Josh Hader (Treated Image by SNY)
Josh Hader (Treated Image by SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the Yankees signing Gerrit Cole to a record contract earlier this winter, it's been a pretty buzzworthy offseason already in the Bronx. 

How great would it be if they kept that sizzle going and made a trade for Josh Hader, the lefty strikeout machine who has anchored Milwaukee's bullpen the last two years? 

Maybe the Brewers are just in listen mode and the whole idea's a longshot. Perhaps it'd be easier and smarter to just re-sign Dellin Betances, considering the hefty return Milwaukee likely will demand. 

Or maybe Hader's just the thing to make the already-strong Yankee bullpen invincible over 162 games and then he'll gobble up Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy and Corey Seager in a Dodgers-Yankees World Series. Hey, this is a "potential trade scenario" piece, so you have to consider every possibility.

Over the past two years, in which he's won the Trevor Hoffman Award as the best reliever in the National League, Hader is 9-6 with 49 saves and a 2.52 ERA. He's fanned 281 batters over 157 innings, 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings. For context, Cole fanned 13.8 per nine in 2019, though as a starter. 

Hader allowed 1.8 homers per nine innings last year and you can decide whether that's a red flag for someone pitching in Yankee Stadium or more of a rabbit-ball problem. Or a bit of both. 

Hader, who won't turn 26 until next April, will be pricey, though, because of his talent, age and four more years of control via arbitration. If you want him on the Yanks, you'd better fall out of love with a few prospects and not the fringe kind. Not every prospect makes the Majors and thrives, you know. 

For reference, let's look at what the Yankees got when they dealt two mega-relievers at the 2016. Special circumstances, yes, but perhaps there's some guidance here: The Yanks sent Aroldis Chapman to the Cubs, who were hoping to break a 108-year-old curse for Gleyber Torres, Adam Warren and two other players; they swapped Andrew Miller to the Indians for Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller and one other player. 

So here's a look a three swap suggestions for Hader. They are speculation on our part and, as the saying goes, for entertainment purposes only.

The Redundancy Exchange

Yanks send Miguel Andújar and Frazier to Milwaukee for Hader. If that's not enough, perhaps the Yanks could add a third player -- righty Chance Adams?

Gio Urshela might be enough of a real deal at third base that the Yankees look to trade from a strength by sending Andújar to Milwaukee. Frazier, who had 12 homers and an .806 OPS last year in 69 games, is another good player who doesn't have a clear starting role. Why not turn them both into another bullpen weapon, especially one who is slated to make just $4.6 million in arbitration, according to MLBtraderumors.com?

It would sting to move players with the promise that Andújar and Frazier hold, especially for a team that learned the priceless value of elite depth just last season. 

The deal could work for the Brewers because of an influx of high-end young talent. Andújar was the runner-up for AL Rookie of the Year in 2018, though his 2019 season was wrecked by injury. The Brewers lost Mike Moustakas to free agency, so Andújar slides in to third base as his replacement.

Frazier, of course, has "legendary bat speed," according to Yanks' GM Brian Cashman and has shown ability to hit in the Majors. His fielding is behind his offense, but there is serious potential there and Frazier is only 25. 

Adams, too, is 25. He's hardly been a hit in brief stints in the majors the last two seasons, nor when he's pitched at Triple-A. But he's always been well thought of, so perhaps he blooms elsewhere. 



The Prospect Package

The Yanks send RHP Deivi Garcia, OF Estevan Florial and RHP Miguel Yajure to Milwaukee for Hader. 

If the Brewers prefer stocking their system, this kind of package might work. In Garcia, the righty who seemed to be pushing his way to the Majors last year, and Florial, they get two of the Yankees very best prospects.

Garcia pitched at three levels last season, getting to Triple-A and tempting the Yanks to go even further. He's only 20 and was ranked 62nd on MLB.com's Top 100 prospects list. He had a 4.28 ERA in 26 games (21 starts) last year, but fanned 165 in 111.1 innings while allowing 96 hits.

