New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez reacts after announcing his retirement at a press conference prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. (Andy Marlin)
New York Yankees designated hitter Alex Rodriguez reacts after announcing his retirement at a press conference prior to the game between the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. (Andy Marlin)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Long before I began writing about baseball, Alex Rodriguez was traded to the New York Yankees and I faintly remember thinking they were ridiculously lucky he did not end up with the Boston Red Sox. Years of ups and downs, one World Series title and an embarrassing suspension make me wonder how lucky they truly were.

The failed deal to Boston, opened up the window for the Yankees to snag Rodriguez for Alfonso Soriano, and better yet, the Texas Rangers were going to chip in $67 million to help offset the remaining $179 million on A-Rod's 10-year, $252 million deal. The Yankees had just lost the 2003 World Series to the then Florida Marlins and Rodriguez was the new free agent toy for the free-spending Yanks.

Rodriguez was arguably the best hitter in the game and he would now be part of an impressive left side of the infield with the Yankees' tenured shortstop Derek Jeter, who was still in his prime. Rodriguez conceded that it was Jeter's team and quite honestly from that moment on, Rodriguez's persona became one of trying to do too much and it might have led him to decisions he will regret forever.

Rodriguez put up massive numbers with the Yankees from 2004 through 2007 (173 home runs and 513 RBIs combined) and amassed two MVP awards but a World Series title was elusive. He owned an opt-out clause in his contract, one of the first of its kind. Rodriguez created a public relations nightmare when he announced he was opting out of his deal in the middle of Game 4 of the World Series. It presented him as selfish, and that he wanted - maybe needed - to be in the limelight.

The Yankees (namely owner George Steinbrenner and his children Hank and Hal) had no intentions to lose their most talented player. Jeter was the image, but Rodriguez did the most damage. Rodriguez knew this and wanted desperately to prove he could help deliver the Yankees their 27th World Series title despite poor production in the playoffs to that point with New York. Despite the chance to go to any of the other 29 ballclubs, Rodriguez believed he had to stay under the bright lights of New York.

He got his wish of the spotlight, but not all the news was good. The Mitchell Report, which told the story of a deep performance-enhancing drug problem in the game, came out the same day Rodriguez signed his 10-year, $275 million deal with the Yankees. Rodriguez's name was not in the report, but not long after the report was released, former teammate Jose Canseco accused Rodriguez of taking steroids with him when with the Rangers. Rodriguez flat-out told 60 Minutes that he never took performance-enhancing drugs.

In 2008, the Yankees failed to make the playoffs despite Rodriguez's .302 average, 35 home runs and 103 RBIs. Missing the postseason was intolerable to the Yankees, so they went out and signed CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett before the 2009 season. The excitement of the season was dampened before spring training kicked into gear when Sports Illustrated reported that Rodriguez was one of the players who tested positive during survey testing in 2003.

Rodriguez finally copped to using performance-enhancing drugs, admitting to using while with the Rangers from 2001-03. Rodriguez claimed he never used performance-enhancing drugs while with the Yankees. However, the damage was done. His image, which he so desperately tried to pump up, took a major hit across the game.

The year got harder for Rodriguez when he then was diagnosed with a cyst on his right hip, which required surgery and forced him to miss the first several weeks of the regular season. Upon his return, some Yankees fans stuck behind Rodriguez, but he took a good deal of taunting no matter where he went around the league.

Despite Rodriguez's fall from grace with his public image, he had another stellar season in 2009 (30 homers, 100 RBIs in just 124 games), but this time he also pitched in during the playoffs and the Yankees went on to win the World Series. Rodriguez hit .365 during the 2009 postseason with six home runs and 18 RBIs in 52 at-bats.

The good vibes from the World Series victory did not last long. In March 2010, Rodriguez was connected to Toronto physician Anthony Galea, who was under federal investigation for drug violations. Rodriguez denied obtaining performance-enhancing drugs from Galea and the doctor proclaimed the same. It seemed that Rodriguez could not step away from links to performance-enhancing drugs despite his insistence he was clean.

From 2011-13 Rodriguez played in just 258 games and his performance began to decline. His OPS dipped below .800 in 2012 for the first time since 1995. He had a second hip surgery in January 2013, this time on the left side. A couple of weeks later, a revelation sprouted forever etched in Rodriguez's legacy.

Rodriguez was once again immersed in a drug scandal, this time with a Florida anti-aging clinic called Biogenesis, run by Anthony Bosch. Bosch was being investigated by Major League Baseball and the New York Daily News and the Miami New Times reported within days of each other that Rodriguez was connected. True to his previous reactions, Rodriguez immediately denied any wrongdoing, claiming the documents the Miami New Times retrieved were bogus.

