Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Mariano Rivera is headed into the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday for the work he did on the field, from his postseason brilliance to his record 652 saves to that devastating cut fastball that turned bats into shards of wood. 

But it's also remarkable how many of the folks who played or worked with Rivera touch on personal stories when asked to recount their favorite Mo memory. Turns out, Rivera wasn't just a Cooperstown-worthy pitcher; he was a Hall of Fame teammate, too. 

SNY talked to some of the people who knew Rivera best during his amazing 19-year career to get a glimpse of the Yankees famed closer as he prepares to be enshrined. 

BRIAN CASHMAN, Yankees GM: 

"Remember Damaso Marte? In '09, when we won the World Series against the Phillies, he was big. But he had been hurt most of the year and struggling. He had some personal stuff going on, too. Mo was always all-in on the field when he had the ball in his hands, but he was all-in in the clubhouse with his teammates, too. A lot of people had given up on Marte. Mo was counseling him. He said to me, 'Cash, I got this. You get him healthy, I'll get him spiritually and mentally back on line.' Mo spent a lot of time with him. Marte came off the (injured list) in September and I had to make a decision to put him on the (playoff) roster. The Major League staff didn't want him on. He came in a bunch and got (Chase) Utley and (Ryan) Howard out and when he did it, the game was on the line, big lefty hitters up and here comes Marte, getting them out. I always reflect on that. Anyone can talk about what Mo did on the field, but I always think of his intervention with me as GM, helping Marte. Andy Pettitte helped Mo there, too. And the guy (Marte) came back when it counted and was a huge part of us winning a World Series. (Hideki) Matsui won the World Series MVP, but to me, it could've been Damaso Marte."

(Editor's note: Marte retired every batter he faced in 2.2 innings over four appearances in the 2009 World Series). 

GENE MONAHAN, Yankees head athletic trainer during all but two seasons of Rivera's career: 

"He'd go out to the bullpen in the sixth inning. Mr. Steinbrenner said he wanted a trainer by the phone at all times, so I worked the first three innings and the last three innings and Steve (Donohue, the longtime assistant who is now the Yanks' head trainer) would work the middle three and I'd sit by the phone in the office. In the fourth inning most nights, Mariano would come in and I'd prepare him to pitch - massage, stretch - and we had some great talks. About life, children, religion. We'd talk about teams, respects, being humble, people, God. It was really inspiring. I'll never forget them. We did that every night for the fourth, fifth and sixth innings. That was a little bond we had and we had some really deep conversations. When I decided to retire (2011), he got one of his jerseys and wrote a letter to me on the back of it, in black pen. I've got it framed. About how he cared about me, respected me for what I did for him, made him comfortable, got him ready, what I did for the other guys. His tribute to me, it's really a tribute to him. He respected all those evenings we spent together." 

CC SABATHIA, Rivera's teammate on the Yankees from 2009-13:

"The best memory is when I first signed here, getting a text from him and a call from him, just welcoming me. It made me feel comfortable, you know? There's a million stories. He taught me the cutter, too. If he hadn't taught me the cutter, I'd be out of the game now. But the biggest thing that made me feel comfortable when I first signed here was just getting a text from him. It was just 'Congratulations, excited to have you here, let's win some championships.' He was just always a good teammate, considerate of people's feelings, always wanted to make sure you were doing OK, in life and on the field. He was always good that way. I wish I could go this weekend. I'll definitely be watching on Sunday."

BRETT GARDNER, Yankees teammate from 2008-13:

"Mo is the first pitcher I knew who came to me and told me he wanted me to play super shallow (in the outfield). I don't remember the exact situation, but maybe it was a case of a ball fell in front of me early on in my career that he was hoping I would've caught or felt like I should've caught. He felt like if he left a ball over the middle of the plate and it got squared up and was hit over my head, it was his fault. But if he got somebody to hit a ball off the end of the bat or sawed somebody off with the cutter and it was a little blooper, he wanted those balls caught. Just something cool. From that moment on, I played shallow for him. It depended on the batter, but I played significantly shallower for him. He was serious about it, too."

AUSTIN ROMINE, Yankees catcher and Rivera's teammate in 2011, 2013:

"Early in my career, I was catching in a game against Boston and he comes in. Guy tries to steal second and I threw the ball into the outfield. That run scored, we ended up losing. I had a bunch of media around me and, for a young player, that can be a tough experience. A lot of eyes, a lot of cameras. It was 20 deep. But the next day, Mo, he came to me and he acted like it (the error) was nothing. No big deal. For a young player, that was a huge experience for me, because I had felt like I let him down and let the team down. He said, 'It happens. You're trying to make a play. I could've been quicker to the plate.' Just kind of taking the burden off me. When you're young, you try and press and sometimes try to do better than you can. For him to take the time and do that, to make sure his teammate's OK, that just spoke to the character of Mo, who he is. I came in the next day and worked on throws to second base. I felt OK about it. It allowed me to relax a little bit. It's a personal thing - baseball was baseball, but he cared about who you were."

