Justin Verlander (Thomas Shea)
Justin Verlander (Thomas Shea)

With Game 4 of the ALCS washed out as expected and set to be made up on Thursday night, the Astros have done the expected thing. And the expected thing could give them an advantage over the Yankees.

Manager A.J. Hinch said earlier this week that the likely plan was to have a bullpen game in Game 4. With the game moved back a day due to the postponement, Zack Greinke will move up and pitch Game 4 on regular rest (instead of Game 5) and Justin Verlander will pitch on regular rest in Game 5 (instead of Game 6).

"Very easy for us," Hinch said Wednesday during a conference call about the rotation changes. "It was our plan if this happened. ... JV on regular rest in Game 5 -- the sooner that we can use our best pitchers, the better for us. It was an easy decision."

With Greinke and Verlander starting in Games 4 and 5, respectively, it means the Astros' likely options for Game 6 (if necessary) will be a bullpen game or turning to Gerrit Cole on three-days rest.

The Astros' bullpen isn't nearly as vaunted as the Yankees' 'pen, so their decision to go with Greinke and Verlander a day earlier than expected due to the rainout could be seen coming a mile away.

Another advantage to using Verlander in Game 5 (instead of Game 6) is that Game 7 (if necessary) will take place on his throw day. That means Verlander will almost certainly be available out of the bullpen in a potential winner-take-all game. 

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday before Game 4 was rained out that he would likely turn to Masahiro Tanaka in Game 4 if the rainout happened. Like the Astros, the Yankees had been planning a bullpen day for Game 4 before the rain changed things. 


RELATED: Game 4 of ALCS postponed due to inclement weather >> Read More

HARPER: With Cole looming, Yankees' best bet is to win three straight >> Read More

RELATED: Cashman says that Tauchman is healthy >> Read More

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Gerrit Cole (Treated Image by SNY)
Gerrit Cole (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the end, the Yankees wanted to leave no doubt. Though they've operated with an unusual level of fiscal restraint in recent years, their addition of Gerrit Cole late Tuesday night was a reminder that when they want a free agent, nobody else really stands a chance.

The Angels and Dodgers both wanted Cole badly as well, yet the Yankees blew them away with their financial might, locking up the superstar pitcher to a nine-year, $324 million contract, which was miles ahead of the other offers. 

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The biggest domino has fallen, and it's landed in the Bronx.

The Yankees and right-hander Gerrit Cole agreed to a record-setting nine-year, $324 million deal late Tuesday night, landing what could be the final piece of their championship pursuit.

So while all eyes will now be on the Bronx come the start of the regular season, what will come next at baseball's Winter Meetings in San Diego?

Unlike last year, when Manny Machado and Bryce Harper waited until well into the new year to find their new teams, this year's Winter Meetings have been much more active, with Cole obviously being the biggest splash.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances
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In the final minutes of Tuesday night, the Yankees broke the bank and landed Gerrit Cole, arguably the best pitcher in baseball, on a massive nine-year deal worth $324 million.

Cole joins a Yankees team that won 103 games in 2019 and 100 games the season before, and now could be the final piece to push the Yankees back to their first World Series title since 2009.

"It's been a long time since they made a move like this, and I really didn't think they'd go to nine years but obviously they wanted this guy badly," said SNY's John Harper. "If you're going to go after anybody, this is the guy. He seems to be still ascending. He's getting better and better. He went to the Astros and changed some things and now he's basically the best pitcher in the game, most strikeouts and all that.

"That and the fact the Yankees haven't won in 10 years, I think that combination put pressure on Hal Steinbrenner to say enough is enough with the budget and all that. … The bottom line is they got their guy. This is what they've been missing, the big piece they've been missing. You would think they're set up now more than ever to win a championship."

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Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

The Yankees have landed the biggest name on this year's free agency market, and added a proven ace to their pitching staff.

