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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 12/19/15

Kuroda returning to Hiroshima Carp for another year; Thinking ahead to next year's batting order; Beltran's defense is bad.

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports | Brendan Kuty: Former Yankee, Hiroki Kuroda, will return to the Hiroshima Carp in 2016 and is set to have an annual salary higher than any other player in the league.

LoHud Yankees Blog | Chad Jennings: The Yankees' batting order could change significantly from what we saw in 2015 now that Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks are on the team.

BP Bronx | Nick Ashbourne: Carlos Beltran had a good year at the plate, but the same cannot be said for his fielding.

FanGraphs | Carson Cistulli: ZiPS projections have been released for the Yankees, and Masahiro Tanaka and Luis Severino are projected to lead the rotation in WAR.