LARRY ROTHSCHILD, Yankees pitching coach beginning in 2011:

"My first year with Mo, he came in late to spring training. He hadn't been throwing. So he played catch, long-toss and then threw a side session, 15 pitches, everything was real good. He threw another side and said, "I'm ready for a game." I said, 'I can't put you in a game now. Why don't we do a sim game?' So we did, on a back field. He threw 17 pitches and he hit the glove 16 times. He walked off and said, 'I'm ready.' His first game, he struck out the side on 10 pitches. That just tells you the control he had of his delivery and the feeling he had all the time. It was just amazing to watch. He repeated his delivery so well and when he got off a little bit, it was just an incremental thing. Sometimes it wasn't real easy to pick up. But he could feel it because he knew his delivery so well. And it didn't happen very often, maybe once a year for a couple games."

JASON ZILLO, Yankees media relations director:

"Certainly one of the most meaningful things I've ever done with this organization was when Mo was in his last year - every city we'd go to, he would spend time with people there who worked behind the scenes. It was amazing. I'd sit there and listen to the give and take that took place between this legendary figure and others who work in baseball, but are working in much-less glamorous positions. A chef in Minnesota. The mail room attendant in Oakland. The guy who bangs the drum in Cleveland. He did it in every city. I knew at the time that it was something special. And the further away from that season I get, the greater the appreciation I have for what took place and the fact that Mariano was so willing to give of himself in that manner, to recognize and thank people who don't have their names on the scoreboard and are unknown to 99.9 percent of the baseball family and fans. He let them know they're important and part of what makes the game great. We'd block out 30-45 minutes to do it and I'd have to tell him most of the time, 'We've got to go. It's before a game.' He was genuinely enthralled and engaged with all these people who make up the baseball world that we live in. It was just really special." 

JOHNNY DAMON, Rivera's Yankees teammate from 2006-09 and another helpless hitter against him since 2001. Damon was 7-for-37 (.189) lifetime against Rivera:

"He broke so many of my bats. One at-bat, he broke three of them. That's how nasty that cutter was. They were never comfortable at-bats. You knew the cutter was coming. I guess that's the most frustrating thing about it. You'd see it and you think you can get to it. At the last second, it cuts a good 18 inches. Toward the end of my career, I didn't have much success, but I felt like I had a tad more because I scooted closer to the mound, to get the cutter to not break as much. But standing in the box against him was not comfortable." 

MIKE LOWELL, 13-year Major Leaguer who came up through the Yankees farm system and is now an analyst at MLB Network. He was 5-for-17 (.294) against Rivera:

"I met Mariano Rivera in my first big league camp in 1998 and I was more impressed as to the person he was than the pitcher. He really went out of his way to make young guys feel good, and then when I faced him later in my career, I wasn't excited because his stuff was so nasty. I know people talk about cutters, but there can only be one cutter in the history of the game that was as dominant as his."

MIKE HARKEY, Yankees bullpen coach from 2008-13 and again from 2016-present:

"In 2009, we had a couple games where Joe (Girardi) would call down and say Mo was going into the game if we tied the score. This one, we got guys on and Mo wouldn't move to start warming up. Joe would call again and say, 'Does Mo know?' I'd say, 'I told him.' We tied the score and Mo still hasn't thrown a pitch. He has not played catch. He has not moved from his seat in the bullpen. I get another call. 'Yes, he knows. Guy's got all these saves, what do you want me to do?' I ask Mo, 'You going to warm up?' He says, 'No, (Hideki) Matsui is going to win the game. I don't need to.' Sure enough, Matsui wins it. I think Mo did that two or three times that year. One time, it didn't work and he had to go out there with only two warm-up pitches. So he wasn't as perfect as everyone thought (laughs). He'd been doing it so long, he knew what he needed and it was all about his confidence in that. That time with two warmups, he still got three outs pretty quickly in the game." 


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Tags: Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Anthony McCarron
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Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)
Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)

The Yankees are in pursuit of free agent Gerrit Cole. Here's the latest...


Dec. 5, 8:17 PM:

ESPN's Jeff Passan has reported that not only have the Yankees made signing Cole their top priority, which SNY's Andy Martino has previously noted, but that the team now has "ownership-level approval to offer him a record deal."