Florial, just 22, has struggled with injuries and had a .680 OPS in 74 games with Class A Tampa, but has promise in center. Yajure, a 6-1, 175-pound righty the Yanks signed out of Venezuela for $30,000 (per MLB.com), is ranked 26th by the website and reached Double-A at 21 last year after fashioning a 2.26 ERA in 22 games at Tampa. 

Get Two Attached

This one centers on J.A. Happ, the lefty the Yanks are reportedly interested in moving, going to Milwaukee as part of a package for Hader. Perhaps some combination of the above prospects is included, or maybe the Brewers would prefer a righty such as Adams, Luis Gil or Clarke Schmidt or INF Thairo Estrada

Admittedly, there may be 17 million reasons why this particular idea fizzles -- Happ is due $17 million next year and if the Brewers would entertain dealing one of their best players, Hader, because he's getting more expensive, they won't want to add Happ's price tag. Unless the talent tax is significant. 

And Happ, 37, did not have his best season in 2019, going 12-8 with a 4.91 ERA. He allowed 34 homers, fifth-most in the AL, in 161.1 innings. 

But he's a smart, experienced starter who would help the Brewers. If the Yanks are willing to add the right youngsters, maybe Happ's a big player in a Hader deal. 

The Yankees have a full 40-man roster and two players -- Cole and Brett Gardner -- to add to it. So there will be some movement on the 40. Maybe one of these deals, or some combination, fits for Hader. 


RELATED: Ranking the Yankees' first base options this offseason >> Read More

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RELATED: Yanks 'most active pursuer' for Hader >> Read More

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Chance Adams, Clint Frazier, Deivi Garcia, Estevan Florial, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, Miguel Andujar, Thairo Estrada, Anthony McCarron
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

True, it's early in spring training. But with the way injuries have piled up for the Yankees since 2019, including in camp, it's never too early to consider contingency plans. 

That's why we've cooked up a look at what the club's rotation might be like on Opening Day if Luis Severino is not healthy enough to start the season. 

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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 (Butch Dill)
(Butch Dill)

J.A. Happ pitched two perfect innings in the Yankees' opening game of spring training, but the Bombers lost to the Blue Jays by a final score of 2-1 on Saturday. >> Box score

5 things to know from Saturday's game...

1) Happ faced six projected Blue Jays regulars over his two innings and retired all of them, including strikeouts of Cavan BiggioLourdes Gurriel Jr. and Randal Grichuk

Tags: J.A. Happ
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the New York Mets during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees won't have pitcher James Paxton when the team breaks camp in a few weeks, after the left-hander underwent surgery earlier this month to remove a peridiscal cyst. 

But manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the starting pitcher could re-join the team sometime in May.

"Paxton is on track to start throwing in the next 10 days or so," Boone said on the radio broadcast of Saturday's spring training game against the Blue Jays. "I think there is a really good chance that he'll be ready sometime in May. He's doing well and we're excited about where he's at."

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Oct 2, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (25) takes a swing in the final at-bat of his Major League career at Yankee Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)
Oct 2, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira (25) takes a swing in the final at-bat of his Major League career at Yankee Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports (Danny Wild)

Mark Teixeira was a Yankee for eight seasons, the final three of which were spent as a teammate of Carlos Beltran. When Beltran was implicated in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal, The Athletic reported that he had told his new teammates that they were "behind the times." in regards to their efforts to decipher opponents' signals. 

Does that mean his immediate former team, the Yankees, were the ones that were setting the standard? According to the Post, Teixeira says not so fast.

"I don't believe any of my Yankee teammates ever broke the rules by passing along signs to hitters in real time," Teixeira said. "We would have seen it."

 

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As Spring Training begins in Tampa, the Yankees are looking to have a much healthier season than the one they went through in 2019, when it seemed like almost every player spent time on the injured list. 

But things haven't gotten off to a great start.

Luis Severino, who started just three regular-season games for the Yankees in 2019 due to a rotator cuff injury, once again is dealing with an arm ailment.

The 26-year-old has been shut down from pitching at spring training and was sent to New York for further testing of his arm, per Aaron Boone.