SNY's Andy Martino has confirmed the Yankees have agreed to a nine-year, $324 million deal with right-hander Gerrit Cole, which immediately increases their odds to win their first World Series since 2009. The deal was first reported by MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

ESPN's Jeff Passan has reported that Cole has an opt-out after the fifth year of his deal, while Joel Sherman of the New York Post has reported that Cole received a no-trade clause.

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Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)
Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)

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


Dec. 10, 11:20 PM:

Wednesday could be the day of reckoning in the Gerrit Cole sweepstakes.

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Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts after a strike out during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts after a strike out during the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

SAN DIEGO -- Soon -- perhaps very soon, according to people in the know -- the Yankees will know if Gerrit Cole wants to play for them. Until then, the team's strong focus is on the free agent pitcher, and they'll deal with other concerns later.

For example, the Yankees seemed unfazed by the news that Didi Gregorius signed a one-year, $14 million contract with the Phillies. People familiar with the team's thinking believe that the front office decided as far back as September to part with Gregorius. 

Though the team loved Gregorius' production, clubhouse presence, and ability to replace an icon in Derek Jeter, they appeared to believe that they simply had enough in-house coverage at shortstop to let Gregorius walk. 

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Andy Martino
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Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees first baseman DJ LeMahieu (26) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The MLB announced the list of players who made the inaugural All-MLB first and second teams on Tuesday and two Yankees made the cut.

DJ LeMahieu was named to the All-MLB first team at second base, while Aroldis Chapman was named to the second team as one of two relievers.

This past season was LeMahieu's first in New York and first in the American League, but the 31-year-old shined for the Yankees. 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu
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Aaron Boone spoke with the media at the Winter Meetings on Tuesday afternoon, just minutes after Didi Gregorius reportedly signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Boone, who managed Gregorius with the Yankees over the last two seasons, reacted to the news of the signing, playfully being skeptical of the reporting before talking about his former shortstop.

"I'll wait until the Phillies announce it and really know it's official," Boone said while cracking a smile. "Didi has been a great player for us and is a great person and is somebody that's obviously been there before I got there...I followed his career just because he came up with Cincinnati and then was out in Arizona, so I was very familiar with him." 

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres
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 (Brad Penner)
(Brad Penner)

The Yankees' shortstop situation just became very clear, as Didi Gregorius has agreed to a one-year deal with the Phillies, according to multiple reports. NBC Sports' Jim Salisbury has the deal set at $14 million for the year. 

Brian Cashman said he was talking to all the Yankees on the free agent market, and Gregorius was among them. But with Gleyber Torres under team control and his natural position being shortstop, SNY's Andy Martino reported earlier this offseason that a Gregorius reunion was unlikely.

It was suggested on Monday by MLB Network's Jon Heyman that Gregorius was going to see a multi-year deal worth $14-15 million per season. But while the price range was correct, Gregorius didn't get that long-term deal, which is likely caused by a mediocre season following a return from Tommy John surgery. 

Tags: Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Scott Thompson
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Sep 1, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 1, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Yankees have made J.A. Happ available via trade, partly in an effort to clear payroll with the potential that a massive deal for free agent Gerrit Cole will soon be added to the books, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

With Happ available, Martino notes that "plenty of National League teams," including the Brewers, would have interest in trading for him. Martino also lists the Blue Jays as a potential suitor. 

Happ is owed $17 million for the 2020 season, and his $17 million option for the 2021 season will vest if he throws 165 innings and/or starts 27 games this coming season.

On Monday, Stephen Strasburg inked the most lucrative contract ever for a pitcher, returning to the Nationals for $245 million over seven years. That deal could vault Cole above $300 million and could mean he gets eight or even nine years.

Tags: Domingo German, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Aug 21, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Tim Hill (54) delivers a pitch in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)
Aug 21, 2019; Baltimore, MD, USA; Kansas City Royals relief pitcher Tim Hill (54) delivers a pitch in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports (Tommy Gilligan)

The Yankees had reported interest in Royals LHP Tim Hill late last month, and that seems to still be the case, according to The Post's George A. King III

GM Brian Cashman is still inquiring about his availability via trade, as the Yankees could use another lefty reliever in their bullpen. Hill, a submarine pitcher, pitched to a 3.63 ERA over 39.2 innings last season. He is very productive against lefties, and he has allowed 0.8 and 0.9 homers per nine innings in the last two seasons respectively -- always a good number for a small Yankee Stadium. 