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Aug 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 30, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

On Thursday during his R2C2 podcast, former Yankee CC Sabathia got very heated when talking about the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

"It just sucks that it happened," Sabathia said. "I knew those m-----f------ didn't beat us fair and square. I knew were better than them, man! F---!"

Sabathia would go on to say, "That organization, man, they need to fire everybody. Jeez!"

Tags: CC Sabathia, Clint Frazier
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Jun 15, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte at Yankee Stadium prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports  (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 15, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte at Yankee Stadium prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Former Yankees All-Star pitcher Andy Pettitte was part of the team's contigent that sat down to meet with free agent pitchers Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, according to ESPN's Buster Olney and the New York Post's Joel Sherman.

Using Pettitte to help recruit Cole to the Yankees makes plenty of sense, as Pettitte played three seasons for the Astros, where Cole pitched the last two years.

Pettitte and the Yankees met with Strasburg in a hotel near agent Scott Boras' office in Newport Beach, CA. Yankees GM Brian Cashman, manager Aaron Boone, and new pitching coach Matt Blake were also in attendance for the meeting.

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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)

As the Yankees focus their efforts on landing free agents Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg, they remain optimistic about a reunion with outfielder Brett Gardner, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Martino notes that the Gardner situation could potentially resolve when the Yankees' payroll situation is clearer.

In November, Yankees GM Brian Cashman was open about the team's desire to have Gardner back, and wouldn't say whether he felt it would take more than a one-year deal to get it done.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Danny Abriano
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 (Troy Taormina)
(Troy Taormina)

According to a report, the Yankees met with free agent right-hander Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday.

MLB.com's Mark Feinsand has reported that the meeting between the two sides went well, and that while the Yankees tried to sell the righty on their organization and the New York market, exact dollars were not discussed.

The Bombers have also met with Gerrit Cole, with Jon Heyman reporting that the two sides had a "very nice" first meeting. 

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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees liked Zack Wheeler, and they like Madison Bumgarner well enough.

But in the wake of Wheeler's five year, $118 million agreement with the Phillies -- and in the face of an intensifying market for Bumgarner -- it is clearer than ever that the team's square focus is on the two big fish, Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg.

Of the two, Cole is the primary target, but the Yanks consider Strasburg elite, too. And that's the entire list of elite starters available via free agency. Bumgarner is no longer in that top tier.

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New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier reacts after striking out against the San Diego Padres during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier reacts after striking out against the San Diego Padres during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

The Astros' sign-stealing scandal has been one of MLB's top stories this offseason, and it doesn't help that most of the case studies have been seen during Yankees games. 

Well, a current Yankee decided to troll the Astros during his Call of Duty live stream on Tuesday night. 

Clint Frazier, who was playing the video game with Giants rookie QB Daniel Jones, was having his player make a gesture towards trash cans in the game to mock the Astros' system of hitting a trash can in the clubhouse to let hitters know what pitch was coming. Check it out:

Tags: Clint Frazier, Daniel Jones
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Sep 26, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches against the Miami Marlins during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are interested in signing free agent starting pitcher Zack Wheeler. Here's the latest...


Dec. 4, 2:21 PM:

SNY's Andy Martino has reported that Wheeler has reached an agreement with the Phillies. Many were getting the feeling that Wheeler's market was heating up to the highest degree before Winter Meetings, and that's exactly what happened as he joins the Mets' NL East rival. 

Martino adds that the official deal is five years, worth $118 million over that span. So the Yankees have one top pitching target off the board, and now crunch time begins.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Oct 2, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius during workouts one day before the 2018 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Oct 2, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius during workouts one day before the 2018 American League Wild Card playoff baseball game at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports (Danielle Parhizkaran)

As Didi Gregorius hit the open market, the Phillies were instantly mentioned among the teams interested in adding the veteran shortstop.

Now, Philadelphia has allowed two of their infielder mainstays to become free agents, and their manager - former Yankees skipper Joe Girardi - has gone on the record about how much he likes Gregorius as a player. 

"He's a real character guy and he's a real hard worker who is a really important clubhouse presence," Girardi told reporters in Philadelphia on Tuesday. "I felt that he was important to the clubhouse in New York and what he brought every day. 

"I've always been a big fan of Didi and what he's been able to accomplish."

Tags: Didi Gregorius
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CC Sabathia knows exactly what it feels like for a pitcher to sign a massive contract with the Yankees. 

The left-hander did that very thing on December 18, 2008, inking a seven-year, $161 million deal with the Bombers.

Now officially retired, Sabathia knows that the Yankees are likely to pull out all the stops to try to sign Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg.