By July 2013, MLB was pushing hard for a suspension and Rodriguez began to feel the heat. Come early August, Rodriguez and his camp were critical of MLB and the Yankees, claiming the whole thing was a ruse in an effort to get him out of the game so that the club did not have to pay his salary. Rodriguez was finally suspended Aug. 5, 2013 for 211 games, which he immediately appealed.

Rodriguez played out the remainder of the 2013 season and then went to arbitration directly following the season. This is where Rodriguez went off the deep end. He sued MLB and Commissioner Bud Selig. Next, he sued the Yankees team physician Chris Ahmad and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. Finally, he sued the Major League Baseball Players Association. On Jan. 11, 2014, Rodriguez's fate was sealed, hit with a 162-game ban from the arbiter.

Rodriguez burned a lot of bridges during his year away from the game, but he was determined to come back in 2015. Many, including myself, could not believe a player approaching 40-years old with two bum hips and one year removed from game action could make an impact.

Rodriguez showed up to spring training on a mission; prove he was fully capable of succeeding in the game he loved. Rodriguez vowed he would be different off the field. He apologized to whoever would listen, and proclaimed to be fully vested in baseball and baseball only. Rodriguez was saying all the right things. Once he showed a new side to his personality and he began to hit, plenty of Yankees fans jumped on the A-Rod bandwagon.

Personally, I had a problem bringing myself to buy into the new A-Rod. I was suspect of anything he said because not much of what he had stated - demanded at times - in the previous five or six years was true. That said, he was on the team, he was going to play so that meant hoping he could help the team succeed. He did.

Rodriguez and the Yankees were still on the outs and as Rodriguez neared tying Willie Mays on the all-time home run list with No. 660, things became contentious between the parties again. The Yankees claimed a home run bonus contract they had with Rodriguez, worth a $6 million for multiple home run milestones, was no longer marketable because Rodriguez's home run tally was tainted by his admittance to performance-enhancing drugs and his recent suspension.

The Yankees stated the bonus was not simply for reaching the number, but was intended to allow them to build a marketing bonanza around the home run chase. Rodriguez enlisted the union to help his cause. Eventually, wiser heads prevailed, as Rodriguez and the Yankees agreed to give $3.5 million to various charities.

The compromise might have been the first step to mending fences with the organization, and for the most part, fans sided with Rodriguez believing the club was simply trying to save their money. The next phase to a better relationship took hold as Rodriguez continued to bash home runs and display production not seen since 2010.

Rodriguez was becoming a folk hero for some in New York. He was pleasant to the media; he praised the team, his teammates and his manager. Rodriguez was having fun and doing well on the field and the Yankees held a seven-game lead in the American League East at the All-Star break.

Alas, Rodriguez began to slow down in August and lasted through the end of the season. However, the Yankees and their fans now expected Rodriguez to aid the club's plight in 2016. Sadly, nothing clicked for Rodriguez straight from the beginning of the season. His bat slowed and his production at the plate was virtually nonexistent.

As the Yankees suffered inconsistency across the board, they found themselves in a position to be sellers at the trade deadline. As quickly as the Yankees used to spend money, they traded high profile relievers Aroldis Chapman and Andrew Miller as well as their best hitter, Carlos Beltran. The Yankees had already begun to move on from Rodriguez as he was relegated to the bench July 22.

By early August, the most recent circus began. Yankees beat reporters, national baseball media, bloggers and fans began to question why bother keeping Rodriguez on the roster. I suggested his release at the beginning of July, arguing that if the team was going to go full-born into a rebuild it could not involve a severely declining Rodriguez.

Instead of the Yankees simply cutting ties with Rodriguez and releasing him, they tried to do it while making it look like they were doing him a favor. The meeting, in which the plan was devised, was between just owner and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner and Rodriguez. It is likely that Rodriguez persuaded Steinbrenner to let him play one last game in Yankee Stadium in front of his family.

While that seems like a cool and proper thing to do, it has created a firestorm only Rodriguez could find himself in the middle. The reason; Yankees manager Joe Girardi believes his team still has a run in it. He wants to win and believes that Rodriguez in the lineup provides no benefit. Girardi felt as such well before the retirement/release announcement, but he was being questioned for his actions with Rodriguez as just five games remained before his final appearance Friday.

Many of the same people who asked why the Yankees wouldn't simply release Rodriguez, were now asking why couldn't he play in the final week? The Yanks made a mistake with how this was handled because while the team has not looked anything like a playoff team for more than a week or two at a time this season, they find themselves just 3.5 games back of the second wild card spot in a weak American League.

Looking back through Rodriguez's career, his play on the field balanced or outweighed any controversy off it. Rodriguez enters Friday's play in a 4-for-42 funk, but he will be in the starting lineup. Rodriguez has a chance to have one last proud moment with the Yankees.

The relationship between Rodriguez and the Yankees rode a roller coaster as virtually every positive performance or display off the field was eventually met with a thud. The cheating, the lies and the threats made Rodriguez unappealing to many in and out of the organization.

