New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) bats against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Danny Wild)
New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) bats against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium. (Danny Wild)

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

Last offseason, the New York Yankees professed to have a quartet of players that were off the table in trade talks. The Yankees engaged in a significant sell-off during the summer, further filling the farm system with some of the game's more highly touted players, making one believe the number of untouchable players might grow. Should that be the case?

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman says that the answer is no, recently suggesting that catcher Gary Sanchez might be the only player deemed "difficult" to trade. Let's look at a handful of players who might be deemed worthy of various levels of an "untouchable" tag and discuss their merits.

Sanchez

We'll start with the player Cashman noted. Sanchez is no longer a prospect, but he's as close to a prospect as the Yankees have at the MLB level.

After a slow rise up the organizational ladder, due in part to a questionable work ethic and defensive deficiencies, Sanchez exploded in all facets in 2016. Sanchez arrived at last season's spring training with a chance to win the backup catching role. He was completely ineffective at the plate, earning him a trip to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Sanchez did not wallow as he might have in years past. He worked extremely hard and when the Yankees went into sell mode as the trade deadline approached, they also brought Sanchez up and inserted him into the starting catcher role within a few days.

Sanchez followed up his 10 home run stint at Scranton with 20 homers in just 53 games (201 at-bats) with the Yankees. Sanchez's power display was historic and at 24 years old next season, he looks like a player who might become one of the faces of the Yankees franchise in the coming years.

My Call: Completely untouchable

Clint Frazier

Frazier is among two new prospects acquired at the trade deadline that could carry the untouchable tag. Frazier is the Yankees No. 1 prospect and the league's No. 15 minor league player according to MLB Pipeline. Frazier is set to begin the 2017 season at Triple-A after appearing in 25 games with Scranton at the end of last season.

Frazier is widely considered a player that could be a star in this game, but as always, speculation is just that. Frazier figures to be a part of the 2018 club providing he continues to climb the minor league system at his current pace. The Yankees would have a glut of outfielders next year unless they make some moves and whether that is with players at the MLB level or in the minors remains to be seen.

In my view the Yankees have not witnessed enough of Frazier to immediately make him readily available on the market. Frazier might not be untouchable, but he should be treated closely to that until the Yankees know exactly what he offers, including the potential timetable for his MLB debut.

My Call: Untouchable…for now

Gleyber Torres

Torres might jump ahead of Frazier in the MLB Pipeline prospect rankings before the end of 2017, but for now sits in the No. 2 slot (No. 17 overall). Cashman has already proclaimed Torres, 19, as the shortstop for Double-A Trenton in the upcoming season. Torres has been playing the Arizona Fall League with great success (.379/.500/.621 with three home runs and 10 RBIs in 72 plate appearances).

The Yankees have shifted Jorge Mateo between shortstop and second base as well as seeing some time in the outfield, while deploying Tyler Wade, a middle infielder for Double-A Trenton in 2016, to the outfield in Arizona to make him even more versatile. The reasoning here is clear: Torres is going to get the reps at shortstop more often than not. Torres has also played some second base, which makes sense considering current Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius has begun to blossom and is under team control through the 2019 season.

Much like Frazier, the Yankees have seen a very small sample of Torres' play, but he looks to possess the potential to become an elite player. At a young age, Torres has shown the ability to play with tough competition, making him a player I would be hesitant put in a deal at this time.

My Call: Completely untouchable

Jorge Mateo

The issue with placing an untouchable tag on Torres stems from what has become of Mateo. Last year at this time, Mateo was the darling of the Yankees' farm system. Unfortunately, he struggled in 2016 on the field and showed immaturity off of it. Both aspects have seemingly stalled his climb and bring into question whether he is someone the Yankees fret about dealing.

Mateo's availability on the trade market relates to the standing of Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro (under contract through 2019, with a club option for 2020), Gregorius, and Torres. The good news for Mateo is that the Yankees are looking to extract value by moving him around the field to see if he fits better elsewhere.

The upcoming season is an important one for Mateo, the Yankees' No. 3 prospect (No. 18 overall). If Mateo shows some improvement (physically and mentally) that coincides with continued excellence from Torres, the Yankees might decide to utilize Mateo in a trade next offseason to boost another part of the organization while his stock is high.