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Blake Treinen/Kevin Pillar
Blake Treinen/Kevin Pillar

All 32 MLB teams had to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players by 8 p.m. on Monday, or they would officially hit the free agent market for anyone's bidding. 

The Yankees tendered contracts to all of their specified players, but they could be in the hunt for some players that didn't see a contract from their now former team. 

Here's who could interest the Yankees on the free agent market...

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Stephen Strasburg (Tommy Gilligan)
Stephen Strasburg (Tommy Gilligan)

The Yankees will be sitting down with free agent right-hander Stephen Strasburg on Wednesday, reports Jon Heyman.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported on Monday that in addition to Strasburg, the Yankees will also meet with Gerrit Cole.

According to Rosenthal, Strasburg and Cole -- who are both represented by Scott Boras -- have been meeting with interested teams in California.

"We're going to talk to Strasburg. We're going to talk to Cole," Yankees GM Brian Cashman said earlier this offseason. "We're going to talk to the higher-end guys and talk to some surprise guys I'm sure. It's hard to predict, but obviously anybody would have interest in players like that."

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner and Gerrit Cole (SNY)
Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner and Gerrit Cole (SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Since the beginning of the offseason, the Yankees have made Gerrit Cole their top free agent target, without knowing if Cole wants to play closer to his West Coast roots.

While many in the industry believe that Cole prefers California, the Yankees don't have any information to that effect from the agent, Scott Boras, or the player. They are left to prepare to meet with Cole this week, as The Athletic first reported they would.

According to people familiar with the Yankees' thinking, the team is trying to balance the Cole pursuit with engagement in at least two other free agent starting pitchers, Madison Bumgarner and Zack Wheeler. They see flaws and concerns with both, but they see upside, too, and will stay engaged.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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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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Aug 15, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Aug 15, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Athetics non-tendered RHP Blake Treinen on Monday, according to ESPN's Jeff Passan

On Friday, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported that the A's were listening to offers on the 31-year-old reliever, and that the Yankees were one of the teams inquiring about him. The Yankees were one of several teams approached by the A's regarding Treinen, but Oakland was unable to find a trade partner, according to SNY's Andy Martino.

The previously arbitration-eligible Treinen will now cost the Yankees only money should they stil be interested in acquiring him.

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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) reacts to hitting a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) reacts to hitting a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

The Reds ignited the Hot Stove on Monday by signing Mike Moustakas to a four-year, $64 million dollar contract. Moustakas is expected to play second base for Cincinnati, who non-tendered infielder Jose Peraza earlier in the day.

The Reds had been named as a potential suitor for Didi Gregorius, who is also a free agent after playing the last five seasons for the Yankees. How Moustakas' signing affects their chances of landing the 29-year-old. 

With Peraza no longer on the roster, that removes him as a potential replacement for Jose Iglesias, a free agent who played 144 games at shortstop for the Reds last season. The team also claimed Freddy Galvis off waivers from Toronto in August and have him under contract for 2020, as well. 

Tags: Didi Gregorius
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New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar throws out a runner against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar throws out a runner against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

After the Rangers reportedly agreed to a three-year deal worth $30 million with RHP Kyle Gibson last Wednesday, a Sunday report suggested that Texas has interest in New York Yankees 3B Miguel Andujar.

The Rangers are "definitely intrigued" by the idea of a trade for Andujar, according to MLB.com beat writer T.R. Sullivan, with the need for a replacement at the hot corner evident.

Adrian Beltre retired from MLB after 21 seasons Nov. 20, 2018, following nine years with the Rangers and leaving Texas in need of a long-term option after releasing starter Asdrubal Cabrera Aug. 4.

Tags: Miguel Andujar
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Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) celebrates with catcher Austin Romine (28) after getting the final out of a 4-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)
Sep 8, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) celebrates with catcher Austin Romine (28) after getting the final out of a 4-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports (Joe Nicholson)

Whether or not the Yankees re-sign RHP Dellin Betances and C Austin Romine remains to be seen, but the Phillies reportedly could make a move for the duo.

Philadelphia, which hired former New York manager Joe Girardi (2008-17) Oct. 24, has interest in Betances and Romine, according to a report published Friday by George A. King III of the New York Post.

The Phillies have also been tied to SS Didi Gregorius, who is set for free agency after the Yankees did not extend a qualifying offer Nov. 4.

Tags: Austin Romine, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius
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Jul 16, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Jul 16, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

As the Yankees look to upgrade their roster in the offseason, one move they addition New York now is reportedly considering comes from the bullpen.

After the Athletics traded RHP Jharel Cotton to the Chicago Cubs last Saturday for cash considerations, Oakland is reportedly listening on offers for three other players.

