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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/19/24

On the decline of the workhorse; Kuroda honored; Rojas aboard on an MiLB deal; first look at ZiPS

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images

The Ringer | Ben Lindbergh: Despite the memes of the Chad Innings Eater, it appears baseball is moving away from the idea. The modern media definition of an “innings eater” seems to drop lower and lower every year, while the acceptable-but-not excellent results side of the term has stayed the same. Teams more and more have taken to prioritize high-impact, inning-per-inning performance, accepting that the cost of that is a higher injury rate and the need for more pitchers on the roster as a whole.

Japan Times: Hiroki Kuroda was one of the best things about the post-2009 title year Yankee squads. Pitching in the Bronx for three seasons as the franchise transitioned out of the dynasty years, Hirok stabilized the rotation and was a playoff hero in what became lean times. Kuroda was honored with induction in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, in recognition of his stellar play for the Hiroshima Carp, LA Dodgers, and indeed the Yankees. Look for more on him today from Andrés.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: The Yankees have signed José Rojas to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. Rojas, who has seen MLB playing time at right, second and third, is coming back to the States after a successful 2023 in the KBO. He posted a 126 wRC+ for the Doosan Bears last year, and while he doesn’t have much of a major league track record, there’s no such thing as a bad minor league deal.

Lastly, Dan Szymborski of FanGraphs gives us a sneak peek at the ZiPS projection for the 2024 Yankees:

Back of the envelope math has this team, if all those numbers hit, at about 93 wins. It’s probably not enough to win the AL East, but it’s not a bad team if one more splash can be made.