That is not to say that the Yankees would not package him this offseason season for the right player. If the Yankees get involved in trade talks for a starting pitcher like Chris Sale or Jose Quintana, I believe that Mateo is the prime player to depart, assuming he is on the White Sox's wish list.

My Call: Tradable in package for controllable star

Aaron Judge

Judge has long been among the prospects the Yankees have been unwilling to trade, and this offseason might be no different. Again, the club will note that he is available for the right deal, but I believe if the Yanks had their way, they would like to see Judge take over right field duties in 2017.

Judge, the Yankees No. 4 prospect (No. 22 overall), received his call in August after the Yankees sold their best MLB assets on the trade market. Judge displayed significant holes in his swing, striking out 42 times in 95 plate appearances before suffering a season-ending injury. The Yankees might not be discouraged with Judge's performance considering he has taken some time to acclimate to each level of the minor leagues. Once Judge felt comfortable at the new level, he began to blossom. This is what the Yankees would be banking on if he makes the club out of spring training.

At the same time, Judge's stock did not drop because of his brief stay in New York. If anything, his Triple-A season (.270/.366/.489 with 19 home runs and 65 RBIs in 410 plate appearances) showed the promise his bat possesses. Judge, who turns 25 in April, could be a valued commodity in this trade market. I believe if the Yankees show some patience with Judge, he has a chance to be 2017's Gary Sanchez. Judge might not soar to the level Sanchez did, but in terms of impact with the club, Judge may be an important piece to the puzzle. I would tread lightly in trade talks in which Judge is mentioned.

My Call: Untouchable…for now

By my calls above, it seems I would be uninterested in listening to offers on these players. However, I have no problem with the Yankees conducting talks surrounding any of them (and I believe this is more what Cashman means by saying no one is untouchable), but I do feel that the deal would have to be a virtual slam dunk for a controllable star player. More importantly, it's my contention that the Yankees are too close to fully converting this revamped farm system into a viable major league core that can be melded with free agent signings in upcoming seasons.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Gary Sanchez, Jorge Mateo, Chris Carelli

Jun 17, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hits a home run in the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 17, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) hits a home run in the fifth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

The Yankees open a three-game series with the Mariners on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium at 7:05 p.m.

Yankees notes

The Yankees lost a suspended game against the Nationals before winning Monday night's game. The Yankees are in sole possession of the best record in the majors and currently sit 25 games above .500... They are 14-4 in their last 18 games... The Yankees are 26-11 at home this season, which is the best winning percentage in the majors at home.

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Gleyber Torres vs. Brandon Nimmo 00:00:17
SNY lines up the numbers for Gleyber Torres and Brandon Nimmo to see just who is the best young hitter in New York.

Lost a bit in the Gleyber Torres mania in the Bronx -- at least until Tuesday night -- was the emergence of Brandon Nimmo in Queens. 

The 25-year-old Nimmo is hitting .287/.410/.603 for the Mets with 12 HR, nine doubles, five triples, and seven stolen bases in 60 games this season -- and is currently one of the most valuable players in the majors.

Nimmo has the best slugging percentage in the National League (min. 200 plate appearances) and the fifth-highest in all of baseball. His 1.013 OPS is the best in the NL and fourth-best in baseball. 

Tags: Brandon Nimmo, Gleyber Torres
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New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) safe at third on a throwing error during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier (77) safe at third on a throwing error during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees OF Clint Frazier will tell it how it is: It's frustrating being down in Triple-A. 

Frazier was called up again to the big leagues, and this time around, it isn't just to be the 26th man. He is here to stay, but how long is the question. He is with the team due to Brett Gardner nursing a sore knee, and he will likely be sent back down once that pain is alleviated.

The 23-year-old is raking in Triple-A this season with a .312/.389/.558 slash line with seven homers and 11 RBI over 38 games. He could certainly be making contributions at the major league level with those types of numbers, but with the Yankees boasting a stacked outfield, Frazier has been the odd man out. 

Tags: Brandon Drury, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier
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Brad Hand (52) Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)
Brad Hand (52) Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports (Steve Mitchell)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

San Diego Padres reliever Brad Hand would be a perfect fit for the Yankees, lengthening a bullpen that is already dominant as well as helping to cover for a thin rotation. And if he were to become a member of the Houston Astros or Boston Red Sox, the Yanks' path to the World Series would be much more difficult.

