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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/4/16

Mateo prepares for 2016; previewing the outfield and DH; roster construction by acquisition method; coping without Bird.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

NJ.com | Brendan Kuty: Jorge Mateo is ranked as the 30th best prospect by MLB.com, and he's still trying to improve. He's spent the whole offseason working on increasing his strength, and he's been improving on defense. It obviously depends on how his bat plays this year, but he could be in the upper minors rather soon.

MLB,com | Bryan Hoch: Hoch previews the 2016 Yankees' outfield and designated hitter, discussing the outlook for Brett Gardner, Jacoby Ellsbury, Carlos Beltran, and Alex Rodriguez. Not only are Ellsbury and Gardner crucial defensively, but the entire outfield and Rodriguez are key to the offense performing well this season. Aaron Hicks offers some defensive flexibility to give the starting three some regular off days, too.

Fangraphs | August Fagerstrom: These are some cool charts. They break down roster construction by the number of roster spots by acquisition method, projected WAR by acquisition method, and percentage of projected team WAR by acquisition method. The Yankees rely on players acquired by trade first, and followed by free agents, obviously. It's kind of funny, though, to see that they rely less on free agents than the public perception. They're still well below average at projected WAR from draft picks, but that's no surprise.

BP Bronx | Nicolas Stellini: Even though Greg Bird is finished for the season, there are still coping mechanisms beyond tears. We'll have another year of looking at highlights from 2015, keeping in mind how other teams have had it much worse, and focusing on the other good things the team has to offer this year.