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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/17/23

The latest news and rumors regarding Yamamoto; New York might be fit for elite closer via trade; Yanks were never in the running for Ohtani; Cole, Judge earn All-MLB honors

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

SNY: As of late Saturday afternoon, rumor has it at least two clubs, the Giants and Red Sox, have made offers to Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto in excess of $300 million. The Yankees, Phillies, and Dodgers have all also met with Yamamoto and the Blue Jays are expected to, if they have not already. I guess we all know what number the winning bid is likely to start with.

MLB | Mark Feinsand: The rumors around Yamamoto will swirl right up to the moment he signs with an MLB team, at the very least. Right now, the obvious question is where he will end up. In some extremely vague and passive voice, Feinsand speculates that “some” have identified the Yankees as the the ace right-hander’s most likely destination. One can only hope.

The Athletic | Jim Bowden ($): The Yankees, fresh off the blockbuster acquisition of Juan Soto, could conceivably still make another huge move via trade. Jim Bowden names Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase as his third-most likely pitcher to be dealt this offseason. Moreover, he thinks the Yankees may be a team that makes a ton of sense as a trade partner for the Guardians.*

*Editor’s note: It’s hard to envision that happening, but such as it is with Bowden.

USA Today | Bob Nightengale: In an exclusive interview with Nez Balelo, Shohei Ohtani’s agent, Nightengale digs into the endgame of the most expensive free agency in MLB history. While the Yankees may have kicked the tires on Ohtani’s free agency (due diligence and all), they were never anywhere close to signing the megastar. Mets owner Steve Cohen has already said as well that there seemed to be little interest from his camp in coming to the Big Apple. Honestly, after he showed zero interest in coming to New York when he first came to MLB, I’d have been infinitely more surprised if Ohtani had the Yanks anywhere the top of his list of teams this offseason. Good luck in the National League, Shohei.

We close with some late award news concerning Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge.

Fresh off winning his first career Cy Young Award, Cole was named to the All-MLB First Team, and even after missing nearly two months with the infamous toe injury at Dodger Stadium, the 2022 AL MVP Judge earned All-MLB Second Team honors. Major League Baseball has featured All-MLB honors since 2019, and this is Cole’s third First Team nod and fourth of any version; for Judge, it’s his third time on the All-MLB Team (though his first on the Second).

The full rundown of All-MLB picks can be found here.