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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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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Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) 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 Luis Severino (40) works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

In light of Thursday's news that Luis Severino would be shut down at spring training and Friday's frustrating comments from the two-time All-Star RHP, manager Aaron Boone wanted to add more clarity but couldn't.

Meeting with reporters early Friday afternoon at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., Boone was asked about Severino's situation. The Yankees, however, still don't know what's wrong with the 26-year-old.

After forearem soreness from late in the 2019 season resurfaced, Severino is set to leave Tampa and head for New York, where he will undergo further tests starting Monday.

Tags: Luis Severino
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Before the Yankees' spring camp opened, Jordan Montgomery figured to be one of a number of hopefuls competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. But with another pinstriped injury-a-thon perhaps cranking up, Montgomery has soared in importance and maybe moved up the pitching depth chart.

James Paxton is out until at least May following back surgery and now Luis Severino is dealing with right forearm soreness and could start the season on the Injured List. Domingo German still has 63 games left to serve on his 81-game domestic violence suspension.

So bump up Montgomery to fourth in the rotation, following Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ, at least for now? Sure, since he has more big-league starting experience than rotation candidates such as Luis Cessa, Deivi Garcia, Michael King and Jonathan Loaisiga.

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Feb 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws a bullpen session during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports  (Kim Klement)
Feb 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws a bullpen session during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Yankees RHP Luis Severino voiced his frustration early Friday morning, a day after new broke that he's been shut down at spring training due to forearm soreness.

"It's definitely frustrating to hear this stuff again ... it is so weird, I don't get it," Severino said, according to SNY contributor Sweeny Murti

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch added that Severino said he only feels discomfort when he throws a changeup, which is why he doesn't believe the "loose body" in his elbow is the cause. Severino is scheduled to see a doctor on Friday.

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Yankees' Gleyber Torres (Treated Image by SNY)
Yankees' Gleyber Torres (Treated Image by SNY)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It's easy to get scouts and executives gushing when you bring up Gleyber Torres and his prospects for the 2020 season: 

"He's a young star and the Yankees have every reason to be thrilled about him," says one competing club official.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Anthony McCarron
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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 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) 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 Luis Severino (40) works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone told reporters on Thursday that RHP Luis Severino will be shut down, as he is dealing with forearm soreness. He called the issue "concerning," per YES Network's Jack Curry.

Boone explained how Severino has been dealing with that soreness since his last start in the ALCS. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch added that Boone said Severino, who turned 26 years old Thursday, has a loose body in his pitching elbow as well.  

GM Brian Cashman said that Severino won't be seeing Dr. Christopher Ahmad on Friday, as Boone had said, and he has been prescribed anti-inflammatory medication and rest in the meantime. Newsday's David Lennon says Severino will be seeing an orthopedist on Friday instead.

Tags: Luis Severino, 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)

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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Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hits a three run home run against Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) during the first inning of game five in the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hits a three run home run against Houston Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander (35) during the first inning of game five in the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Deutsch)

Since the Yankees reported to Spring Training over the past week in Tampa, Florida, players have naturally been asked about the Astros' electronic sign-stealing scandal.

Yankees CF Aaron Hicks became the latest to do so Wednesday, and he didn't hold back on his stance when speaking with SNY contributor Sweeny Murti.

Hicks -- who faced the Astros in New York's 2017 and '19 ALCS losses, which respectively went seven and six games -- echoed his teammates' sentiments from the past few days when he expressed frustration with Houston's cheating.

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Roughly four months removed from surgery to repair the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, Yankees CF Aaron Hicks told SNY contributor Sweeny Murti that the recovery has gone well.

During a 1-on-1 interview Wednesday at Spring Training in Tampa, Florida, Hicks told Murti about his rehabilitation process, which he admitted has seen ups and downs on the 30-year-old's road back to the field.

"I feel great," Hicks told Murti. "I feel like my arm is recovering good, recovering fast and I'm kind of just ready to get things going. The first couple of months were kind of slow, just trying to get strength back and stuff like that with grip strength. So pretty much just trying to just kind of enjoy the ride right now, because I know it's a long road, but just excited for the future."

