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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/26/24

Matt Chapman linked to Yankees, others; Yanks bring back old friend Luis Torrens; analyzing CC’s Hall case; a Q&A about the Yankees

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Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v. Minnesota Twins - Game Two Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

San Francisco Chronicle | Susan Slusser: Wait, why are we leading today’s news recap with a post from the San Francisco Chronicle about the Giants’ struggling to land bats in free agency? Well, within the text, the Yankees are one of three named teams—alongside the Cubs and the familiar Blue Jays—who are in on third baseman Matt Chapman (who we profiled as a free agent target back in November). While a source from another team’s beat isn’t our standard rumor, at this point in the offseason, just a sliver of interest can rapidly become something more.

MLB Trade Rumors | Steve Adams: Every spring, teams sign a number of free agent catchers to minor league deals in order to have some extra catchers for spring training and veteran depth in the organization in case of injury. The Yankees began that process yesterday, inking Luis Torrens to a minor league deal.

If that name seems familiar, it should be: the Yankees were the original team that signed Torrens as an international free agent years ago, only to lose him in the Rule 5 Draft to the Reds, who promptly dealt him to the Padres. Then-GM A.J. Preller stashed Torrens at the bottom of their active MLB roster — despite the fact that he had never played above A-ball. Torrens stayed with San Diego all year long and has since bounced around the league, slashing a career .227/.289/.354. He’s flashed some potential with the bat at times, but has all too often had a tendency to hit the ball into the ground, limiting his upside.

Sports Info Solutions | Mark Simon: With the Hall of Fame season officially over, fans and analysts have now turned their eyes towards next winter’s class. Near the top of that class sits former Yankees ace CC Sabathia, whose candidacy represents an interesting discussion. While some of his stats, such as his career 3.74 ERA, might appear disqualifying, a comprehensive look at his numbers in the context of his offense-dominated career reflects the conclusion that the eye test typically draws: that Sabathia is destined for Cooperstown next year.

The Athletic | Brendan Kuty and Chris Kirschner: We are now less than a month away from the start of spring training. Since the Yankees struck fairly early on the trade market to fill the whole in the lineup and the outfield and pivoted to Marcus Stroman this month when they missed out on Yoshinobu Yamamoto, they have been largely quiet, primarily making moves around the edges of the roster. With that in mind, The Athletic’s beat reporters took some time to answer some FAQs about the organization they cover.

FanGraphs | Davy Andrews: Winter may not be baseball season in the United States, but elsewhere in the world, the great game plays on all year long. Davy Andrews of FanGraphs traveled to catch the Dominican Winter League in action. His account of the matchup between the Tigres del Licey and Leones del Escogido is a fantastic glimpse at the world of winter league baseball, and absolutely worth a lead.