Tag:

Aaron Judge

Feb 19, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) waits for a fly ball during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)
Feb 19, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (99) waits for a fly ball during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, who has been dealing with a shoulder issue, could make his Grapefruit League debut at some point next week, manager Aaron Boone said on Tuesday, according to Brendan Kuty of NJ.com.

After being shut down from hitting for a few days (and not throwing at the beginning of last week), Judge began his hitting program this past Friday.

Judge had been prohibited from hitting since last Monday, but he and Boone have viewed his shoulder issue as minor.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Danny Abriano
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Feb 21, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) looks on during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Feb 21, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) looks on during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Days before Miguel Andujar decided to have season-ending shoulder surgery last May, the team was preparing to option him to Triple-A Scranton.

Andujar had finished in second place the year before in American League Rookie of the Year voting, but was not performing after a return from the disabled list. The Yankees couldn't carry him anymore. 

Everyone involved concluded that the issue was injury, not talent or skill, so Andujar made the difficult decision to shut it down for the year.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar, Andy Martino
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Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) works out at batting practice during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) works out at batting practice during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Clint Frazier played in just 69 games for the Yankees in 2019, mainly when the team was dealing with injuries in the outfield. The 25-year-old split his time between the big leagues and in Triple-A with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

This season, Frazier is focused on making the Yankees' Opening Day roster, especially since the MLB expanded roster sizes by one player to 26 total players.

At one point, I was starting left field (for the Yankees)," Frazier told Ken Davidoff of the New York Post. "And then at another point, I was starting left field in (Triple-A) Scranton. I have my eyes on that other spot (starting for Yankees)

 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

PORT ST. LUCIE -- The voices pushing MLB to strip the Houston Astros of their 2017 championship have grown louder this week, with the Yankees' Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton joining the chorus.

Baseball players, executives and fans are angry and unsatisfied, wanting the Astros to face stiffer consequences for their cheating. According to two high-ranking rival executives, many owners are far more angry about the scandal -- and at Astros owner Jim Crane personally -- than the league anticipated they would be.

MLB understands all this, but remains unlikely to take the aggressive step for which many are calling.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Andy Martino
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Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99), designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27), left fielder Brett Gardner (11), left fielder Clint Frazier (77) stretch during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99), designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27), left fielder Brett Gardner (11), left fielder Clint Frazier (77) stretch during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Aaron Judge, who has been dealing with soreness in his right shoulder, will begin his hitting program on Friday, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said on Thursday.

Judge has not been allowed to hit since Monday and has already been ruled out of the team's Grapefruit League opener, which is Saturday against the Blue Jays.

But both Boone and Judge viewed the issue as minor, and with Judge beginning his hitting program on Friday, it's fair to believe he'll be able to hit in games before too long.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Yankees kicking off their spring training schedule on Saturday when they open Grapefruit League play against the Blue Jays, we're about to go from "best shape of his life" stories that often don't matter to game results that never matter.

While it will be fun to see Aaron Judge taking his hacks against another team's pitcher and Gerrit Cole's glare 60 feet, six inches away, it's important to enjoy these games for what they are: fun distractions on the march to the first game that actually matters, when the Yankees travel to Baltimore to face the Orioles on March 26.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Luis Severino, Danny Abriano
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Yankees OF Aaron Judge explained how he has been feeling soreness in his shoulder for about a week now on Tuesday, and manager Aaron Boone said that it will likely lead to him missing at least the team's first spring training game on Saturday. 

But it might not be any longer than that. 

Judge was seen throwing at practice on Wednesday, and Boone gave an update on the All-Star's status.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Scott Thompson
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Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99), designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27), left fielder Brett Gardner (11), left fielder Clint Frazier (77) stretch during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99), designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27), left fielder Brett Gardner (11), left fielder Clint Frazier (77) stretch during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yankees spring training is in full swing down in Tampa, as players gear up for the start of games at the end of the week. It is during these games that position battles will start to heat up, and players on the bubble will fight for roster spots.