Rodriguez maintained a faction of fans who bought into the new persona. I do not begrudge those who fell in love with Rodriguez and I admit listening to Rodriguez since his return has been better than expected, but I never came around to care about anything more than what he did on the field. In a way, I'm like the Yankees with how this situation has unfolded. The truth is, he was not performing and there is no indication that was going to change. Therefore, in my view, the time was right for a final break in the relationship on the field.

If Rodriguez truly stays in the organization as an adviser, he has some value. His teammates look up to him and he is certainly a student of the game. Nevertheless, Rodriguez is not part of the future 25-man roster; he is a piece of an era the Yankees are now desperately looking to put behind them. Friday night, the Yankees will get their wish.

Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Christopher Carelli
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BNNY discusses Bryce Harper saga 00:03:09
The crew on BNNY offer their opinions on where Bryce Harper will eventually sign

Manny Machado is officially a Padre, but Bryce Harper remains a free agent heading into the start of Spring Training games this weekend.

What's stopping a Harper-Phillies union? Can the Nationals be counted out? Would he like to be out West? The Baseball Night in New York crew discusses where Harper will end up signing.

Tags: Bryce Harper
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BNNY talks utility guys 00:02:52
The BNNY crew debate who signed the best utility player available this off-season

Following the Twins' Friday signing of Marwin Gonzalez to a two-year, $21 million contract, which team had the best utility signing ahead of the 2019 season? The Twins, the Yankees, who signed DJ LeMahieu to a two-year, $24 million deal, ot the Mets, who signed Jed Lowrie to a two-year, $20 million deal?

The Baseball Night in New York crew discusses which player is the best bet.

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Feb 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) talks with third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) works out at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) talks with third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) works out at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

If Yankees fans are frustrated with the odyssey of Greg Bird from potential cornerstone to a guy who can't hit or stay healthy, just imagine how the man himself feels.

Bird was as downcast as anyone about his 2018 season, the one which started two months late because of yet another surgery -- this one on his right ankle -- and ended with him losing his job to Luke Voit and hitting .199 in 272 at-bats.

So Bird sought his own Fortress of Solitude, buying a boat in November and renting a house in the Florida Keys for two weeks, according to The Athletic. It was there where Bird hoped to find it within himself to leave his 2018 season -- and the shoulder and foot surgeries from previous years -- behind him.

Tags: Greg Bird
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Feb 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) works out at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 22, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) works out at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

TAMPA -- As the game of baseball has changed, so too have the majority of hitters.

With the Mets in 2015, Daniel Murphy became the poster child for a growing group who decided to try to lift the ball in an effort to hit more home runs, changing the approach that had gotten them to the big leagues in the first place. Murphy, baseball's king of contact, transformed right as front offices began to value power more than ever.

Now, as teams begin to realize their roster construction might skew a little too far towards all-or-nothing hitters, the man Murphy has replaced in Colorado might be happy he's stayed the same...

Tags: DJ LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki
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Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

TAMPA, Fla. -- So why didn't the Yankees sign Manny Machado?

On Friday, GM Brian Cashman answered that question in detail for the first time, speaking for some 30 minutes to reporters on the field here during a workout at about the same time Machado was being introduced in San Diego.

Through all the verbiage, he made perhaps three most significant points:

Tags: Troy Tulowitzki, John Harper
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New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws the ball during workouts one day before the 2018 American League wild-card game at Yankee Stadium. (Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia throws the ball during workouts one day before the 2018 American League wild-card game at Yankee Stadium. (Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com via USA TODAY Sports)

The stagnant pace of free agency has sparked talks of a looming labor strike in MLB and some of the Yankees are taking notice. 

CC Sabathia, who said on his podcast last month that it was "f---ing nuts" so many free agents were still unsigned, certainly believes it is a strong possibility when the current collective bargaining agreement expires in 2021. 

"Just with the way everything has been going, I think," Sabathia said on Friday, per NJ.com. "A lot of players not being signed, good players not being signed. Yeah, I mean, I think that's where players are at right now."

Tags: Manny Machado
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Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) walks back to the dugout after striking out to the game against the Boston Red Sox in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (Gary A. Vasquez)
Oct 28, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) walks back to the dugout after striking out to the game against the Boston Red Sox in game five of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium. The Boston Red Sox defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports (Gary A. Vasquez)

After a long, exhausting free agency, Manny Machado was officially introduced as a member of the San Diego Padres on Friday. 

The All-Star infielder was linked to the White Sox, Phillies and Yankees throughout the winter but ultimately settled on the San Diego Padres -- which joined the sweepstakes late -- with a record 10-year, $300 million deal. 

Aside from the money, though, Machado also liked the vision that was painted for him by GM A.J. Preller. 