One of the available chips is RHP Blake Treinen, with the Yankees among the teams that are expressing interest, according to The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal.

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Asdrubal Cabrera, Cameron Maybin and Howie Kendrick. (Treated Image by SNY)
Asdrubal Cabrera, Cameron Maybin and Howie Kendrick. (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In honor of Black Friday, where the lure of bargains convinces otherwise rational people to navigate the madness of overcrowded shopping, here's a list of free agents on which you won't find Gerrit Cole, Stephen Strasburg, or Anthony Rendon.
 
No, this isn't the big-ticket aisle but more of a discount store for players who could provide the best bang for the buck. 

In some cases that means gambling on bounce-back seasons for players who were dealing with injuries, in others it means settling for an under-the-radar level of performance and certainty.

Tags: Asdrubal Cabrera, Cameron Maybin, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, John Harper
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Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner and Gerrit Cole (SNY)
Zack Wheeler, Madison Bumgarner and Gerrit Cole (SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Chew on this while you chew on a turkey leg. 

We know you're not supposed to bring up politics or religion at Thanksgiving Dinner. But what about predictions for Major League Baseball free agency? 

Even your eccentric uncle likes those tasty morsels.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Zack Wheeler, Anthony McCarron
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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees announced Wednesday that 1B Greg Bird has decided to elect free agency instead of accepting his assingment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. 

Bird has been playing in the Dominican Winter League at the moment, preparing for next season. However, the Yankees made the move to designate him for assignment along with the release of Jacoby Ellsbury in a move that freed a couple spots on the 40-man roster to keep prospects. 

For the Yankees, it's most likely hard to see Bird go despite his lack of production over his career. He was a top prospect at one point, with a bright future as the Yankees' franchise first baseman ahead of him in many eyes. However, injuries hindered his time on the field, and ultimately his spot on the team. 

Tags: Greg Bird, Scott Thompson
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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)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Imagine if you took the virtually unprecedented step of initiating a partial rebuild in the Bronx, trading major league players for prospects. Then you resisted all temptation to move your own young players.

You cultivated a core of homegrown stars, and they started winning. You did what a responsible team is supposed to do … and then you found yourself defeated in the postseason twice by a team caught in the worst cheating scandal the game has seen in more than a decade.

You would probably feel like you got screwed by an opponent acting in bad faith, and that you had lost opportunities you could never get back.

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Tim Hill (David Berding)
Tim Hill (David Berding)

Starting pitching is the obvious priority for the Yankees this offseason, but shoring up the bullpen also seems to be on GM Brian Cashman's list. 

According to MLB.com's Mark Feinsand, the Yankees are reportedly among those intersted in trading with the Royals for reliever LHP Tim Hill. Feinsand says the Yanks are "chief among the suitors."

The 29-year-old debuted for the Royals in 2018, where he had a 4.53 ERA over 45.2 innings pitched (70 games). He improved in 2019 with a 3.63 ERA over 39.2 innings (46 games). 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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May 11, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. (67) throws a pitch at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
May 11, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. (67) throws a pitch at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees have traded left-handed pitcher Nestor Cortes Jr. to the Seattle Mariners on Monday, the team announced. 

The 24-year-old netted the Yankees international signing bonus pool money in the deal. 

Cortes was a Rule 5 Draft acquisition from the Baltimore Orioles after the Yanks selected him in the 36th round of the 2013 MLB draft. In his lone season with the Yankees, he made 33 appearances for often banged up Bronx Bombers. He recorded a 5.67 ERA in those outings. 

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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)

Voting is underway for the first-ever All-MLB team, and there are five Yankees on the ballot -- Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez, and Edwin Encarnacion.

There will be an All-MLB first team and All-MLB second team, and the teams will not be broken up by league. Those teams will be determined by taking into account the fan vote (50 percent) and the voting of a panel of experts (50 percent).

Voting runs through Dec. 3 (there are 60 position player candidates and 30 pitching candidates) and the teams will be announced at the Winter Meetings on Dec. 10.

Torres is among eight options at shortstop, LeMahieu is among six options at second base, Chapman is among 11 options at reliever, Sanchez is among seven options at catcher, and Encarnacion is among five options at DH.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Danny Abriano
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 (Jerome Miron)
(Jerome Miron)

The Yankees have hired Rachel Balkovec as a minor league hitting coach, the New York Times reported on Friday. Balkovec, who signed a contract earlier this month, is believed to be the first woman to serve as a full-time hitting coach in the history of professional baseball.

Balkovec, 32, has an impressive resume and has already broken barriers as a woman looking to move through the coaching ranks. After playing softball collegiately at both Creighton University and the University of New Mexico, she's worked in both the Cardinals and Astros organizations. 