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Luis Severino is aiming for a big bounce-back season with the Yankees in 2020, and if it looks anything like his handful of games late last year, the team will definitely be happy. 

Severino was solid at the very end of the regular season and pitched well in the postseason. Heading into spring training, he told SNY contributor Sweeny Murti that he is feeling great, and that can be attributed to some offseason tweaks. 

"I feel pretty great," he said. "Last year was a tough year for me, but this year I changed a little bit of my routine. We talked to the trainers and made a really good program to come here healthy."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Deivi Garcia, Luis Severino, Scott Thompson
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Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) and catcher Gary Sanchez (24) talk 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) and catcher Gary Sanchez (24) talk during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Yankees ace Gerrit Cole said last Thursday that he didn't know about his former Astros team's electronic sign stealing, and he doubled down on his initial comments during Wednesday's media availability.

More than one week into Spring Training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, the Astros' scandal has dominated the discussion around the Yankees.

Cole, who played for Houston from 2018-19 before signing a nine-year contract worth $324 million with New York, was asked about the strong comments made in recent days by his new Yankees teammates regarding the Astros' cheating.

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Yankees ace Gerrit Cole faces live batters during spring training in Tampa, Fla. on Wednesday.

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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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Executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association Tony Clark was down in Port St. Lucie on Wednesday to talk with the Mets, but also took time to answer some questions about the Astros sign-stealing scandal. 

MLBPA released a statement following MLB commissioner Rob Manfred's comments saying the union had pushed back after the league wouldn't rule out disciplining players when trying to make progress within the investigation. Clark said that anything regarding the obstruction of the investigation "is completely untrue."

Clark continued to comment on the immunity situation, saying that disciplining players wasn't even in the initial conversations before the investigations began. 

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Feb 17, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu (26) tosses the ball towards second base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)
Feb 17, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu (26) tosses the ball towards second base during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)

DJ LeMahieu was the Yankees' MVP last season after positing career numbers in multiple categories, and providing a team wrecked by injuries with consistent production. 

And because of that production, the Yankees might be extending another contract to LeMahieu soon.

According to The Post's Ken Davidoff, it's something that LeMahieu said Wednesday morning he was definitely open to. No conversations have begun yet, however LeMahieu said, "But obviously, I love it here."

Tags: DJ LeMahieu, 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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Feb 17, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Feb 17, 2019; West Palm Beach, FL, USA; MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred has drawn criticism lately over how the league has handled the Houston Astros' sign-stealing saga.

A large amount of that criticism has come from players around the league, such as Nick Markakis, who voiced his displeasure in the fact that no Astros players were penalized for what was called a "player-driven" sign-stealing system in the league's official investigation. 

"I feel like every single guy over there needs a beating," the Braves outfielder told reporters, continuing: "The way [Manfred] handled the situation, he should be embarrassed of himself."

The reason why no players have been punished is that MLB, in working with the Players Association, granted complete "blanket immunity" in exchange for information, a fact that Manfred touched on this past Sunday, but then dug deeper into at a press conference on Tuesday evening. 

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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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Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) 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 Brett Gardner (11) works out at batting practice during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Brett Gardner joined the ranks of Yankees who have made comments on the Astros' sign-stealing scandal on Tuesday, but decided to keep some of his stronger thoughts to himself.

Gardner, a member of the Yankees team that fell in seven games to the Astros in the 2017 ALCS, feels Houston "cheated" and voiced some of his frustration at spring training down in Tampa, Fla.

"Yeah, without getting too far into it, it's frustrating to know, looking back, that maybe we weren't on an even playing field," Gardner said on the 2017 ALCS. 

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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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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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At this time last year, DJ LeMahieu was entering spring training as a very intriguing, super-utility option for the Yankees. GM Brian Cashman signed him to a two-year, $24 million deal, and many believed his high-contact bat and smooth glove anywhere in the field could be a catalyst of sorts for a lineup bursting with power bats. 

The preseason catalyst actually became the team MVP. 