One of the Royals' needs is a third baseman, and King has them being interested in Miguel Andujar and Gio Urshela, depending on what the Yankees decide to do with that situation. Urshela has the upper hand after a breakout season, while Andujar is coming back from a torn labrum. 

Tags: Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees general manger Brian Cashman gestures while on the phone during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees general manger Brian Cashman gestures while on the phone during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The MLB Winter Meetings are in full swing in San Diego, and the Yankees are expected to be active. Here's the latest...


Dec. 10, 12:30 PM:

The Yankees have made J.A. Happ available via trade, partly in an effort to clear payroll with the potential that a massive deal for free agent Gerrit Cole will soon be added to the books, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Tags: J.A. Happ, Danny Abriano
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Oct 19, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during game six of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )
Oct 19, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on during game six of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina )

The Yankees have a well-known, ongoning pursuit of starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. That's kicking into another gear this week as the MLB Winter Meetings are underway in San Diego. 

Stephen Strasburg already returned to the Nationals on Monday. Soon after, the Yankees reportedly submitted an offer for Cole's services.

Yankees skipper Aaron Boone couldn't provide much insight into the discussion there, but he did admit one thing, while also perhaps selling things to Cole. 

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Brian Cashman
Brian Cashman

MLB's Winter Meetings have officially begun in San Diego, and the Yankees are expected to be among those extremely active in upgrading their 2020 roster. Here are the latest rumors for today...


Dec. 9, 10:17 PM:

As the Yankees continue to pursue Gerrit Cole, who will land the richest contract in baseball history whenever he signs, it now seems like the team is looking to alleviate some of that financial burden.

Tags: Didi Gregorius, J.A. Happ
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Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances (68) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Free agent target Dellin Betances is "likely" to sign a one-year deal in an effort to increase his value and hit the market again in 2020, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network.

Curry added that the Yankees have engaged with Betances, who he says attended a congratulatory dinner for Carlos Beltran after Beltran was named manager of the Mets.

Betances, who will turn 32 before Opening Day, pitched just 2/3 of an inning in 2019 after dealing with a lat injury. He returned toward the end of the season, but suffered an Achilles injury in his only appearance that ended his year. 

Tags: Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Danny Abriano
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Stephen Strasburg (Tommy Gilligan)
Stephen Strasburg (Tommy Gilligan)

Stephen Strasburg has agreed to a seven-year deal with the Nationals worth $245 million, reports Jeff Passan of ESPN. It is a record deal for a pitcher that will also have ramifications when it comes to Gerrit Cole's market. 

The deal includes a full no-trade clause and does not have any opt-outs, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo.

The Yankees met with Strasburg and Cole last week, though they have been focused on Cole. According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Yanks have back-burnered other business in an effort to complete the Cole negotiations.

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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits an RBI single during the ninth inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

The Yankees are open to bringing free agent Didi Gregorius back, but his market could be approaching a level the Bombers don't want to go to.

Gregorius "seems likely" to get a multiyear deal worth roughly $14 million or $15 million, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported on Monday, adding that the Reds could potentially be priced out at that number.

As far as the Yankees, SNY's Andy Martino noted that he can't see them bringing Gregorius back at the number Heyman reported.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Danny Abriano
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Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) and right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrate their win over the Houston Astros in game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. The New York Yankees won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) and right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrate their win over the Houston Astros in game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. The New York Yankees won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

On Monday, ESPN released a large chunk of its Sunday Night Baseball games for the 2020 MLB season, and the Yankees are featured in a bunch. 