But despite all that, signs point to the Yankees acquiring a starter like Cole Hamels or J.A. Happ instead.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Clint Frazier, Domingo German, Jordan Montgomery, Justus Sheffield, Masahiro Tanaka, Andy Martino
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May 19, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports (Peter Aiken)
May 19, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken/USA TODAY Sports (Peter Aiken)

The Yankees were knocked down a peg in the latest All-Star Game balloting update, with Gary Sanchez no longer leading for catchers.

Sanchez, whose slump has knocked his triple slash down to .194/.294/.440, has been overtaken by Wilson Ramos of the Rays, who is leading by roughly 60,000 votes.

The one Yankee who seems like a lock is Aaron Judge, who is third in outfield voting (with the top three vote-getters getting selected). Judge leads fourth-pace Michael Brantley by roughly a half million votes. 

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Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)
Yankees outfielder Giancarlo Stanton (Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees OF Giancarlo Stanton said he wouldn't be changing his stance as he continues to fight his struggles at the plate. But, after a four-hit night in the team's win over the Nationals on Monday, it appears Stanton made an adjustment after all.

And it worked.

It was Stanton's third four-hit game with the Yankees this season, and he posted two RBI as well. As YES Network's Jack Curry pointed out after the game, Stanton's signature closed stance looked to be less drastic. His left foot was noticeably more open, while his body was more upright. 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Scott Thompson
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Jonathan Holder throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Jonathan Holder throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the sixth inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. (Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees relievers Jonathan Holder and Dellin Betances continued to dominate out of the bullpen in Monday's 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.

Holder pitched out of a two-on, no-out jam he inherited from Sonny Gray in the sixth inning while Betances struck out the side in his 11th consecutive scoreless outing.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Jonathan Holder, Washington Nationals
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Holder, Stanton shine vs. Nats 00:04:04
Jonathan Holder and Giancarlo Stanton made huge contributions in the second game of the Yankees' make up game against the Nationals.

Giancarlo Stanton went 4-for-5 with two RBIs and Aaron Hicks went 2-for-5 with a go-ahead two-run home run as the Yankees rebounded from losing in a suspended game earlier Monday with a 4-2 win over the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park. >> Box score

Things to know about Monday's game

1) Stanton his first four-hit game since May 13, hitting an RBI single in the first inning and an RBI double in the seventh to give New York a two-run lead.

2) Hicks crushed his ninth home run of the season when he hit a 3-1 Erick Fedde sinker to deep right-center field that turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aroldis Chapman, Jonathan Holder, Washington Nationals
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Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; A general view of Yankee Stadium (Vincent Carchietta)
Dec 27, 2017; Bronx, NY, USA; A general view of Yankee Stadium (Vincent Carchietta)

Former Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi said at Old Timers' Day he turned down an opportunity to return to the franchise as a potential coach.

"I think they kind of tested to see where I was at and I just said I wasn't ready," Giambi, 47, said, according to NJ.com's Brendan Kuty.

Giambi said the conversation didn't include an offer, but rather was something so the Yankees could examine his level of interest. He didn't say which position he may have been considered for, nor did he say who contacted him.

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Sonny Gray (55) Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)
Sonny Gray (55) Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports (Dan Hamilton)

The Yankees play a make-up game against the Washington Nationals on Monday at 6:45 p.m. after they resumed their suspended game from May 15.

Yankees notes

The Yankees, who lost the suspended game 5-3, entered Monday leading all American League teams with 113 home runs. ... The Yankees and Nationals split their two-game series in New York last week. ... The Yankees have the No. 5 ERA in the majors (3.43), while the Nationals enter Monday with a 3.38 team ERA. ... RHP Giovanny Gallegos will be the Yankees' 26th man.

Tags: Washington Nationals
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green throws pitch in the sixth inning during the Toronto Blue Jays season home opener at Rogers Centre. (Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Chad Green throws pitch in the sixth inning during the Toronto Blue Jays season home opener at Rogers Centre. (Nick Turchiaro/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees lost to the Washington Nationals 5-3 at Nationals Park on a game that began May 15 and was resumed on June 18 due to weather. >> Box score

Things to know about the game

1) The Yankees and Nationals were tied at 3 entering the bottom of the sixth inning before rain halted play in May. 