We made a couple of tweaks to our Opening Day roster from our original prediction to the 2.0 version, and after a few developments already at camp, the same can be said for this one.

So, without further ado, let's look at the starting lineup...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) walks out to batting practice as he works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) walks out to batting practice as he works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Another day, another Yankee spitting fire at the Astros in the wake of the electronic sign-stealing scandal.

On Wednesday, it was Giancarlo Stanton, holding nothing back while taking Houston to task for selective remorse while adding that he's lost respect for them and that they should be stripped of the 2017 World Series title. 

"You're only really sorry because you got caught," Stanton said, according to Erik Boland of Newsday.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Danny Abriano
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Miguel Andujar's role this season has been a question ever since Gio Urshela took over for him at third base, and had a career year in 2019. GM Brian Cashman has already said it's Urshela's job to lose, so finding a spot for Andujar is now one of the biggest storylines coming out of Yankees spring training. 

Reporters have already prodded manager Aaron Boone to give them an inside look at what the team plans to do with the soon-to-be 25-year-old, and playing the outfield has been the base of some of those questions. Andujar has been seen taking reps with the other outfielders, and Boone said he could see some game time right away as well. 

"Yeah," Boone said when asked if we could see Andujar in the outfield this weekend. "I think the good thing is, physically speaking, Miggy's feeling well and we feel like in a good place and ready to go and game ready. We'll get him out there in a lot of different situations and even positions. But, at the same time, being mindful of the demands that this creates and something new that we have to be mindful of."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Multiple Yankees have come forth to voice their opinions about the Astros sign-stealing scandal, and Aaron Judge joined them on Tuesday without holding anything back.

Simply put, he doesn't believe the Astros -- who defeated the Yankees in the ALCS during that 2017 season -- deserve to keep their World Series title they won shortly after that series.

"Yeah, I just don't think it holds any value," he said. "You cheated, you didn't earn it. That's how I feel: it wasn't earned." 

 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Scott Thompson
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The Yankees hit the field as a squad on Tuesday in Tampa, with Aaron Judge participating on a limited basis and Miguel Andujar leaving the infield dirt.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone revealed on Tuesday that All-Star OF Aaron Judge will be missing at least the team's first spring training game on Saturday. 

Boone described Judge as having "crankiness" and a "little soreness" in his right shoulder, which gives more context to George A. King III's report that stated he was dealing with a "minor" problem in that shoulder. 

"I don't anticipate it delaying the season, but he won't be playing on Feb. 22," Boone said. "But hopefully not much behind that."

 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Scott Thompson
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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge will be held out of batting practice on Tuesday due to a "minor right shoulder problem," reports George A. King III of the New York Post.

According to King, manager Aaron Boone said a test on Judge's shoulder didn't reveal anything serious.

While Judge -- who arrived at camp on Monday -- is being held out of batting practice for precautionary reasons, he will be throwing.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Danny Abriano
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Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

MLB Network has released its Top 100 Right Now list, and of the eight Yankees who make an appearance, it's their newest, high-priced acquisition leading the way.

Gerrit Cole signed the richest contract of any starting pitcher in the history of baseball when he signed with the Yankeesin the offseason, and with good reason. He ranks No. 7 on MLB Network's list, the highest of any pitcher and one spot ahead of Mets' ace Jacob deGrom. Cole was the runner-up to then-Astros teammate Justin Verlander in AL Cy Young voting, despite leading the league with a 2.50 ERA and all of baseball with 326 strikeouts. 

Aaron Judge has missed 50-plus games in each of the last two seasons, but still earns the No. 16 spot on the list. Judge missed 60 games and had just 447 plate appearances in 2019, but still hit 27 homers and slashed .272/.381/.540. He'll enter his fourth full season in the big leagues hoping that it's more like his rookie year than the previous two. All Judge did in his first season was mash 52 homers, win AL Rookie of the Year and finish second in AL MVP voting.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino
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Live batting practice has already started for the Yankees, and Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ were on hand to pitch to live hitters for the first time this spring. Check them out, along with Miguel Andujar getting outfield reps with Aaron Judge.

