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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/7/23

Are we on the verge of a fully functional Death Star?; JAWS takes a look at Bobby Abreu; DJ LeMahieu is expected to be the everyday 3B in 2024; Albert Abreu is headed overseas; Yankees sign a former Met

Aaron Judge Press Conference Photo by Dustin Satloff/Getty Images



Stay tuned for more. For now, here’s some other news.

SNY | Andy Martino: Sources close to Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner indicate that he is ready and willing to blow past the $300 million dollar barrier as it pertains to the 2024 Yankee payroll, if that is what it takes to acquire Juan Soto from the Padres and to sign Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who could command a gigantic contract. Doing so would take the Yankees past the final level of MLB’s luxury tax, ironically dubbed the “Steve Cohen tax” out of the fear the deep-pocketed Mets owner would obliterate the existing salary structure.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Former Yankee Bobby Abreu is on this year’s Hall of Fame ballot and Jaffe is in the midst of his annual deep dive into the candidacies of potential Hall members. This entire piece is worth the read, as Jaffe is must-read during Hall season every year. But he sums up his own feelings on Abreu as follows: “while I’m not 100% convinced he’s a Hall of Famer, I’m thoroughly certain he’s somebody who belongs in the discussion and might be worth finding space for on a ballot, particularly when there aren’t 10 obvious must-vote candidates.”

X| Chris Kirschner: DJ LeMahieu is headed to third base for the upcoming season, Yankee skipper Aaron Boone revealed on Wednesday. DJLM has played all over the Yankee infield since signing with the club, but it looks like the plan (and we all know what happens to those after first contact) is for LeMachine to man the hot corner.

X | Jessica Kleinschmidt: The Yankees made a low-risk move Wednesday with an eye on bolstering the 2024 bullpen. Former Met Dennis Santana is headed to the Bronx on a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training. The 27-year-old righty, who spent 2023 with the Mets, has pitched to a career 5.17 ERA in 149.2 innings.

X | Robert Murray: Former Yankee Albert Abreu is headed across the Pacific for the upcoming season. Recently non-tendered by New York, Abreu has signed with the Seibu Lions in Japan’s Pacific League. Abreu threw 42 innings last season, pitching to a 4.36 ERA. Best of luck in Japan, Albert Abreu.