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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/14/24

Payroll to exceed $300 mil for the first time; following up on Stroman; NYY ranked as the best outfield group.

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New York Post | Greg Joyce: After agreeing to terms with Luke Weaver and Marcus Stroman this week, the Yankees are set to boast a payroll north of $300 million for the first time as a franchise. The team’s now past the “Cohen Tax” bracket, although the roster still has a couple more needs so we should expect to start the year even further abreast of that line. However, if you adjust the payrolls of the mid-2000s squads for inflation, the Steinbrenner family has been willing to spend more real dollars in previous years. | Pete Caldera: The roster has a couple more needs to fill, so who’s going to fill them? There was reporting earlier in the week that the Yankees were more and more interested in building up the bullpen, and with Stroman signed for the rotation that may be a more likely path forward. The club may have to act fast though, as Jordan Hicks came off the market Friday and Yariel Rodríguez is fielding calls from interested teams.

Sports Illustrated | Matthew Postins: There’s a saying that you get more from not being stupid than you get from being smart, that just not being awful at something provides plenty of its own value. The Yankees are no longer awful at projected outfield production, where they ranked 25th in baseball in 2023. With a trio of new outfielders in the group, and the departures of sub-replacement level options, the Yanks project to have the best outfield in the game for 2024.