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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/6/23

Matt Blake on trade talks; Boone on rumored pitchers; Nestor ready for 2024; Yanks picking 26th; Beltrán’s shot at the hall

New York Yankees v Cleveland Guardians Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

By now, chances are good that you’ve already seen the big Yankees news of Tuesday, which broke late in the evening: Alex Verdugo is a Yankee, coming to New York in a trade with the Red Sox for pitching prospects Richard Fitts, Greg Weissert, and Nicholas Judice. Andrew had the main story, and Jake has an expanded follow-up that is definitely worth your time.

As for everything else, let’s get into it.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: Matt Blake stands in a tough position this offseason with trade talks looming. Clarke Schmidt and Michael King will have important roles in the 2024 rotation, as the roster currently stands. Both are looking to improve heading into the season and cement their status as key pieces for the team, but both are key pieces in trade talks with the Padres around Juan Soto. Communicating with the players while knowing this makes the in-between period very difficult for Blake. | Max Goodman: Like Blake, Aaron Boone has been forced to face the awkward position of discussing names floating in trade situations. For good reason, he spoke glowingly of Michael King and the top pitching prospect, Drew Thorpe. With both hinging as key pieces of a potential Juan Soto, it’s likely one, or potentially both, may find themselves in sunny San Diego come spring time.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: Nestor Cortes was one of the best starters in the American League in 2022. He was undoubtedly a great two starter behind Gerrit Cole, but health held him back immensely in 2023. All signs indicate he will be in full health next year. Hopefully he returns to form with full health and look like the electric lefty he was.

SNY | Ben Krimmel: After exceeding the luxury tax threshold in 2023, the Yankees dropped 10 spots in the 2024 draft to 26th overall. While it would have been nice for the Yankees to pick from the top half of first round talent, it’s likely all of Yankees universe would strongly prefer they take on aggressive spending than worry about luxury tax implications. And just ask the Oakland Athletics: they were historically terrible just to not secure a top three pick!

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Former Yankee Carlos Beltrán is entering his second year on the Hall of Fame ballot and was featured in Jay Jaffe’s column in which he reviews each player on the ballot. As a switch-hitting, multi-dimensional player, Beltrán is clearly deserving of Hall enshrinement. However, the Astros sign-stealing scandal held him back in Year 1. As Jaffe points out, anybody who gets Beltrán’s level of support in their first shot eventually gets in.