Tags: Manny Machado
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Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of George M. Steinbrenner Field where the New York Yankees hit batting practice during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of George M. Steinbrenner Field where the New York Yankees hit batting practice during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

MLB pitchers are on the clock. Literally, now. 

The league announced Friday the deployment of a 20-second pitch clock during all Spring Training games this year. 

MLB has yet to declare whether the rule will apply to the regular season, so it's safe to say the use of the clock this spring will serve as a quasi trial period. 

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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Some of the best movies ever -- including some of the best sports movies ever -- have been filmed in and/or take place in New York. Here is our ranking of the 10 best...

10. Above The Rim (1994)

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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird poses for a photo on photo day at George M Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird poses for a photo on photo day at George M Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Greg Bird is hopeful he can start the regular season healthy as he looks to win the starting first baseman job he lost to Luke Voit last year.

Based on his first two at-bats in a simulated game, he feels ready.

Bird homered off Masahiro Tanaka and singled off James Paxton on Thursday as he competes for a starting role on New York's 25-man roster.

Tags: Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka
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 ( Adam Hunger)
( Adam Hunger)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

TAMPA, Fla. -- Clint Frazier admits it's awkward. He wants to let the world know the concussion stuff is behind him, that he's ready to make good on the top-prospect hype of a couple of years ago.

He just doesn't want to sound like some cocky kid saying he's here to take job from the old man in left field, which is how some of Frazier's early comments this spring could be interpreted without context.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, John Harper
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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

Adam Ottavino was one of the hottest bullpen pieces on the free-agent market this offseason, and it was mainly due to one single pitch. 

Ottavino's signature pitch is his slider that has a ridiculous spin rate, and breaks across the plate like he's throwing a frisbee at his opponent. And his new Yankees teammates got to experience it during a simulated game down in Tampa at the team's Spring Training facility. 

The result? Lots of swings and misses...

Tags: Adam Ottavino
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New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner gets ready for batting practice during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner gets ready for batting practice during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)

Brett Gardner, the longest-tenured Yankees player, debuted in 2008 and won a World Series in 2009. 

Though he and the Yankees haven't won a World Series since, he's optimistic in their chances in 2019.

"I think we're better this year than we were (in 2018)," Gardner told reporters on Thursday morning. "Obviously the season hasn't started. But at this point, I think we've got a better group of guys in place than we've had -- maybe than I've ever seen."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Eisenberg
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New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu catches a ball thrown from home plate in a steal drill during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu catches a ball thrown from home plate in a steal drill during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees had a wrench thrown into its roster plans for 2019 when Didi Gregorius underwent Tommy John surgery in October. The decisions made to fill the gap remain puzzling (at least for me), including the signing of infielder DJ LeMahieu.

It is not that LeMahieu is a bad player by any means. The 30-year-old is a former batting champion (he hit .348 in 2016 for the Rockies) and one of the best defenders in the game at second base (three Gold Glove awards, including two straight honors). The perplexing aspect of his signing is that he's filling a utility role -- at a hefty price of two years, $24 million -- which won't maximize his potential production as a second baseman.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Neil Walker, Chris Carelli
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 (Butch Dill)
(Butch Dill)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

TAMPA -- Betting that Troy Tulowitzki will stay healthy and play at something resembling his old All-Star level probably wouldn't be a wise investment based on his recent history. But, for the moment at least, it's as if the ghost of Derek Jeter is back at shortstop for the Yankees.

He famously idolized Jeter, wearing No. 2 for the Rockies and Blue Jays. And to hear others talk about Tulowitzki, he brings some of that same star presence.

Tags: Troy Tulowitzki, Tyler Wade, John Harper
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San Diego might have been a surprise landing spot for Manny Machado, but the Yankees' decision to pass on the 26-year-old should not have been a shock. Yet, there are fans who will have a hard time letting go of the Yankees' choice.

The Yankees apparently believe they have their third baseman of the future in soon to be 24-year-old Miguel Andujar, who is coming off a second-place finish in the 2018 American League Rookie of the Year balloting. While the point will be made that Andujar will never be the fielder that Machado is at third base, the Yankees youngster doesn't have to be for fans to forget about the newest Padre.

Tags: Manny Machado, Miguel Andujar, Chris Carelli
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 (Butch Dill)
(Butch Dill)

One of the reasons Troy Tulowitzki signed with the Yankees, aside from his admiration for Derek Jeter, is that the Yanks were willing to give him a no-trade clause.

When he was traded from Colorado to Toronto during the summer of 2015, Tulowitzki was shocked by the deal. Now with a chance to pick his destination after the Blue Jays released him with two years and $38 million remaining on his contract, Tulowitzki wanted to ensure he'd be with the same team in 2019 from start to finish.

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Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning.  (AP)
Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning. (AP)

Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who recently became the first unanimous Hall of Fame selection, is accused in his native Panama of failing to support two children outside of his marriage.