These primetime matchups feature some stiff competition that should make out for some great Sunday night games. Here's where the Yankees are slated thus far:

CLICK BELOW TO SEE THE GAMES

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Yankees GM Brian Cashman will be on a flight to San Diego Sunday night, as the MLB Winter Meetings will be conducted for the next few days. But first, he made a pit stop at the "Heights & Lights" program in Stamford, CT where he propelled from The Landmark Building wearing an elf costume.

Once his duties were done and he safely made his way to the ground, Cashman took the time to discuss the Yankees and what he believes will go down at the Winter Meetings. 

Here's a few key topics Cashman touched on:

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees general manger Brian Cashman gestures while on the phone during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 2, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees general manger Brian Cashman gestures while on the phone during a workout day before game 1 of the ALDS at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Winter Meetings have been a snooze-fest in recent years, as teams have become more cautious about long-term free-agent signings and less inclined to give up prospects in trades, producing offseason stalemates that last into February.

But there's hope it might be different this time, as a combination of factors offers the possibility for significant action in San Diego the next few days. 

Most notably, large-market teams such as the Yankees, Dodgers, and Angels are big-game hunters this offseason, which hasn't been the case in recent years. 

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Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)
Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Here's the ideal Winter Meetings headline for Yankees fans:

"Happy Holidays! Yanks Get Cole in their Stocking." 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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Oct 23, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) after a pitch against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of game two of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 23, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg (37) after a pitch against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of game two of the 2019 World Series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

The Yankees reportedly enjoyed their meeting with free agent pitcher Stephen Strasburg, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

However, according to Heyman, the team would be surprised if Strasburg decided to leave the Washington Nationals, where he's been since the Nats drafted him with the first overall pick in the 2009 MLB Draft.

The report also mentioned the Nationals are more confident in Strasburg re-signing than their other big free agent, 3B Anthony Rendon. Nats owner Mark Lerner said on Thursday that the team can't afford to retain both Strasburg and Rendon.

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Yankees GM Brian Cashman
Yankees GM Brian Cashman

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On Sunday, Brian Cashman and the rest of MLB's general managers will travel to San Diego for the annual Winter Meetings, where deals with free agents and potential trades will create a rumor mill that baseball fans can't wait to see.

And as always, the Yankees should be a team mentioned in many of those rumors. 

While Cashman will be looking to make some serious headway in his offseason plans, he'll also make sure to update the media after each day to see how things are going. 

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With all eyes on the Yankees' pursuit of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, the team still has multiple free agents of their own that they are considering bringing back, including Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius.

As SNY's Andy Martino reported Thursday, the Yankees remain optimistic about a reunion with Gardner even as their main offseason focus remains on pitching.

On Friday, Yankees GM Brian Cashman discussed the continued dialogue with the Gardner and Gregorius camps.

Tags: Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius
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Gerrit Cole/Stephen Strasburg
Gerrit Cole/Stephen Strasburg

A Yankees contingent featuring Brian Cashman, Andy Pettitte, and others sat down earlier this week with free agents Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg

Unlike the Yankees' recent free agency gameplans, they are full steam ahead for Cole and have made it clear that they'll spend whatever it takes to land him, SNY's Andy Martino has reported. If they don't land Cole, they could turn to Strasburg, who they view as similarly elite.

On Friday morning, Cashman spoke about the dual pursuits.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Zack Wheeler
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Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Dec. 4, 2:21 PM:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: CC Sabathia
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Blake Treinen/Kevin Pillar
Blake Treinen/Kevin Pillar

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Andy Martino
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Jun 25, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jun 25, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) celebrates his solo home run against the Toronto Blue Jays with catcher Gary Sanchez (24) during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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

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

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

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Greg Bird, James Paxton, Jonathan Holder, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Abriano
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Aug 15, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Aug 15, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Blake Treinen (39) pitches against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Chew on this while you chew on a turkey leg. 

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

Even your eccentric uncle likes those tasty morsels.

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

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

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

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

Tags: Greg Bird, Scott Thompson
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Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the ninth inning during game seven of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 21, 2017; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees players look on from the dugout in the ninth inning during game seven of the 2017 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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