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Around the Empire: New York Yankees News - 1/16/15

Defense, pitch clocks, the window to win, a golden ticket for Brewers fans, and Damon's retirement.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Grant Brisbee | SBNation: Brisbee takes the best look at the state of major league baseball that I've seen this offseason. It is an entirely serious (read, not) look at where the various teams stack up against each other.

Matt Snyder | CBS Sports: Snyder reports that fresh off a successful trial run in the Arizona Fall League, pitch clocks are coming to Double-A and Triple-A next season.

Zachary Levine | Just a Bit Outside: Levine walks you through the Milwaukee Brewers' latest marketing ploy: a timeless ticket that buys you the right to cut in line to buy regular season or postseason somewhere down the line. Pretty interesting stuff. Is it worth waiting for a Brewers-Yankees playoff game?

Buster Olney | ESPN Insider ($): Olney ranks the Yankees as the tenth best defense in baseball. I think it's easy to see why he's high on the Royals (recency and exposure bias from their World Series run), but I think this Yankee squad is going to be better than tenth.

Johnny Mehler | WLBZ2: Former Yankees outfielder and 2009 champion Johnny Damon plans to officially announce his long-overdue retirement from baseball just after the start of the 2015 season.