In 2014 and 2015, she was the Cardinals minor league strength and conditioning coordinator, the first woman in affiliated baseball to hold a full-time position in that role, as well. 

 

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Mar 11, 2018; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Zack Granite (8) at bat at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 11, 2018; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Zack Granite (8) at bat at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees made a move to potentially improve their outfield depth on Friday evening.

According to USA Today's Bob Nightengale, the Yankees have signed outfielder Zack Granite to a minor-league deal that includes an invite to spring training.

Granite, a Staten Island native and former Seton Hall Pirate, was originally a 14th round pick of the Twins in the 2013 amateur draft. The left-handed-hitting outfielder made his MLB debut for Minnesota on July 8, 2017 and went on to play 40 games for the Twins that year. A .237 hitter, Granite hit one home run and drove in 13 runs that season. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) reacts to hitting a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) reacts to hitting a grand slam against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

It seems one-time Yankees manager Joe Girardi is interested in one of his former players, as the Phillies have emerged as suitors for free agent Didi Gregorius, it was reported by MLB Network's Jon Morosi.

Girardi managed Gregorius during the shortstop's first three seasons in New York from 2015-2017. Girardi was named the new manager of the Phillies earlier this offseason.

With the idea of bringing in Gregorius, current Phillies shortstop Jean Segura would either move to a different position or even potentially be traded if a deal were to happen.

Tags: Didi Gregorius
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Mar 24, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) works out prior to the game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 24, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) works out prior to the game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

After being released by the Yankees on Wednesday, Jacoby Ellsbury was expected to receive the remaining $26 million left on his deal, but that might not be the case.

According to The New York Post, the Yankees will try to get back the money that they owe Ellsbury by filing a paperwork on Friday against him ,because he used an outside facility that the team did not approve of while rehabbing the injuries that kept him off the field since 2017.

Ellsbury has missed the last two seasons with multiple injuries, which included requiring hip surgery in August of 2018.

Tags: Jacoby Ellsbury
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Sep 15, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 15, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler (45) pitches in the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

After signing catcher Yasmani Grandal on Wednesday, the White Sox are expected to pursue free agent pitcher Zack Wheeler, according to major league sources.

Wheeler, who has spent his entire big league career with the Mets, is also on the Yankees radar -- though the team seems initially lukewarm on him, at least compared to the big prize of the pitching market, Gerrit Cole.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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A general view of New York Yankees batting practice prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
A general view of New York Yankees batting practice prior to the game against the St. Louis Cardinals at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

There is reportedly a proposal under consideration by Major League Baseball that would eliminate roughly 40 minor league teams after the 2020 season, with the logic being that the elimination of those teams would lead to improvements -- including regarding ballparks -- throughout the minors.

If the proposal, first reported by Baseball America, comes to fruition, the number of minor league teams affiliated with Major League Baseball would drop from 160 to roughly 120. 

One of the teams that could be impacted is the Staten Island Yankees, currently the Yankees' Short-Season A-ball affiliate, and team president Randy Levine released a statement Thursday.

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Feb 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 23, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) at bat against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees announced a slew of moves Wednesday night, as the upcoming Rule 5 Draft made them switch up their 40-man roster to protect valuable assets within the organization. And as a result, veteran OF Jacoby Ellsbury was released by the team. 

With the move, Ellsbury's rough tenure with the Yankees officially comes to an end, as he had trouble coming back from injuries that included his oblique, back and hip. He needed surgery to repair his hip in 2018 and has been rehabbing since. 

But these injuries won't deter Ellsbury from returning. Just because the Yankees let him go doesn't mean the 36-year-old's career is over. 

Tags: Jacoby Ellsbury
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American League starting pitcher Deivi Garcia delivers in the first inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Futures Game at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)
American League starting pitcher Deivi Garcia delivers in the first inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Futures Game at Progressive Field. (David Richard/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees made the move to protect seven prospects and avoid December's Rule 5 Draft by adding them to their 40-man roster ahead of Wednesday's 8 p.m. ET deadline.

New York added OF Estevian Florial, RHP Deivi Garcia, RHP Luis Gil, RHP Brooks Kriske, RHP Luis Medina, RHP Nick Nelson and RHP Miguel Yajure to its MLB roster.

As corresponding moves, it released OF Jacoby Ellsbury while designating 1B Greg Bird and LHP Nestor Cortes for assignment.

Tags: Deivi Garcia, Estevan Florial
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Mar 24, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) works out prior to the game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 24, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) works out prior to the game at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Before the 8 p.m. ET deadline Wednesday for the Yankees' 40-man roster, New York made two major moves to create room.

