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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/5/24

Anthony Volpe laying the foundation for a sophomore season breakout; How Yankees stack up in the AL East as busy offseason nears its end; Orioles could be an AL giant for years to come.

Rawlings Gold Glove Award Dinner Photo by Corey Sipkin/MLB Photos via Getty Images

New York Post | Greg Joyce: After a promising and inconsistent rookie campaign, Anthony Volpe stands on the precipice of a key sophomore season. The shortstop enters 2024 knowing he’s in full possession of the starting shortstop job, unlike last year, but now must address the various holes that occasionally plagued his game in 2023. “Just [working on] different things I felt like I did well and didn’t do well with consistency and stuff like that, trying to use all the resources and the organization,” Volpe said as he tries to take more strides forward this season. The Yankees have always praised Volpe’s character and dedication, and it’d be no surprise if Volpe used those traits to propel himself to bigger things in 2024.

CBS Sports | Mike Axisa: With the offseason nearing its end, Axisa provides an exhaustive State of the AL East to see how the five teams stack up. Laid out like this, it’s clear that before the Corbin Burnes trade, the Yankees were really the only team in the division to have made impact moves. The Red Sox have been very quiet, the Rays have continued to operate on the margins as per their MO, and the Blue Jays have sated themselves with Yariel Rodríguez and Justin Turner after missing on Shohei Ohtani. Will all of that leave the Yankees in position to reclaim AL East supremacy?

New York Post | Joel Sherman: Has a new giant arrived in the AL? The Astros’ run of dominance could (hopefully?) be coming close to an end, with key players aging or nearing free agency, but the Orioles are trying to position themselves as the successors to Houston’s American League throne. With the franchise on the verge of a sale to a pair of private-equity billionaires, the Yankees should be worried that the Orioles will soon start to actually spend money to supplement their strong homegrown core.