Tags: Aaron Judge, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar
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With Yankees position players trickling in to spring training in Tampa, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were some of the first to arrive on Monday morning.

Click below to see...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton
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Dodgers center fielder and reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger did not hold back when making comments Friday morning on the Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

Bellinger was a member of the Dodgers team that fell to the Astros in the 2017 World Series after seven games, and he feels cheated, to say the least.

"I thought the apologies were whatever. I thought Jim Crane's was weak. (Robert) Manfred's punishment was weak, giving them immunity. I mean these guys were cheating for three years. I think what people don't realize is (Jose) Altuve stole an MVP from (Aaron) Judge in '17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us," Bellinger said to reporters at Dodgers spring training.

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Aaron Boone
Aaron Boone

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It's been said for the past two seasons, but third time's the charm: Yankees manager Aaron Boone has some high expectations this season. 

"World Series or bust" has been the mantra for this loaded Yankees roster, and though they've made the postseason in both of them, they couldn't make it to their desired destination to compete for the franchise's 28th title. 

There were holes on each of those rosters entering spring training, of course, but it's hard to find one this season unless you want to be nitpicky. Gerrit Cole is the expected answer to the starting pitching question that had lingered over GM Brian Cashman's roster. And if they can stay away from the injury bug -- that didn't even faze them last season anyway -- the Yankees would definitely have what it takes to win it all this season. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Kyle Higashioka, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Yankees spring training in Tampa, Fla. (Treated Image by SNY)
Yankees spring training in Tampa, Fla. (Treated Image by SNY)

Tampa is no sleepy spring training burg, so if you check out the Yankees during their pre-season preparations, there's plenty to do beyond oohing and aahing over Gerrit Cole and Aaron Judge

But revel in the baseball, too. The Yanks have a terrific complex that underwent $40 million in renovations before the 2017 camp and they are celebrating their 25th anniversary in Tampa this year - they won the World Series after their first one in 1996, you may recall.

The dimensions of George M. Steinbrenner Field match those at Yankee Stadium - short porch, anyone? - and there are placards honoring the club's retired numbers in front of the main entrance. That, plus the fact the Yanks usually have many old stars in camp as instructors, means your trip will be immersed in pinstripes past and present. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Anthony McCarron
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In 2019, Yankees' infielder Gleyber Torres elevated his game to superstar level.

At just 23 years old, Torres has been an All-Star selection in each of his first two major-league seasons, slashing .275/.338/.511. On a team loaded with All-Star talent, from Aaron Judge to Gary Sanchez to Giancarlo Stanton, among others, Torres proves to be perhaps the most valuable player in the Yankees' lineup, smashing 38 home runs with 90 RBI in 2020.

He was also very versatile defensively, playing primarily at shortstop while Didi Gregorius recovered from Tommy John surgery, but then moving to second base after Gregorius' return.

Torres appeared in 77 games at shortstop last season, compared to 65 games at second, but he's looking forward to moving back to his natural position with Gregorius now in Philadelphia.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) doubles during the seventh inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) doubles during the seventh inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Tampa next week to officially kick off the 2020 season, and there hasn't been much change to our earlier 26-man roster prediction 1.0. 

The Bombers are still very much poised to make a World Series run and capture their 28th title. There are, however, a couple of tweaks that we can still make with the Yankees making some things more clear heading into spring training. 

So, without further ado, let's look at the starting lineup...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)
Sep 8, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after hitting a home run during the fifth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports (Bob DeChiara)

Yankees slugger Aaron Judge will be in attendance at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami for Super Bowl LIV between the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs.

Making it clear who he's rooting for, Judge was seen wearing a Jerry Rice 49ers jersey.

Judge was born and raised in Linden, CA., which is less than two hours outside of San Francisco.

Tags: Aaron Judge
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May 15, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) hits a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 15, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) hits a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

With the Yankees entering the 2020 season as the heavy favorites to win the World Series, the ZiPS projections certainly make that seem possible.

