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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 6/24/23

Could the Yankees break the MLB Draft? New York is linked to a former MVP as a trade target; Nestor Cortes continues to rehab; Triple-A saves the day

T-Mobile Home Run Derby Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

ESPN | Kiley McDaniel: Is there a scenario where the Yankees act on the overwhelming level of fan frustration by gaming the MLB Draft? ESPN lays out a path to that endgame. The piece of the article that is not paywalled spells out the premise behind gaming the MLB Draft. Inside? All the reasons the Yankees could be the ones to go nuclear with the Amateur Draft, by way of overplaying their bonus pool for this year’s draft at the expense of future drafts.

Sports Illustrated | Kade Kistner: Could the Yankees use a veteran bat in left field? Probably. Could the Yankees use some more left-handed pop? Probably. For those reasons, there is speculation Cody Bellinger could be an attractive deadline target for the Bronx Bombers. A free agent at the end of the season, Bellinger would not break the bank to acquire, though he would not be cheap. Definitely worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.

MLB: Nasty Nestor could be getting closer to a return. Manage Aaron Boone said Friday that the southpaw, who resumed playing catch on June 18th, is about a week away from tossing off a mound. Nestor has been on the IL since early June, and given the recent struggles from the non-Gerrit Cole sector of the starting rotation, seeing Nestor back and pitching well would be quite the boon.

New York Post | Joel Sherman: If the Yankees get through this season, devastated by injury and plagued by underperformances, without the wheels completely falling off, reinforcements from Triple-A will deserve a large part of the credit. Jake Bauers and Billy McKinney have been delivering at the dish. Meanwhile, Jhony Brito, who’d been getting shelled recently at both the big league level and at Triple-A, out-dueled Luis Castillo to help the Yankees to a much-needed win against Seattle. It’s never ideal when “next man up” is your season mantra, but if players like Bauers, McKinney, and Brito weren’t making their recent contributions, New York would be in even worse trouble.