2) Chad Green, who came on in relief of Masahiro Tanaka, surrendered a go-ahead two-run home run to Juan Soto, who on May 15 was in Double-A and made his official MLB debut on May 20, in the bottom of the sixth inning that gave Washington a 5-3 lead. (Soto's official MLB debut will still be May 20, but with an asterisk to denote his appearance in the suspended game.)

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Austin, Washington Nationals
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Andy Pettitte Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Andy Pettitte Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Former Yankees hurler Andy Pettitte is only 46 years old, but on Sunday, he was an Old Timer. 

Taking part in his first Old Timer's Day game at Yankee Stadium, Pettitte took in the moment both on the mound and at the plate. He also got to chat with the current Yankees in the dugout and cluhouse in the days leading up to the game. He even threw batting practice to the team on Sunday. 

Putting on the pinstripes against gave Pettitte flashbacks, and maybe it is because this year's Yankees squad has put together the best start by a Yankee team since the 1998 team that won the World Series after winning 114 regular-season games. Pettitte was 26 on that team, and now at 46, he thinks this Yankee team has the potential to be great as well...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino, Scott Thompson
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Miguel Andujar (41) Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)
Miguel Andujar (41) Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Mills)

The Yankees (46-21) resume their suspended game against the Nationals (37-31) from May 15 on Monday at 5:05 p.m.

Play was suspended after the top of the sixth inning with the game tied 3-3 in Washington. The Nationals got on the board first after Anthony Rendon hit a solo homer to left field in the bottom of the first off Masahiro Tanaka

The Nationals would add two more in the second after an Andrew Stevenson RBI single followed by an RBI double from Pedro Severino.

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Sonny Gray, Tyler Austin
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New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier watches an RBI single against the Cincinnati Reds during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Clint Frazier watches an RBI single against the Cincinnati Reds during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees have recalled OF Clint Frazier and sent INF Ronald Torreyes down to Triple-A to make room on the roster, the team announced Monday. 

Frazier has been up and down with the Yankees so far this season, where he has hit .375/.545/.500 in 11 plate appearances with the big league club this season. With Triple-A, he has posted a .312/.389/.558 slash line with seven homers and 11 RBI over 38 games. 

Frazier's recall could be due to Brett Gardner's sore right knee. Gardner sat for the team's series finale against the Rays on Sunday, but hoped he would be back in the lineup on Monday. 

Tags: Clint Frazier, Ronald Torreyes
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Stanton discusses his stance 00:00:49
Giancarlo Stanton discusses his struggles at the plate, whether he is considering adjusting his stance and how he plans to keep working.

It was yet another moment where Giancarlo Stanton could have won over the Yankee faithful. But the moment ended in what Stanton has been hearing amidst his Yankee Stadium struggles: boos. 

It was the bottom of the fifth inning in the Yankees-Rays matchup on Sunday, and New York finally had something going on offense. Aaron Hicks belted a solo homer to put the home team on the board with two outs. And after back-to-back walks to Aaron Judge and Didi Gregorius, it was Stanton coming to the plate who had the chance to do more damage. 

Stanton was facing lefty Jose Alvarado, and the matchup favored the towering slugger who entered the at-bat hitting .338 against lefties on the year. But he struck out on four pitches with a shower of too-familiar boos coming from the crowd. 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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J.A. Happ (33) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
J.A. Happ (33) Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

SNY's Andy Martino suggested last week that the Yankees should trade for Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ, and it appears New York agrees. 

The Yankees are among teams interested in trading for the veteran starter, according to MLB Network's Jon Morosi. The Mariners are also mentioned to be in the running. 

While the Yankees like Happ, they're not going after him aggressively at this point, according to Martino. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays are not seen as reluctant to trade in division, and rivals sense they're open for business.

Tags: Jordan Montgomery
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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird hits a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird hits a solo home run in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Though Yankees first baseman Greg Bird has just a .215 batting average and .743 OPS this season, manager Aaron Boone believes he will soon break out.

"I feel like he's pretty close to being really locked in," Boone said, according to the New York Post's Zach Braziller.

The 25-year-old Bird is 5-for-14 with a home run and two doubles over his last four games. After going 1-for-4 in Sunday's 3-1 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays, Bird said he is working on his consistency at the plate.