The annual projections from Dan Szymborski/FanGraphs see Gleyber Torres hitting more home runs than Aaron Judge, another dominant season from Gerrit Cole and a bounceback season from Giancarlo Stanton.

However, their projections for Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman see the duo taking a step back from their breakout seasons last year.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres
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Now-fired Astros manager AJ Hinch (Treated Image by SNY)
Now-fired Astros manager AJ Hinch (Treated Image by SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman spent several years constructing what he hoped would be the next great Yankees team. He took a step back in the standings, traded away stars and focused on his farm system.

Those efforts created a championship window, which opened in 2017 -- also now known as the year that the Houston Astros initiated one of the most significant cheating scandals in the history of the game.

Over the next three Octobers, the Yankees lost to Houston, then to Alex Cora's Boston Red Sox, and then to Houston again. They saw a significant chunk of their window wasted by unethical opponents.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Luis Severino, Andy Martino
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Yankees were the most injury-riddled team in baseball during the 2019 season, and now the team is making huge changes to its training staff.

According to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, the Yankees are making a number of drastic changes to their training and performance staff. Steve Donohue, who has been with the organization since 1979 and with the major league staff since 1986, will be transitioned to "a status akin to trainer emeritus, though it's expected he'll remain involved with the club."

Additionally, the Yankees are hiring Eric Cressey, who runs Cressey Sports Performance and hosts an Elite Baseball Development podcast, to oversee their training and strength and conditioning staff. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar
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CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)
CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Perhaps the 2010s can be explained simply as the law of averages catching up with the Yankees, a reminder of just how remarkable it was to navigate the postseason so flawlessly while winning four championships in five years two decades ago. 

More likely the teams of this decade simply weren't quite as clutch or complete as those Joe Torre ballclubs that remain the last dynasty we've seen in baseball.

Either way, this decade will be remembered dubiously in the Bronx as the first one in 100 years in which the Yankees didn't make at least one World Series appearance. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Gio Urshela, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Mark Teixeira, Miguel Andujar, John Harper
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera waves to the fans after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (John Munson/The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera waves to the fans after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (John Munson/The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

For a franchise that brands itself as championship or bust, the Yankees' failure to reach the World Series over an entire decade for the first time in 100 years made the 2010s hugely disappointing, despite seven postseason appearances.

Still, it had its moments, linking the nostalgia of its Core Four-past with the promise of its Baby Bombers-future. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Alex Rodriguez, Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, John Harper
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Gerrit Cole/Aaron Judge/Giancarlo Stanton
Gerrit Cole/Aaron Judge/Giancarlo Stanton

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Gift ideas for the Yankees? Sigh.

So much pressure to make another "Cole in their stocking" joke. But since we used that one every single day of the "12 Days of Christmas" (and then some), Baseball Santa needs new material.

We do, however, have a long list of potential presents for the Yanks for 2020 this holiday season. With a loaded roster, strong front office and manager, and a reservoir of prospects, they seem to be the team that has everything. But, much like the work the Yanks have left to do with their roster, we found spots around the margins of their pinstriped tree to leave some gifts.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner celebrates hitting a solo home run with Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner celebrates hitting a solo home run with Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees couldn't return to the World Series for the first time since 2009, falling to the Astros in the ALCS once again to end their 2019 season. And it's even more disappointing than 2017 because this was supposed to be the year the Bronx Bombers took that leap forward into a new age of championships. 

Instead, GM Brian Cashman found himself heading into an offseason needing to upgrade his roster once again to ensure a World Series would be in his team's future in 2020. He delivered. 

Cashman & Co. landed the league's top free agent in Gerrit Cole with a massive nine-year, $324 million deal to give the Yankees an ace, and potentially the missing piece they needed to capture their 28th world title. And he may not even be done. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Sep 15, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber (12) hits a two run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Geoff Hartlieb (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports (Daniel Bartel)
Sep 15, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber (12) hits a two run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Geoff Hartlieb (not pictured) during the seventh inning at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports (Daniel Bartel)

The Yankees and Cubs have talked about a trade that would bring Kyle Schwarber to the Bronx, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, who notes that the trade talks have not yet gained momentum.