The Yankees released center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and designated first baseman Greg Bird for assignment.

New York also designated left-handed pitcher Nestor Cortes while adding outfielder Estevian Florial and right-handed pitcher Deivi Garcia, among seven additions to the 40-man roster.

Tags: Greg Bird, Jacoby Ellsbury
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman has made it known that the Yankees will be pursuing Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg this offseason. But landing either of them could be an uphill climb.

There is no mandate for the Yanks to get under the $208 million luxury tax threshold, so they should conceivably be able to outbid any team for Cole or Strasburg. But will that matter? Cole is rumored to prefer a team on the West Coast and the Nationals are expected to aggressively move on trying to retain Strasburg

Perhaps money conquers all and the Yankees get their man. But if they don't -- and they still want to add a pitcher with ace-level upside -- they'll need to have fallback options. Here they are, ranked...

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Let's get this out of the way early: Derek Jeter should be elected unanimously to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Duh. 

Will he get 100 percent of the vote of the Baseball Writers Association of America in this election cycle? Well, that's one of the biggest questions this voting season, and it'll be a talking point until the Class of 2020 is announced Jan. 21. 

Does it really matter? Of course not. He's getting in next year, whether everyone votes for him or a few sit back and make him pay some sort of absurd "first-ballot tax" because he might not have had the same kind of monster career as, say, Hank Aaron. Or if they despise his fielding because the new defensive metrics weren't in love with the Yankee star. 

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Yankees prospects Deivi Garcia and Albert Abreu
Yankees prospects Deivi Garcia and Albert Abreu

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Most experts view the Yankees' farm system overall as middle of the pack, with many of their most exciting prospects -- including 16-year-old wunderkind Jasson Dominguez -- in the lower levels.

But the Yanks have a handful of prospects who could potentially make an impact during the 2020 season, including their No. 1 overall prospect.

Deivi Garcia, RHP

The diminutive Garcia (he's just 5'9") took the minors by storm in 2019, striking out 120 batters in just 71.1 innings as he stormed through High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton and his name began to surface in rumors as a potential headline piece for an impact pitcher at the trade deadline.

Tags: Albert Abreu, Danny Abriano
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Aug 13, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees Derek Jeter leaves the field following a ceremony for the reunion of the 1996 World Series Championship Team prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)
Aug 13, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees Derek Jeter leaves the field following a ceremony for the reunion of the 1996 World Series Championship Team prior to a game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hunger)

The 2020 National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot has been released, and "The Captain" has made it. 

Derek Jeter highlights the multiple Yankees that are up for election, and it is safe to say he should be a first-ballot inductee. The real question is whether or not he'll join Mariano Rivera as a unanimous selection, after the legendary closer became the first member to be inducted with 100 percent of the vote. 

Playing all 20 seasons in pinstripes, Jeter was a 14-time All-Star that had a career .310/.377/.440 slashline with 3,465 hits -- the most in Yankee history. He collected the Rookie of the Year award in 1996 and his stardom only rose since then. Jeter also has the hardware with five World Series rings, while being named the World Series MVP in the 2000 Subway Series. 

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Yankees' Miguel Andujar (Treated Image by SNY)
Yankees' Miguel Andujar (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman said last week he has received numerous inquiries from teams about trading Miguel Andujar, and while Gio Urshela's emergence makes that idea tempting for the Yankees, the pros and cons of it lean toward such extremes that finding the right deal could be difficult.

Consider, for example, these contrasting points of view from two scouts I talked to this weekend:

"Andujar's ceiling as a hitter is so high that I'm not sure the Yankees could get anywhere near the value they should for him," one scout said. "He's got an innate ability to make contact, square the ball up and hit it hard, which everybody saw in his rookie year, and he'll only get better as he continues to see major-league pitching."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

After the Yankees asked Major League Baseball to investigate the Houston Astros for whistling to convey signs in this year's American League Championship Series, the league announced that it found no evidence of wrongdoing, and left it at that.

As it turns out, the reality of the situation was a bit more complex.

A league official sitting on the dugout level did not report whistling. But when MLB reviewed video of Game 1 in Houston, officials did hear frequent loud whistling on the footage, sources told SNY. However, the league could not conclusively determine if the sounds were coming from the Astros dugout or the crowd.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Andy Martino
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone (Troy Taormina )
Yankees manager Aaron Boone (Troy Taormina )

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

During the first game of this year's American League Championship Series at Minute Maid Park, as the Yankees started jawing at the Houston dugout about sign stealing, Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron raised his middle finger and directed the gesture toward the opposing bench.