Rivera, who is married with three children, is being asked to appear before Panamanian judicial authorities to answer the accusations but the 49-year-old spent Tuesday in his native country defending himself through local media outlets, calling the allegations "unfounded."

"I have always acted ... as a good family father," he said, according to The Associated Press. 

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Oct 3, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Manny Machado waits for his turn in the batting cage prior to game one of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports  (Robert Hanashiro)
Oct 3, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Manny Machado waits for his turn in the batting cage prior to game one of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports (Robert Hanashiro)

If winning is a priority for Manny Machado, one former player does not believe he will experience much of it after inking a 10-year, $300 million contract. 

Carlos Beltran, who currently serves as a special adviser for the Yankees, said on Tuesday he understood why Machado chose the Padres and signed the most lucrative free-agent deal in American sports. 

Yet the former outfielder said if Machado were older and had done this before, things would have went differently. 

Tags: Carlos Beltran
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 (SNY Illustration)
(SNY Illustration)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

TAMPA - The Manny Machado news broke on Tuesday just as the Yankees were taking the field for their first full-squad workout of spring training, and it turns out they weren't lying in the weeds on the Johnny Hustle guy any more than they are going to make a last-minute bid to sign Bryce Harper

It also wasn't so much a surprise at this point as a statement of belief in the team they've built, as well as further proof of how times have changed for this storied franchise. 

Indeed, the Yankees may have won 100 games last season but they were no match for the Red Sox in the post-season, leaving them to watch helplessly as their famed rivals won still another World Series - their fourth since breaking the Curse of the Bambino in 2004.  

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar, John Harper
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Yankees media highlights 00:02:21
Clint Frazier speaks about being healthy for Yankees camp and what he had to do to get cleared. Luke Voit speaks on competing at first base.

Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier is ready to put 2018 behind him. 

The 24-year-old sustained two concussions last season, the latter forcing him to shut down for the second half of the season as he struggled to find at-bats at the major league level.

Yet Frazier said on Tuesday that he is fully healthy now after a long offseason of rehab that included attending concerts and sitting as close as possible to the stage. 

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Judge high expectations for 2019 00:01:24
Aaron Judge addressed the media and talked everything from health, expectations and batting leadoff in 2019.

Manny Machado is finally off the free-agent market, and with Bryce Harper not on the Yankees' radar, it appears their roster is set for the season barring any out-of-the-blue signings.

And Aaron Judge is perfectly fine with that. 

The Yankees made a few moves this offseason to add to their 100-win team of last year, but there was no big splash like the Giancarlo Stanton trade in 2018. GM Brian Cashman, instead, adding players like James Paxton, Adam Ottavino, and Troy Tulowitzki while re-signing Zack Britton and J.A. Happ as well...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Scott Thompson
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Aug 17, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) tosses his bat after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Buchanan)
Aug 17, 2018; Seattle, WA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado (8) tosses his bat after hitting a home run against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports (Jennifer Buchanan)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

Once SNY's Andy Martino described the Yankees' feelings about Manny Machado as being "lukewarm," everything about the pursuit, or lack thereof, rang true to those beliefs. The Yankees did not believe Machado was a difference maker at his terms and price, shifted gears and never sniffed near his desires.

It's actually easy to debate both sides of the question as to whether the Yankees were right or wrong to pass on Machado. I'll say this, the Yankees might have become better in the short term with Machado aboard, but they will not suffer because he is not. Moreover, failing to sign him will not come back to haunt the club.

It's difficult to take the stance that the Yankees would not have become a better team with Machado manning shortstop or third base. However, it's also cringeworthy to suggest that the Yankees are going to pay the consequences for passing on a 10-year, $300 million deal, knowing all too well how these deals can crumble long before they wind down.

Tags: Manny Machado, Chris Carelli
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Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado hits an RBI double during the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports)
Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Manny Machado hits an RBI double during the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. (Jennifer Stewart-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | PORT ST. LUCIE - In recent days, talk of Manny Machado and the Yankees would not quite die, but that had nothing to do with the team.

Right up until the end, when Machado joined the San Diego Padres on the megadeal he had always sought, some in the player's camp were urging him to consider a shorter-term deal with the Yankees. But word all throughout Machado's free agency was that he would chase the highest offer, and that's what ended up happening.

Here is the full history of the Yanks' very half-hearted pursuit of Machado: As reported last fall, the team came out of its annual pro scouting meetings lukewarm on the idea of signing him, and all but ruling out pursuing Bryce Harper...

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Young fan on Machado signing 00:01:30
New York Yankees fan Jacob Carpenter reacts to the news of Manny Machado signing a 10-year, $300 Million deal with the Padres.

After being told Manny Machado had agreed to a huge deal with the Padres, Jacob Carpenter -- a young Yankees fan at Spring Training in Tampa -- started screaming his head off about being glad Machado didn't come to the Bronx.