Tags: Greg Bird
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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)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone said he hopes outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury can resume baseball activities soon as he looks to make his season debut.

Boone said Ellsbury, who has yet to play this season with a hip injury and plantar fasciitis. was examined by Ellsbury last week and could soon get ready to "ramp up" baseball activities, according to Newsday's David Lennon.

Tags: Jacoby Ellsbury
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New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner hits a leadoff single in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner hits a leadoff single in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner said he hopes to return to the lineup for Monday's games against the Washington Nationals after sitting Sunday's series finale against the Tampa Bay Rays with a sore knee, according to YES Network's Meredith Marakovits.

Gardner, who has played in 59 of New York's 67 games, underwent an MRI on Sunday morning that revealed some minor inflammation, but nothing more. He also did not play in Thursday's series-opener.

"It's not really something I've had an issue with in the past," he said, according to NJ.com's Brendan Kuty. "A little alarmed by it not really feeling like it should. Got an MRI this morning. Everything looked pretty good on that. ... It wasn't necessarily any one injury or any one thing. Just kind of an over-time thing, I guess."

Tags: Brett Gardner
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Stanton discusses his stance 00:00:49
Giancarlo Stanton discusses his struggles at the plate, whether he is considering adjusting his stance and how he plans to keep working.

CC Sabathia endured a rough second inning and the Yankees couldn't generate enough offense to overcome it in a 3-1 loss to the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. >> Box score

Things to know about today's game

1) The Yankees struggled offensively aside from a fifth-inning solo home run by Aaron Hicks, who went deep for the eighth time of the year. Didi Gregorius hit his second triple of the season, but did not score

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Adam Warren, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Tampa Bay Rays
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Jun 17, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; CC Sabathia (52) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 17, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; CC Sabathia (52) pitches in the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Yankees LHP CC Sabathia allowed three runs on 10 hits in 7 2/3 innings against the Rays on Sunday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

All three of the runs allowed by Sabathia came in the second inning before he settled in. Carlos Gomez drove in Willy Adames with an RBI double and Matt Duffy hit a two-run single to right field later in the inning.

Sabathia struck out 10 batters and walked just one. He threw a season-high 102 pitches on Sunday after throwing 101 pitches in the Yankees' 3-0 win over the Yankees on June 12.

Tags: CC Sabathia
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The legends return to the Bronx 00:03:07
On this Father's Day, it was also Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. We hear from some of the dignitaries of the day in the Bronx.

Former Yankees players returned to Yankee Stadium on Sunday for the 72nd annual Old Timers' Day, which featured a three-inning game.

Nick Swisher, Andy Pettitte, Jason Giambi, and Aaron Boone participated in the festivities for the first time.

Swisher hit a three-run home run and a two-run double, while Johnny Damon hit two RBI singles. Willie Randolph added a two-run single.

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Jun 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) and second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) and second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) celebrate after defeating the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Yankees (46-20) will go for a sweep of the Rays (32-38) in the series finale on Sunday afternoon at 2:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Tags: CC Sabathia
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Jun 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches against Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports  (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 16, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches against Tampa Bay Rays in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Yankees RHP Luis Severino allowed just three hits in eight scoreless innings in the Yankees' 4-1 win over the Rays on Saturday afternoon.

Severino, who threw 102 pitches, struck out nine batters. Per Statcast, six of his nine strikeouts came on pitches that were thrown over 99 miles per hour, which has been accomplished only by one other pitcher in the last decade.

Severino allowed one-out singles in the first and second innings, but did not allow another hit until the seventh inning. He pitched a one-two-three eighth inning to finish his outing.

Tags: Luis Severino
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Is Severino the Yankees MVP? 00:03:06
Anthony McCarron joins GEICO SportsNite to break down the Yankees' 4-1 win over the Rays and another dominant outing by Luis Severino.

The Yankees beat the Rays to set themselves up with the chance for a four-game sweep on Sunday with a 4-1 win over on Saturday behind Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and Giancarlo Stanton. >> Box score

Things to know about today's game

1) Luis Severino was simply too much for the Rays, as he spun eight scoreless innings, allowing just three hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. In his eighth and final inning, his fastball still hit 99.7 MPH.

