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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/2/24

Burnes bound for Baltimore; Middleton off to St. Louis; Opening Day lineup possibilities; Rodón’s impact on Snell talks

Wild Card Series - Arizona Diamondbacks v Milwaukee Brewers - Game One Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

ESPN | Jeff Passan: After a quiet start to the offseason, things are moving at warp speed for the Orioles. Just two days after John Angelos agreed to sell the team to a group led by billionaire David Rubenstein for over $1.7 billion, they pulled off a blockbuster trade for one of the best starting pitchers in baseball. Baltimore is sending a pair of top prospects — infielder Joey Ortiz and left-handed pitcher DL Hall — and a 2024 Competitive Balance Round A draft pick (34th overall) to the Brewers for ace and 2021 NL Cy Young winner Corbin Burnes.

Ortiz and Hall are the fifth- and sixth-ranked prospects in the Orioles’ system, but it still feels like a light price to pay for one of the inner circle active starting pitchers — one coming off a season with a 3.39 ERA, 3.81 FIP, and 200 strikeouts in 193.2 innings. The Yankees had been linked to Burnes at various points of the offseason, but now will have to face him at least a couple of times with the Yankees and Orioles matching up for 13 games in 2024. Barring the signing of an extension, Burnes is slated to become a free agent at the end of the upcoming season.

MLB Trade Rumors | Anthony Franco: The Yankees missed out on another one of their pitching targets, watching reliever Keynan Middleton sign with the Cardinals on a one year deal. Middleton was one of the few pieces of business the Yankees conducted during an otherwise stagnant trade deadline and in fairness he was quite a savvy pickup. Acquired for minor leaguer Juan Carela, Middleton pitched to a 1.88 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 12 appearances totaling 14.1 innings.

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: With pitchers and catchers reporting in under two weeks’ time, Hoch tried his hand at projecting the Yankees’ Opening Day lineup. Hoch does not anticipate any more additions to the roster between now and then, but does believe that winter additions Victor González and Luke Weaver should help cover the subtractions from the bullpen. Additionally, Hoch projects Oswald Peraza and Oswaldo Cabrera to break camp with the team as bench depth for the infield and outfield, respectively.

New York Post | Jon Heyman: Further details have emerged about the Yankees’ negotiations with Blake Snell, with Heyman claiming the Yankees were willing to go “above Rodón” with their offer, though it’s unknown if that refers to AAV, term, overall value, or all three. Heyman also claims that Rodón’s disastrous debut season in pinstripes ultimately made the Yankees less willing to go much higher for Snell. Current speculation pegs Snell’s ask at around the same deal Stephen Strasburg signed with the Nationals — seven years and $245 million — after winning the World Series in 2019.