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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/4/24

Relief target Phil Maton to sign with Rays; Boone chimes in on rotation, O’s getting Burnes; Most stacked position in baseball; A Q&A with Ben Rice

Houston Astros v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

MLB Trade Rumors | Mark Polishuk: At this point, it’s hard to determine which relief arms the Yankees haven’t been linked to in some way, shape, or form, but erstwhile Astros righty Phil Maton was one of them. He’s now gone the way of Wandy Peralta, Keynan Middleton, Robert Stephenson, and others though, as he’s off the board. Mark Feinsand reported that he has nearly finalized a deal with the Rays. So... Ryan Brasier anyone, I guess? Anyone? Bueller?

New York Daily News | Gary Phillips: At an autograph session in New Jersey, Aaron Boone was asked about the Orioles getting Corbin Burnes and how he feels about the New York rotation. The answers are probably about what you’d expect (spoiler: Burnes good; Booney likes his guys), but I’d also like to remark on the man’s heavy travel yesterday because he evidently went from East Rutherford all the way down to Chapel Hill to catch the UNC/Duke game later that day. Busy guy!

MLB.com | Anthony Castrovince: If you’ve been following either MLB Network or simply their social platforms over the course of the past month or so, you’ve probably seen them run through their “Top 10 Right Now” series on each position. Reviewing them all, Castrovince noted that shortstop seemed to be the deepest, and included Anthony Volpe among those who could join that group in 2024. Note that Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole ranked first at center field and starting pitcher, respectively, and Juan Soto was third among right fielders.

NJ.com | Randy Miller: This is a subscriber-only piece, but if you have access to this NJ.com article, it’s a fun interview with unheralded catching prospect Ben Rice. He’s had one of the more unusual baseball backgrounds, as he was an Ivy League catcher and also only played seven games total during his final couple years at Dartmouth because of COVID-19’s impact on those seasons. But since getting picked in 2021, he’s made an impressive ascent from relative unknown to intriguing prospect, notching a 1.049 OPS in 48 games at Double-A to close out his 2023. Although Rice might still be a long shot for New York, he’s at least glad to have put himself in the conversation