This little kid's rant was incredibly impressive. But once he calms down, someone should give him a gentle reminder about the many other AL East stars the Yankees have poached...

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The Yankees had been in pursuit of free agent 3B/SS Manny Machado, who was reportedly looking for a deal that will pay him roughly $300 million over 10 years. Now, the saga appears over...


Feb. 19, 12:27 PM:

Machado has agreed to a deal with the Padres, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! reports. The deal is worth $300 million over 10 years, reports MLB.com's Mark Feinsand. The deal has an opt-out after the fifth season, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo!

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Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 26, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) pitches against the Atlanta Braves during the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees' Luis Severino took a bit of a jab at Mets ace Jacob deGrom on Sunday over deGrom's potential self-imposed innings restriction if he doesn't get an extension by Opening Day. On Monday, Severino claimed he "wasn't saying anything" about deGrom's situation after he clearly did just that. 

On Tuesday, deGrom responded.

"Everybody is entitled to their own opinions," deGrom told Matt Ehalt of NJ.com. "...the business side of the game is why you have agents. ... they're looking out for my best interest and advising me."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Danny Abriano
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New York Yankees outfielder Estevan Florial during the Arizona Fall League-All Star Game at Surprise Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees outfielder Estevan Florial during the Arizona Fall League-All Star Game at Surprise Stadium. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)

After being ranked No. 2 last year behind Gleyber Torres, outfielder Estevan Florial enters 2019 as the Yankees' No. 1 prospect, according to the latest top-30 list released by MLB Pipeline.

Rounding out the top five are RHP Jonathan Loaisiga, RHP Albert Abreu, RHP Deivi Garcia and RHP Clarke Schmidt.

While MLB.com's Jim Callis notes there are "swing-and-miss concerns" with Florial, his multiple above-average tools put him atop the Yanks' farm system. The site gives Florial a 65 grade for running and arm, a 60 for defense and a 55 for power.

Tags: Estevan Florial
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Apr 2, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox former player David Ortiz (left) sits next to former New York Yankees Jorge Posada (center) and former New Yankees player and the Miami Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter (right) during the second inning of a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports  (Steve Mitchell)
Apr 2, 2018; Miami, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox former player David Ortiz (left) sits next to former New York Yankees Jorge Posada (center) and former New Yankees player and the Miami Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter (right) during the second inning of a baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

There's a simple reason why Jorge Posada's return to a full-time job in baseball at 47 years old is coming with the Marlins and not the Yankees team for which he played his entire career: The Yankees didn't offer their former catcher a job.

"There was nothing official. They just wanted me to be a guest coach," Posada told the New York Post

The five-time All-Star and owner of four World Series rings said he was "not really" disappointed. "It is what it is. I'm OK," Posada said.

Tags: Miami Marlins
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Exclusive Aaron Boone interview 00:05:13
Yankees manager Aaron Boone sat down with SNY's Andy Martino. They talk everything from changing culture to never known postseason injuries

Yankees manager Aaron Boone sat down with SNY.tv's Andy Martino on "Baseball Night in New York" to talk about New York's revamped bullpen, what he expects in his second year as manager and how he hopes his club can win its first World Series since 2009.

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New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton singles against the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton singles against the Toronto Blue Jays during the third inning at Yankee Stadium. (Andy Marlin/USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

TAMPA - On his first day in Yankee camp, Giancarlo Stanton wasn't making any bold predictions or declaring that New York has yet to see him at his best, but he said just enough to make it seem he believes Year Two in pinstripes will be something closer to his NL MVP season of 2017. 

Which raises an obvious question:

Is there legitimate reason to believe he's more than a streaky mistake-hitter who will always be vulnerable to elite pitching, as it appeared last season?

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, John Harper
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New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino walks toward the dugout after being relieved during the third inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (AP)
New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino walks toward the dugout after being relieved during the third inning of a baseball game against the Oakland Athletics in Oakland, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) (AP)

Luis Severino claims he wasn't specifically discussing Jacob deGrom's situation (despite saying "$17 million" and, you know, his name).

During an interview with SNY on Monday, the Yankees ace was informed that his comments about the National League Cy Young winner were getting a lot of attention. 

"Nobody has said anything to me about it," he told SNY contributor John Harper.

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On Oct. 8, 2018, during the terrible span of 10 minutes or so between a playoff loss and a grilling from reporters, Brian Cashman offered Aaron Boone an out.

"You can tell them about Britton," said the GM, whose typical approach is to preemptively reveal stories that are likely to leak anyway.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Andy Martino
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Stanton on Harper and Machado 00:00:30
Stanton owns the largest contract in baseball, many thought Harper and Machado would break it this offseason yet still remain unsigned.

Giancarlo Stanton owns the largest contract in Major League Baseball, a title many thought would belong to either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado at the start of Spring Training. 