The Cubs have made it clear that they're open to trading from their core that includes Schwarber, Kris Bryant, and Willson Contreras, with Theo Epstein saying earlier this offseason that "change is not always easy but it's necessary" and that "there are no untouchables."

Schwarber is expected to make $8 million in 2020 via arbitration and is arbitration-eligible for a final time in 2021. He is eligible for free agency after the 2020 season.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees left the Winter Meetings having secured their big fish by inking Gerrit Cole to a record deal. They also brought back Brett Gardner.

But while GM Brian Cashman has checked off his biggest needs, there is still some work to be done.

Here's what should still be on the Yankees' agenda with about two months to go until spring training begins in Tampa...

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Kyle Higashioka, Danny Abriano
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Jun 25, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 25, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees have tendered contracts to all 12 arbitration-eligible players this offseason, with James Paxton, Aaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez the biggest names in that group. 

Once a player is offered arbitration, the team and that player's agent have until a set date -- usually at some point in February -- to come to terms on a new contract. If that doesn't happen, both sides submit salary proposals and the player's salary is determined at a hearing by independent arbitrators. 

According to MLB Trade Rumors, here's what the Yankees' arbitration-eligible players are projected to make in 2020...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Abriano
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Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the ninth inning during game seven of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the ninth inning during game seven of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

The Yankees accused the Astros of whistling from the dugout as a means to steal signs during Game 1 of this year's ALCS. Houston Manager A.J. Hinch called those accusations "a joke." A new report, though, suggests those accusations -- first reported by SNY's Andy Martino -- probably weren't "a joke."

In a wide-ranging report by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, former Astros pitcher Mike Fiers and unnamed sources shed light on an elaborate sign-stealing operation the Astros used during their championship season in 2017.

According to the report, the Astros utilized a camera in center field to relay signs, which is a violation of MLB rules. Once the signs were known, someone would bang on a trash can near the Astros' dugout to relay the kind of pitch that was coming.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Danny Abriano
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Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks to the media during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone speaks to the media during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli narrowly beat out Aaron Boone to take home the 2019 AL Manager of the Year Award.

The voting was extremely close, as both Baldelli and Boone finished with the same amount of first-place votes, but Baldelli received four more second-place votes to swing things in his favor.

There's no denying Baldelli had an excellent debut season as the Twins' manager. Taking over for a team that won just 78 games in 2018, Baldelli led the Twins to a 101-win season and a trip to the ALDS.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar
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Mets' Pete Alonso and Yankees' Aaron Judge
Mets' Pete Alonso and Yankees' Aaron Judge

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

We'll be talking about Pete Alonso and Aaron Judge for years to come, especially if their careers keep soaring from here. How lucky are we to have dueling sluggers with personality plus tearing up the same baseball town at the same time? 
 
Alonso, who broke Judge's rookie home run record last season, likely will add another connection to Judge on Monday, when the National League Rookie of the Year is announced. The Mets first baseman must be the choice, unless there is a significant tear in the space-time continuum or something similarly seismic. Judge won the AL Award in 2017 when he set the homer record Alonso (53 homers) eventually beat by one. 
 
With all these links between the two, comparisons are natural. Who's better? Where will their careers end up? SNY asked some baseball brains to talk about the similarities and differences between the sluggers and we looked at some numbers from their respective rookie seasons. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso, Anthony McCarron
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Mets' Pete Alonso and Yankees' Aaron Judge
Mets' Pete Alonso and Yankees' Aaron Judge

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

We'll be talking about Pete Alonso and Aaron Judge for years to come, especially if their careers keep soaring from here. How lucky are we to have dueling sluggers with personality plus tearing up the same baseball town at the same time? 
 