LeMahieu was everything the Yankees hoped to see and much more after having a career year at the plate, and providing manager Aaron Boone with a consistent presence in a lineup wrecked by injuries. He earned his third All-Star nod after posting a .327/.375/.518 slash line with a career-high 26 homers and 102 RBI. That kind of leap in production also had a Silver Slugger Award come his way as well. 

Tags: DJ LeMahieu, 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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Count Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres among the many MLB players who don't believe that the Astros' sign-stealing scheme ended before 2019.

Asked Monday at spring training if he thinks the Astros were cheating in 2019, Torres said "yeah, for sure."

Reminded about the denials of Astros players that their scheme extended that far, Torres was clear.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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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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What will the Yankees get out of Giancarlo Stanton this season? 

It's one of the bigger questions heading into spring training, as the former MVP battled through multiple injuries last season that led to playing only a few scattered games in the regular season and postseason. And even in those contests, Stanton's presence was felt. 

Manager Aaron Boone will hope it's a presence he can consistently put in his lineup. Having Stanton around the likes of Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and the rest of this stacked lineup makes it that much more scary for Yankees opponents. And it looks like that's what will happen right away at spring training, as Boone says Stanton is a full go. 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Brett Gardner (Noah K. Murray)
Brett Gardner (Noah K. Murray)

Yankees OF Brett Gardner has filed a restraining order against an obsessed fan, and the Yankees want her banned from all ballparks around the league, per NJ.com's Brendan Kuty

Gardner went to civil court last Thursday to make sure Gina Devasahayam, 46, stays away from him and his family. Devasahayam has claimed that she's Gardner's "future wife" among many other comments about the two of them despite never meeting. 

In August, Devasahayam, who says she is a "biotech entrepreneur," attempted to sneak in to the visitor's clubhouse at Camden Yards in Baltimore when the Yankees were in town to face the Orioles. She went in to see Gardner, but security kicked her out. 

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Like many Yankees last season, OF Mike Tauchman was called upon to fill in for starters that hit the IL. Between the injuries for Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge, Tauchman had plenty of opportunities to impress in his first season as a Yankee, and he did just that. 

Until the injury bug caught up with him toward the end of the season. 

A Grade 2 calf strain suffered at the beginning of September ended Tauchman's campaign, as the Yankees lost yet another key contributor to their lineup. Stanton, Miguel Andujar, and later on Luke Voit would join that list as well. 

Tags: Clint Frazier, Gio Urshela, Tyler Wade, Scott Thompson
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Gerrit Cole
Gerrit Cole

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman gave Gerrit Cole the richest contract in pitching history, so it's no surprise that the Yankees GM believes his new ace is going to sparkle in his first season in pinstripes. 

That's no rogue opinion. Cashman is far from the only one in baseball who is confident in Cole, the explosive righty who signed a $324 million deal during the offseason. In recent conversations with SNY.tv, opposing scouts and executives raved about Cole and it's clear that the rest of the industry believes the Yanks finally have the kind of rotation-topper who can dominate a season and in October. 

"Now they got their No. 1 guy," said a longtime MLB scout. "No more excuses." 

Tags: James Paxton, Anthony McCarron
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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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Feb 16, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) and manager Aaron Boone (17) talk 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) and manager Aaron Boone (17) talk works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Day 4 of Spring Training at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida, saw the Yankees get several pitchers extended work on the field and sides Sunday morning and afternoon.

Chief among New York's arms in action was ace right-hander Gerrit Cole, who attracted a crowd and threw live batting practice, exiting the mound to cheers from fans on hand.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone met the media after the group's latest workout, doling out updates on Cole and a handful multiple other starters. Below are five takeaways from Boone's latest session.

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With the offseason closing, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred held his first press conference of the new year and his first since releasing the league's report on their investigation into the Houston Astros' sign-stealing scandal.

His opening statement on the Astros sign-stealing scandal...

"When we began our investigation after we became aware of the Houston situation, we started with an important and fundamental goal, and that goal was to make sure that we found the facts, completed the investigation, figured out what was going on and put ourselves in the position to be as transparent with our fans and the other clubs as possible."