This infuriated New York's third base coach Phil Nevin, who yelled at Astros third baseman Alex Bregman, "Tell your f--king hitting coach I'm going to kick his f--king ass."

Managers A.J. Hinch and Aaron Boone also exchanged words, and the Yankees ultimately asked Major League Baseball to investigate the Astros for using whistling to convey pitches to their hitters (MLB said they found no evidence of wrongdoing in that instance).

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Andy Martino
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The World Series champion New York Yankees receive a ticker tape parade in Lower Manhattan through the "Canyon of Heroes" Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 in New York.  The Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday to take the series 4-2.  (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) (Jason DeCrow)
The World Series champion New York Yankees receive a ticker tape parade in Lower Manhattan through the "Canyon of Heroes" Friday, Nov. 6, 2009 in New York. The Yankees defeated the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday to take the series 4-2. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) (Jason DeCrow)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Tino Martinez can't believe it, either.

The former Yankees great is as perplexed by the club's recent championship drought as some of the Bronx Bombers' most ardent fans.

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Aug 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) and shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) react after defeating the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) and shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) react after defeating the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Much of the focus of the Yankees' offseason has been on their pursuit of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, but they also have big decisions to make on three of their own free agents.

Didi Gregorius (who the team did not extend a qualifying offer to), Brett Gardner, and Dellin Betances are all free to walk. And GM Brian Cashman doesn't seem ready to let all of them go.

Gregorius and Betances have the same agent, and Cashman said Thursday that the two sides sat down at the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz. to talk about Gregorius, with Betances "also in that conversation."

Tags: Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Danny Abriano
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

So Theo Epstein is open for business, seemingly determined to shake up a roster that has fallen short of expectations since the Cubs' curse-busting championship in 2016.

He told reporters at the GM Meeting in Arizona this week that "change is not always easy but it's necessary," and declared "there are no untouchables" when it comes to the possibility of a trade this offseason.

Yes, with his once-youthful core of position players now speeding toward free agency, and a payroll that went over the luxury-tax threshold this season, Epstein apparently is ready to consider any and all deals that could save the Cubs some money while still giving them a shot in 2020 at another championship.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Stephen Strasburg (Tommy Gilligan)
Stephen Strasburg (Tommy Gilligan)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman updated the team's pursuit of free agents Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg on Thursday night, and detailed his approach when it comes to how the Yanks hope to attract their targets to the Bronx.

"Everything we're getting right now is information, we're either providing (or) expressing interest," Cashman said while preparing to sleep outside Yankee Stadium to bring attention to Covenant House. "You get some definition of -- depending on the agent -- of what might be."

But it's so early in the process in my conversations with personnel that obviously, clearly, the bigger the name -- and they've earned the right -- the bigger the contract, the bigger the expectation, the bigger the money. There's gonna be some opportunities for people to take advantage of their great performance, obviously, in this marketplace. And they're gonna come out really well."

Cashman said on Monday at the GM meetings that the Yanks would pursue Cole and Strasburg, adding on Tuesday that he has "no mandate" from ownership to get under the $208 million luxury tax threshold.

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Yankees general manager Brian Cashman talks about his ninth sleep-out with the Covenant House.

Cashman has been on the Covenant House Board since 2011, mentioning that this is the foundation's largest fundraiser every year.

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Oct 11, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch speaks to the media before the Houston Astros and New York Yankees work out at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 11, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch speaks to the media before the Houston Astros and New York Yankees work out at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

While Joe Torre says he won't be involved in Major League Baseball's investigation into the Astros, the league's chief baseball officer has no problem offering his strong opinion on the accusations that Houston used technology, including cameras, to steal signs during their 2017 World Series run:

"It's disturbing to me, I don't think there's any secret," Torre said Thursday evening. "Sign stealing has always been a part of our game, but in the legitimate way - you get to second base and if you see something the catcher is doing, you try to let the hitter know."

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On Thursday night, Joe Torre was in attendance for his Safe At Home annual gala.

The former Yankees and Mets manager, and now Chief Baseball Officer for all of Major League Baseball, was asked to weigh in on the current sign-stealing accusations against the Astros, and while Torre oversees league operations and on-field discipline, he said that this topic doesn't fall under his umbrella. 

"That's the other side of the office, and I'm not copping a plea, but it's disturbing to me," Torre said. "I don't think there's any secret. Sign-stealing has always been a part of our game, but in the legitimate way. If you're at second base and you see something the catcher's doing, you try to let the hitter know." 

"But to use the technology, which you can't get away from, to get a leg up, I always want the ability on the field to determine who the winner is. I just don't think it's a level playing field and it's not good for our game."

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