Alonso, who broke Judge's rookie home run record last season, likely will add another connection to Judge on Monday, when the National League Rookie of the Year is announced. The Mets first baseman must be the choice, unless there is a significant tear in the space-time continuum or something similarly seismic. Judge won the AL Award in 2017 when he set the homer record Alonso (53 homers) eventually beat by one. 
 
With all these links between the two, comparisons are natural. Who's better? Where will their careers end up? SNY asked some baseball brains to talk about the similarities and differences between the sluggers and we looked at some numbers from their respective rookie seasons. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Pete Alonso, Anthony McCarron
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees quickly retained Brett Gardner after the 2018 season and it seems like they could strike quickly on him again.

Gardner, who is an unrestricted free agent, is in talks with the Yankees about a potential return in 2020, Jon Heyman reported on Thursday.

It would not be a surprise if a deal for Gardner got done similarly quickly to the one-year deal the Yanks agreed to with CC Sabathia during last year's GM Meetings, SNY's Andy Martino noted, calling a reunion a "no brainer."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Danny Abriano
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Apr 3, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) catches a fly ball hit by Detroit Tigers shortstop Jordy Mercer (7) (not pictured0 during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Apr 3, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) catches a fly ball hit by Detroit Tigers shortstop Jordy Mercer (7) (not pictured0 during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

Aaron Judge is known for his bat, but he has been just as big for the Yankees in the field.

And on Wednesday, he received recognition from Major League Baseball for his efforts.

MLB announced the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Awards with New York's star right fielder among the nine players honored.

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Clint Frazier
Clint Frazier

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Clint Frazier, his "legendary bat speed" and all, has been a magnet for attention in his young career. That doesn't figure to change this winter when the Yankees probably have to determine once and for all whether he's a trade chip or a promising cog in their outfield. 

Trouble is, there isn't an easy answer. 

Frazier, who's still only 25, was the headliner in GM Brian Cashman's widely-praised deal that sent ace reliever Andrew Miller to the Indians at the 2016 deadline. He was the fifth pick in the 2013 MLB Draft and most believed he'd morph into an offensive force. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony McCarron
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Gerrit Cole/Clint Frazier
Gerrit Cole/Clint Frazier

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In trying to predict what the Yankees might do this off-season, only one question really matters for a team that is loaded in so many areas:

Are they ready to open the vault for the best pitcher in baseball at the moment? 

I believe they are, even if it's partly as a response to public pressure to win another championship. Other than that, it looms as a fairly quiet winter for a team coming off back-to-back 100-win seasons. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, CC Sabathia, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, John Harper
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees enter the 2019-20 offseason looking to add to a team that came up just short of reaching the World Series this past season. They don't have many big decisions to make (more on that below), but have been both first and second-guessed about their continued lack of reliable ace-level starting pitching.

With Gerrit Cole about to hit the free agent market (the Yanks are expected to at least try to sign him) and other enticing starting pitching options expected to be available, the Yanks have a chance to drastically improve their rotation.

As they look to improve, the Yanks already have a lot committed to payroll for 2020 -- a number that will likely hover right around the luxury tax threshold. Their payroll obligations drop significantly starting in 2021. Here'a a deep dive...

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Jacoby Ellsbury, James Pazos, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Abriano
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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the end, the Astros were a little better than the Yankees in all phases, yet with just a few clutch hits from some of their best players, as well as more dominance from the ballyhooed bullpen, the New Yorkers could have prevailed in the ALCS.

It doesn't mean Brian Cashman should overhaul this team by any means. The Astros are looking more and more like a potential dynasty: they're on the verge of winning two championships in three years, and they might well have won it all last year had Jose Altuve and a couple of other key players not been playing through injuries in October.

Mostly the Yankees need to keep knocking on the door, while hoping that Gerrit Cole leaves the Astros as a free agent and Justin Verlander starts looking his age.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Oct 19, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during game six of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )
Oct 19, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during game six of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

HOUSTON - The sense of devastation was acute in the Yankees clubhouse on Saturday night, in the minutes after Jose Altuve shocked Aroldis Chapman with the home run that ended their season.

