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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/29/23

Hader ready for a payday; Gil healed; Bieber a potential target; Colón not quite HoF worthy

San Diego Padres v Chicago White Sox Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Bleacher Report | Doric Sam: With the Yankees at a crossroads when it comes to starting pitching options, there are already reports the team is considering a “super bullpen” approach, loading up the relief corps to take pressure of a thin rotation. At the same time, Josh Hader, arguably the NL’s best closer, is on the free agent market and in search of a nine-figure contract. This would be the richest contract for a reliever in baseball history, and while I’m not so sure the Yankees would actually agree to it, they’re in the mix alongside the Rangers and Dodgers for Hader’s talented left arm.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: It’s been two years since Luis Gil impressed in his first taste of MLB action, striking out 38 across 29.1 innings in 2021. Since then, Gil’s been in near-constant rehab for Tommy John surgery as well as a shoulder procedure, but seems to be in good health and will be ready for spring training. The Yankees will undoubtably be cautious managing his arm and workload, but Gil could be a key addition to the club’s pitching depth.

Sports Illustrated | Pat McAvoy: Our final look at the pitching options for 2024, there seems to be some smoke to the Shane Bieber rumors. The Guardians seem to be in their regular “competitive reset” phase and may be looking to offload the 2020 Cy Young winner, who would cost less in a prospect package than someone like Corbin Burnes, and wouldn’t carry the long-term contract risk of Jordan Montgomery. With a rotation already headed by one of the very best in baseball, Bieber could slot in nicely as a depth hurler, with some upside if old coach Matt Blake can unlock another level.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Finally, not a current Yankee pitching option but a look back on the career of Bartolo Colón, on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time. The seemingly ageless wonder pitched for 11 teams across 21 seasons, retiring as the winningest Latin pitcher in baseball history after resurrecting his career with New York in 2011. While he’s long been a cult and social media favorite, the resume as a whole probably means he falls well short of enshrinement at the end of the day.