The two star free-agents still remain unsigned as of Feb. 18, although Harper is reportedly close, and it is possible the two players still garner contracts that would keep Stanton as the highest-paid player in the league. 

The Yankees' slugger has seen what has transpired this offseason in free agency and like many he is left confused as to what is going on. 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki throws out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts during the first inning at Fenway Park. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki throws out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts during the first inning at Fenway Park. (Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports)

Chris Carelli, SNY.TV Facebook | Twitter | About Me | Archives

The Yankees had plenty of preparation time to find a temporary replacement for shortstop Didi Gregorius, who underwent Tommy John surgery on October 17, 2018. Yet, the club's answer - or prayer - is Troy Tulowitzki.

As if the Yankees were lost in 2013, the team apparently loved what they saw from Tulowitzki in a workout conducted for MLB squads in mid-December. Recall, Tulowitzki was released outright by the Toronto Blue Jays, who will pay the shortstop all but the MLB minimum ($555K) toward his $19 million due in 2019.

Taking a flyer on a player like Tulowitzki at the league minimum salary is understandable, but to outright name him the starting shortstop for a team with legitimate hopes to win a World Series title before seeing him step foot on the field in a competitive atmosphere is not.

Tags: troy-tulowitzki, Chris Carelli
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Yankees infielders at work 00:00:25
Didi Gregorius and the Yankees infielders work on their defense at training camp.

Didi Gregorius and the Yankees infielders work on their defense at Spring Training.

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino works out as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino works out as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Luis Severino fired off an unexpected fastball toward Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom on Sunday. 

The Yankees' ace, who recently inked a four-year, $40 million extension to buyout his arbitration years, was critical of the reigning National League Cy Young award winner for considering an innings-limit this season if he does not sign an extension with the Mets. 

"For me, I would never do something like that," Severino told Randy Miller of NJ.com. "I want to pitch. I love to pitch. I love this game. I'd never do that."

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino
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New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton hits a single to left field during the eighth inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton hits a single to left field during the eighth inning against Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. (Catalina Fragoso/USA TODAY Sports)

Giancarlo Stanton's stats in 2018 were all down from his MVP season in 2017.

But Yankees hitting coach Marcus Thames is confident the four-time All-Star will rebound in his second season in pinstripes in 2019.

"I know he's been working on some things," Thames said, according to the New York Post's Dan Martin.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton
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Who will leadoff for Yankees? 00:00:59
Aaron Boone had an interesting idea for a leadoff hitter for the Yankees in 2019. It'll likely be Hicks but he didn't rule out Aaron Judge.

Leading off for the Yankees, Aaron Judge?

Yes, you read that correctly. Yankees manager Aaron Boone said that Aaron Hicks will likely lead off most games for the Bombers, but when asked how he could flip the lineup, he noted Judge potentially filling that slot.

"First I think DJ [LeMahieu], especially with the way he hits left-handed pitching," Boone told the media on Sunday. "He can certainly be an option up there. We could even flirt with the big boy up there, Judge in certain situations. But I do like Aaron (Hicks) at the top of the order. [Brett Gardner] could play into that mix, especially against right-handed pitching. So it kinda depends on who's in the lineup that day, who the pitcher is, who the opponent is. I would say Aaron Hicks is probably the frontrunner to be that guy to lead off."

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Sep 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hagy)
Sep 16, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA; Washington Nationals right fielder Bryce Harper (34) in the dugout against the Atlanta Braves during the second inning at SunTrust Park. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports (Adam Hagy)

While the Yankees' pursuit of Manny Machado hasn't been aggressive, the Bombers haven't been on Bryce Harper's radar all offseason. 

Yes, the Yankees don't necessarily need Harper with Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton in their outfield already. But, at age 26 and a left-handed power bat, Harper would be a perfect fit in the Bronx. 

So what's held the Yankees back from looking Harper's way? CBS Sports' Jim Bowden says it's Harper's defense and price tag that is turning the Yankees off.

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Luis Severino headlines Sunday 00:00:55
Watch the best moments from Spring Training on Sunday in Tampa for the Yankees.

Luis Severino, fresh off signing a four-year contract extension, and J.A. Happ were among the Yankees to take the field during spring training on Sunday.

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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Ah, spring training. In some ways it's the best time for baseball writers, a time when players, managers, and executives are more relaxed and willing to talk before the pressure of the long season takes hold. 

I first went to spring training in 1982, and suffice it say we writers were a lot more relaxed as well in those days, before Internet deadlines and social media changed everything about the job. 

The quotes aren't nearly as colorful these days, when players seemingly live in fear of the Twitter reaction to even the smallest misstep, but as I head to Florida to write about both the Mets and Yankees for SNY, there's still nothing better than baseball and sunshine in February.

