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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/21/24

Stroman, Cashman confident about Schmidt; Hardman opens up about his game; Odor is headed across the Pacific; Sheffield running out of time on the HOF ballot

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New York Yankees v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images | Max Goodman: It’s always nice when people are waxing eloquent about your fifth starter. Fresh from signing with the Yankees, Marcus Stroman gave a glowing review of Schmidt as a big-league starter. “His repertoire is incredible. He’s got some big, big, big-time stuff,” Stroman opined. “I think Clarke Schmidt is going to end up being a guy for us or a guy in this league for many, many years.” Stro wasn’t the only one to comment on Schmidt, either. GM Brian Cashman called ‘23 a “coming-out party” for Schmidt and expressed faith the righty is now a rotation fixture. | Randy Miller: Prospect Tyler Hardman, MLB’s 15th-ranked Yankee farmhand, sits down for a Q&A with Miller. Hardman candidly discusses the holes in his game - too many strikeouts, and a seeming regression at third base defensively in 2023. He also expresses his hope that, while rehabbing a fractured right hand that ended his season prematurely, he’ll get a chance to pick Aaron Judge’s brain and learn from the Captain, who’s definitely put to rest concerns about his strikeout rate.

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: Rougie, we barely knew thee. Rougned Odor, who toiled for the Yanks in 2021, seemingly good for one big home run per month, is headed to NPB. Hochi Sports reported (with later confirmation from Jon Heyman) that Odor has inked a deal with the Yomiuri Giants, the club for which former Yankee legend Hideki Matsui played. Best of luck, Rougie.

The Athletic | Cody Stavenhagen: With time running out for Gary Sheffield on the Hall of Fame ballot, Stavenhagen digs in with a thorough look at the former Yankee slugger. It’s a great read and worth your time if you have an Athletic subscription. With the seeming end of Sports Illustrated sending a shockwave through sports and sports journalism this week, it’s nice to be reminded how good long-form sports writing can be.