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Gerrit Cole faced his first batters as a member of the Yankees on Sunday morning -- albeit they were his teammates -- and got a stand ovation from the crowd of fans in attendance after his final pitch of the day.

With the Yankees among the favorites to win the World Series this upcoming season, Cole is sure to play an integral part in that chase, and that all starts with spring training.

Cole said after the day that he's been communicating well with catcher Gary Sanchez and is learning from his new teammates.

Tags: Gary Sanchez
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Gerrit Cole spoke to reporters after facing live batters for the first time in Yankees gear Sunday morning, and discussed what it was like to really get some fresh work in with his new teammates and to see the New York fans.

On first real day of training with Gary Sanchez

"It was good. I thought Gary and I did some good work, we hit our target in terms of volume and I'm coming out of it feeling good, feeling pretty fresh. It was an exciting atmosphere today too, a little more adrenaline than usual."

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Jun 22, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A general view of New York Yankees hat and glove laying in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Jun 22, 2018; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; A general view of New York Yankees hat and glove laying in the dugout at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Former Yankees and Mets infielder Tony Fernandez died on Saturday at the age of 57 after suffering a brain stroke that came with complications from polycystic kidney disease.

Fernandez is most notably known as a Blue Jays legend, winning four Gold Gloves, going to five All Star games and winning a World Series title during his time in Toronto, but he did spend two stints in New York -- in both Queens and The Bronx.

Leaving the Padres after two seasons, Fernandez joined the Mets in 1993, but the stay was short lived. After a disappointing start to the season, he was traded back up to Toronto, where he played a big role in the Blue Jays winning the World Series later that season.

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After undergoing surgery to remove a peridiscal cyst earlier this month, James Paxton will begin the season on the Yankees' injured list. 

The left-hander is expected to miss 3-4 months, but said on Saturday that he's optimistic he's going to have a quick recovery.

"It's all going to depend on how things go in this rehab process," Paxton said. "They told me 4-6 weeks before I can start throwing, so if we're on the closer side of that, that's going to put me two weeks closer to being on the mound. I'm thinking that I'll be back in a big league game some time in May."

Tags: James Paxton
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It was a busy day in Tampa, Fla. as Yankees pitchers and catchers continued to put work in on the practice fields.

Aroldis Chapman threw off a mound in the bullpen, under the watchful eye of both the coaching staff and some high-performance analysis cameras. 

Pitchers J.A. Happ and David Hale threw off of flat ground in the outfield, while Luis Serverino and Gerrit Cole were put through the paces of pitcher fielding practice, a time-honored Spring Training tradition.

Finally, Gary Sanchez took some swings in the cage while Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman looked on.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, David Hale, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone spoke at spring training in Tampa, Fla. on Saturday to discuss Chad Green's role this season along with how Gary Sanchez looks and the depth of the team's catchers behind him.

On Chad Green's role in 2020

"I don't know if I envision [his role] as being different. With Greeny, he brings a lot to the table being a multi-inning reliever. We've used him in the opener scenarios. We've even toyed with him as a starter. But he can be one of our high-leverage set-up guys, as well. I feel like his versatility to gives us an edge to our blend down there. He's kind of our Swiss Army knife. He can fill a lot of roles down there and that's really how I see him."

Tags: Chad Green, Gary Sanchez
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Oct 27, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) and second baseman Jose Altuve (27) celebrate after beating the Washington Nationals in game five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Oct 27, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa (1) and second baseman Jose Altuve (27) celebrate after beating the Washington Nationals in game five of the 2019 World Series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

While MLB's investigation of the Astros only confirmed electronic sign-stealing efforts in 2017, many have pointed to Jose Altuve adamantly insisting that his teammates not rip off his jersey after his ALCS-clinching home run against the Yankees as proof the scheme hadn't stopped.

But in an interview with The Athletic released on Saturday, shortstop Carlos Correa offered a new, albeit puzzling, explanation.

Correa was responding to comments made by reigning NL MVP Cody Bellinger, who blasted Altuve for stealing an MVP from Aaron Judge in 2017, along with pointing to the controversy surrounding his home run off of Aroldis Chapman to send the Astros to the World Series in 2019.

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