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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/20/24

Yankees make a pair of roster moves on Friday; Cashman talks roster, more; Boone hints at Yanks’ batting order; Jones, Domínguez among hardest hitters in current prospect rankings

Philadelphia Phillies v New York Yankees Photo by New York Yankees/Getty Images

ESPN: In case you missed it, the Yankees made a roster move on Friday, claiming utility player Diego Castillo off waivers from the Mets. Castillo has played for the Pirates and Diamondbacks in the big leagues, and was once a Yankee prospect before getting sent to Pittsburgh in the Clay Holmes trade. On the other side, that move spelled the end of Jeter Downs’ brief Yankee career, as the team elected to waive him to make room on the 40-man roster. The first ever Jeter in the Yankee organization spent a long time there, while the second didn’t even make it a full offseason.

MLB Trade Rumors | Darragh McDonald: Downs wasn’t even the only potential offseason only Yankee released on Friday. In a move to make a roster spot for the re-signed Luke Weaver, the Yankees DFA’d outfielder Bubba Thompson, who they had claimed off waivers earlier this month.

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: As part of the introductory press conference for Marcus Stroman, Yankees GM Brian Cashman was asked about a number of others things, including the roster, Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Rodón on more. The most notable thing was that he didn’t rule out any further roster moves, but unsurprisingly didn’t play his hand too strongly one way or the other.

New York Post | Bryan Fonseca: For almost the entirety of his MLB career, Aaron Judge has been the man around whom the Yankees’ batting order has been built. However with the addition of Juan Soto, there are now a couple more intriguing options at the Yankees’ disposal. In a podcast appearance, manager Aaron Boone hinted at what he’s thinking in regards to the batting order, and it seems that at least for now, he’s leaning towards going Soto then Judge in the Nos. 2 and 3 spots.

Baseball America | Geoff Pontes: As we continue through prospect ranking season, here’s a list that some Yankee farmhands are right towards the top of. At 93.8 mph, Yankee outfielders Spencer Jones and Everson Pereira are right at the top of the top average exit velocities among Baseball America’s Top 100 prospects. Jasson Domínguez also features decently high at an average of 91.4 MPH. (Full article is paywalled.)