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Around the Empire: Yankees news – 2/23/24

New York Post | Greg Joyce: Hal Steinbrenner acknowledged the Yankees will be over $300 million in payroll costs this year, but the club isn’t ruling out further moves if they can be positive additions. With two of the top five pitchers on the market still available, Steinbrenner didn’t commit to targeting someone like Blake Snell, but after a fairly active offseason it wouldn’t surprise me to see one more shoe drop.

NJ.com | Max Goodman: Clarke Schmidt had something of a breakout season in 2023, posting a career-low walk rate and injecting some stability after Carlos Rodón, Nestor Cortes and Luis Severino all went down with injuries. New Yankee Marcus Stroman raved about the right-hander’s stuff, and although the Yankees will need to be careful after a career-high in innings pitched, Schmidt could be a valuable piece in the rotation if he can take another step forward.

FanGraphs | Jay Jaffe: Giancarlo Stanton had a lost season in 2023, and the now-34-year-old seemed to take those setbacks to heart. After showing up to camp looking leaner than he has in years, the presumptive Yankee DH is concentrating on a healthy season, but a look under the hood reveals a little more to be worried about than just IL time. His swing mechanics were off most of last season, leading to less optimal contact than he’s ever made before. Stanton reportedly showed up at camp with new mechanics, and that may be the key, moreso than even health, to making him an offensive threat again.

MLB.com | Manny Randhawa: MLB Network finalized their list of the top 100 players in the game right now on Wednesday night, with three Yankees falling in the top 10. Aaron Judge took the third slot, Juan Soto seventh, and Gerrit Cole was slotted in ninth as a recognition of the top-end talent New York will enter the 2024 season with.

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