, the two teams who made big acquisitions this week, the Yankees and Dodgers, are themselves working on a trade. The Yankees, as many fans know, had to dip into their pitching depth in order to acquire Juan Soto, while the Dodgers have more than 20 pitchers on their already-full 40-man roster. LA has to clear two spots to make the Shohei Ohtani and Joe Kelly signings official. And so, the two teams are a match made in heaven, able to help each other’s problems, likely with a two-for-one swap that will see the Yankees sending a prospect westward, with the Dodgers shipping out a pair of pitchers on the 40-man.

Unfortunately, although the trade was reported in the early afternoon yesterday, not only has the trade not been finalized as the teams are working through medicals, the names of the players involved have not been reported to the media. Forget the oft-discussed “Mystery Team” of the offseason; now we have Mystery Players!

MLB Trade Rumors | Nick Deeds: As Yankees ace Gerrit Cole enters the fifth year of his nine-year deal, one of the most interest contract options is about to play out. Written into Cole’s contract is an opt-out after five seasons — one that the Yankees can void by tacking on an extra year to the deal. Scott Boras, Cole’s agent, believes that this is exactly what will happen.

Not only is the AL Cy Young Award winner still pitching at the top of his game, age-quality pitchers have in recent years received massive contracts even in their upper 30s and lower 40s; the way the market has been, having Cole for what amounts to a five-year, $180 million contract after next season would be a steal.

The Athletic | Chad Jennings and Stephen J. Nesbitt: (subscription required) With Ohtani and Soto now off the board, the market is now cleared for action. Jennings and Nesbitt break down the teams that were included on The Athletic’s list of “best fits” for Ohtani — which, somehow, includes the Yankees even though that was never going to happen — and what avenues are open for them to pivot.

While their analysis of the Yankees is fairly cookie-cutter, as the acquisition of Soto fills their needs for a big lefty bat and their interest in Yoshinobu Yamamoto is well-known (they are, in fact, meeting today), this is a useful read to get re-acquainted with what the Yankees’ biggest competitors are up to this winter.