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Didi Gregorius (18) Aaron Judge (99) Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)
Didi Gregorius (18) Aaron Judge (99) Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

TAMPA, Fla. -- It was a day of transition for the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on Saturday, with glimpses of both the past and future -- and questions about whether the Yankees can hold their new core together.

The marquee event was an afternoon news conference in which CC Sabathia announced his plans to retire at the end of the season. Sabathia was a key member of the Yankees' most recent championship team, and a link between the Derek Jeter/Andy Pettitte/Jorge Posada era and the Aaron Judge/Gary Sanchez/Luis Severino group...

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Andy Martino
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Mar 1, 2018; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) works out prior to the game at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 1, 2018; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (22) works out prior to the game at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Jacoby Ellsbury is already missing the beginning of Spring Training and it is likely that will mean he will start the 2019 season on the injured list. 

Yankees GM Brian Cashman said on Saturday that the oft-injured outfielder, who is battling plantar fasciitis, is not running on flat ground and that he will not arrive to Spring Training until mid-to-late March. 

"At the earliest he could be here is mid-to-late March, so we're probably looking at a start on the DL," Cashman told reporters. "That doesn't mean we are (looking at the IL to start) yet, but just in terms of timing it could be."

Tags: Jacoby Ellsbury
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CC Sabathia is done after 2019 00:03:21
New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia announces that 2019 will his final year on the mound and that he will retire after the season.

It has been known for months now, but the Yankees had an official press conference where veteran LHP CC Sabathia announced that 2019 will be his final season in the MLB. 

This season will be Sabathia's 19th year in the MLB, and to have the great career he's been able to put together over that time, there are a lot of people to give thanks to. During his opening comments, he started with his mother.

"I just wanted to make this announcement that 2019 will be my final season," Sabathia began. "I want to obviously thank a lot of people. I wouldn't be here today, 18 years in the big leagues without so many different people. But I want to start with my mom. She couldn't be here today, but her sacrificing so much for me as a kid to be able to get to this point to live out my dream."

Tags: CC Sabathia, Scott Thompson
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Luis Severino talks new contract 00:00:45
New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino makes his first comments since signing a new 4-year, $40 million contract.

When the deadline passed for players to avoid arbitration, the Yankees had just one player who didn't settle on a deal for the season in RHP Luis Severino

So, before Severino could get to work down in Tampa at the Yankees' Spring Training facility, he had to go through his arbitration hearing to hopefully hammer out a deal fast to avoid wasting any time. Well, he got a long-term extension instead.

The Yankees and Severino agreed to a four-year extension worth $40 million that comes with a fifth-year club option worth $15 million. New York locked up Severino through his 20s in hopes that he becomes the consistent ace they believe him to be. 

Tags: Luis Severino, Scott Thompson
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Judge, Sanchez arbitration 00:01:07
New York Yankees Gary Sanchez and Aaron Judge are up for arbitration in 2020, will the Yankees be able to sign them to team friendly deals?

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | Luis Severino got paid life-changing money and didn't have to endure the potential hurt feelings that the nitpicking of an arbitration hearing can sometimes make bloom. The Yankees grabbed cost certainty on an ace-level arm. 

And the rest of us scored some juicy topics to kick around when the Yanks and Severino came to an agreement Friday on a contract extension for the righty. Especially this: 

Does Severino's deal signal that the Yanks are ready to talk pre-free agency deals with the rest of their young studs? In other words, on deck, Aaron Judge

Tags: Jacob deGrom, Luis Severino, Noah Syndergaard, Anthony McCarron
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Aaron Boone talks pitching 00:00:36
In part of an upcoming interview with Aaron Boone, Andy Martino ask whether the Yankees would use an 'opener' in games.

Yankees manager Aaron Boone sat down with SNY's Andy Martino at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa to discuss the upcoming season. 

The second-year manager touched on a variety of subjects, including why he feels confident in this year's roster as well as whether or not he would consider using an 'opener' with his deep bullpen this season. 

Be sure to check out the full interview with Boone on BNNY at 6 p.m. on SNY. 

Click below for another clip from interview

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Danny Farquhar talks comeback 00:00:51
New York Yankees pitcher Danny Farquhar talks his comeback to baseball after suffering a brain hemorrhage last season.

It was less than a year ago on April 20 when RHP Danny Farquhar suffered a life-threatening brain hemorrhage as a result of a ruptured brain aneurysm, causing him to collapse in the White Sox's dugout. He was immediately taken to a hospital, where he remained for 17 days before he was discharged with the knowledge that he eventually would be able to pitch again, though not in the 2018 season.

Fast forward to Friday, when Farquhar threw his first bullpen session with the Yankees, who signed Farquhar to a minor league deal less than a month ago. His bullpen received much fanfare, and even though it was just a Spring Training bullpen session, the moment wasn't lost on Farquhar.

"Just to think 10 months ago that I would be here, you don't know," Farquhar said. "I am extraordinarily thankful."

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