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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 7/15/23

Judge takes another step forward; Yankees sign Jake Lamb; Yanks have six prospects in Baseball America’s midseason top 100; Cardinals like Clayton Beeter

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

NY Post | Greg Joyce: Prior to the Yankees’ game against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, injured superstar Aaron Judge took early batting practice and also performed light agility drills that included some running in the outfield. It’s another step forward in what is shaping up as a lengthy rehab process for the reigning AL MVP. Before even thinking about a return, he will need to run the bases, have live batting practice and go to a rehab assignment.

It’s safe to say his return to the lineup isn’t imminent, and he could be limited to DH duties when he comes back. Still, the Yankees badly need him. He has been out of action since June 3rd, when he tore a toe ligament on his right foot by crashing into the wall at Dodger Stadium.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: The Yankees signed infielder Jake Lamb to a minor league contract. Capable of playing all corners (infield and outfield), Lamb has a career .235/.326/.427 with a 97 wRC+ in the majors, but has a disappointing .203/.297/.368 line in 434 MLB plate appearances since the start of 2020, with a whopping seven (!) different teams. He does have a two-year stretch, 2016-17, with 59 homers in his resumé.

His last organization was the Los Angeles Angels, but they released him earlier this month after he had a 66 wRC+ in 54 trips to the plate. For now, Lamb will report to Scranton while he tries to earn a shot. A decent hitter against right-handers in his career (106 wRC+), lefties have limited him to a 57 wRC+ and that has severely limited his playing time and work opportunities in recent seasons.

NJ Advance Media | Bridget Hyland: Baseball America published its midseason top 100 prospects list, and there are six Yankees on it: shortstop Oswald Peraza (56), right-hander Chase Hampton (60), outfielder Jasson Dominguez, catcher Austin Wells (86), and outfielders Everson Pereira (96) and Spencer Jones (98). Most of these names have established themselves over the past season, but Hampton’s rapid rise to the top 100 is a pleasant surprise.

NJ Advance Media | Manuel Gómez: The last-place St. Louis Cardinals have already stated they will trade some people ahead of the deadline. The fourth-place Yankees are still in contention and need some help, which is why a deal makes sense for both squads.

The Cards have several outfielders such as Dylan Carlson, Tyler O’Neill, and Lars Nootbar that might interest the Yanks, and some useful backend starters. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says that minor leaguer Clayton Beeter has caught the Cardinals’ eye. Beeter was the sole return in the Joey Gallo trade to the Dodgers last year, adding additional ammunition to the Yankees’ trade vault this deadline.