Teams lose in October all the time, of course, and typically take it as a normal part of the game - but the hugs, tears and downcast glances marked this one as different.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Andy Martino
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Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

You can make the case that if Aaron Judge had hit in the ALCS like Jose Altuve -- the guy who beat him out for MVP in 2017 -- the Yankees would still be alive in this postseason, and indeed that is sometimes the difference between winning and losing in October.

Your star needs to be better than their star.

However, I would argue that even if the Yankees were still alive, they'd have only the tiniest of chances to win Game 7 against the hottest pitcher in baseball, Gerrit Cole.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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Yankees GM Brian Cashman
Yankees GM Brian Cashman

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With a strong, young nucleus of stars such as Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Luis Severino and others, the Yankees at least have the base of a contender for years to come.

But that doesn't mean there aren't significant questions facing GM Brian Cashman and the Yankee braintrust this offseason after another disappointing exit from the playoffs. And winning windows sometimes close before we think they will, if clubs don't make the right moves. 

Will it be a long, Cole'd -- get it? -- winter? Will Aroldis Chapman opt-out? Who's on first? (No, seriously). 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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The Yankees rode a wave of emotions during the ninth inning of Saturday's 6-4 ALCS Game 6 loss to the Astros.

Down to their final three outs, the Bombers got the tying run to the plate against Astros closer Roberto Osuna, and just as he's done time after time this season, DJ LeMahieu came up with a massive hit, ripping a two-run homer to right to tie the game 4-4. 

LeMahieu's blast gave the Yankees' new life, but in the bottom of the inning, Jose Altuve took it away. 

After George Springer worked a two-out walk against Aroldis Chapman, Altuve jumped all over a 2-1 hanging slider, lifting a home run to left, and ending a Yankees season that had so much promise.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Giancarlo Stanton
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fought back, but ultimately Jose Altuve's walk-off home run ended their season, sending the Astros to the World Series with a 6-4 win. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) The Yankees gave everyone a dramatic finish but when all was said and done, the Astros left no doubt about which team was better in this series, as they won it in six games. They outplayed the Yankees in big ways and small, with stronger starting pitching, more game-changing home runs, smarter baserunning and especially sparkling defense, making some great plays that proved crucial in Game 6. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, John Harper
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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (52) is walked off the field by trainer Steve Donohue after suffering an apparent injury against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (52) is walked off the field by trainer Steve Donohue after suffering an apparent injury against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning of game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

With the Yankees trailing 6-3 to Houston in the bottom of top of the eighth inning in Game 4 of the ALCS, Aaron Boone called upon CC Sabathia out of the bullpen. 

The left-hander made his second appearance of the series, but after suffering another apparent injury, or perhaps tweaking an already existing one, Sabathia walked off the mound at Yankee Stadium for what could be the final time of his career.

Sabathia allowed Yordan Alvarez to reach on an error, but then forced Carlos Correa to fly out to right. After hitting Robinson Chirinos with a pitch, Sabathia forced another flyout to Aledmys Diaz. Looking to get out of the inning, Sabathia threw a pitch to George Springer and immediately showed signs of injury.

Tags: Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia
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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Masahiro Tanaka threw six scoreless innings and allowed just one hit in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros, and early on it looked like he was going to have a repeat performance in Game 4 on Thursday night, but it just wasn't meant to be.

The right-hander ended up allowing four runs (three earned) as the Yankees fell to the Astros 8-3 and now trailed the ALCS 3-1.

He retired six out of seven batters to start the game, walking just one, and throwing 35 pitches through two innings. The Yankees even gave him an early 1-0 lead when Brett Gardner walked with the bases loaded in the first inning.

Tanaka walked Robinson Chirinos to start the third inning, and then gave up his first hit of the game to Josh Reddick. Next, on a 1-0 count, George Springer blasted a three-run homer to left field, giving the Astros a 3-1 lead.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Masahiro Tanaka
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