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Luis Severino
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New York Yankees Gary Sanchez (24) gets a pat on the back by Giancarlo Stanton after his two-run home run off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Stanton had a two-run triple in the first inning. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (AP)
New York Yankees Gary Sanchez (24) gets a pat on the back by Giancarlo Stanton after his two-run home run off Boston Red Sox starting pitcher David Price in the first inning of a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston, Wednesday, April 11, 2018. Stanton had a two-run triple in the first inning. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) (AP)

Giancarlo Stanton led off the 5th inning with the Yankees leading the Rays 2-0 with Gary Sanchez on deck. Both sluggers mashed solo home runs, extending the Yankees' lead to 4-0. 

Watch below.

Tags: Gary Sanchez
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Jonathan Loaisiga (38) Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jonathan Loaisiga (38) Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Jonathan Loaisiga's MLB debut was near perfect as the rookie threw five scoreless innings with six strikeouts, earning his first major league victory as the Yankees beat the Rays 5-0.

The postgame interviews went his way, too, as Rays manager Kevin Cash compared Loaisiga to Yankees legend Mariano Rivera. Loaisiga was taken aback when told of Cash's high praise.

"That's a big compliment right there," Loaisiga said...

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May 30, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after the top of the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 30, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) reacts after the top of the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (45-20) continue their four-game series with the Rays (32-37) on Saturday afternoon at 1:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

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New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks to reporters during a press conference in which he addressed the Yankees trades and acquisitionsat Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, July 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)
New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman speaks to reporters during a press conference in which he addressed the Yankees trades and acquisitionsat Yankee Stadium in New York, Monday, July 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (Kathy Willens/AP)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is already on the prowl for a starting pitcher he could add to his playoff-contending team. But, Yankee fans, don't worry. Gleyber Torres won't be part of that deal. 

After his emergence as one of the top rookies in the MLB this season, Torres has backed up his top ranking among Yankee prospects so far this season. It has only made his trade stock rise higher, and Cashman could certainly use him as the featured player in a blockbuster trade. 

But, being that Torres has already established himself a favorite among the Yankee faithful to go along with his superb play, Cashman knows he wouldn't be seeing any friendly encounters on the streets of New York if he sent him packing...

Tags: Domingo German, Gleyber Torres, Jordan Montgomery, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Jonathan Loaisiga (38) Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jonathan Loaisiga (38) Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

"Johnny Lasagna" will definitely be eating his post-game meal with a big smile on his face after his Major League debut Friday night.

Yankees RHP Jonathan Loaisiga earned the win in his first big league start after shutting out the Rays through five scoreless innings.

The 23-year-old, who was pitching in place of the injured Masahiro Tanaka, began his night in the Bronx with a walk to Matt Duffy. Though it wasn't the start he would have hoped for, Loaisiga set down Jake Bauers on strikes for his first big-league strikeout. He would finish the inning on a double play as well.

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Boone on Jonathan Loaisiga 00:00:46
Yankees manager Aaron Boone praises the start and debut by Jonathan Loaisiga where he struck out six over five shutout innings.

Making his Major League debut, Jonathan Loaisiga led a stellar day on the mound for the Yanks as they shutout the Rays, 5-0, in the Bronx. >> Box score

Things to know about tonight's game

1) Domingo German was impressive for a second consecutive start, striking out 10 batters en route to his first win of the season, after giving up a home run on the first pitch of the game. His final line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 10 K, 2 BB. German has struck out 19 batters over his last two starts (12 innings). 

Tags: Adam Warren, David Robertson, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Jonathan Holder
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Jun 9, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) congratulates right fielder Aaron Judge (99) after Judge hit a home run against the New York Mets during the eighth inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports  (Gregory Fisher)
Jun 9, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez (24) congratulates right fielder Aaron Judge (99) after Judge hit a home run against the New York Mets during the eighth inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Yankees (44-20) play the second game of a four-game series with the Rays (32-36) on Friday night at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

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New York Yankees starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga during media day at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga during media day at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

It's hard to project what the Yankees will get out of Jonathan Loaisiga on Friday night when the 23-year-old righty makes his MLB debut at Yankee Stadium. He's only got 35 games of pro experience, after all, none above the Double-A level.

But two talent evaluators who have watched the Nicaragua native say he's a highly-competitive hurler with what one calls "big stuff," including a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and can jump a tick higher.  

"Chip-on-shoulder type," says Dan Greenlee, the Marlins director, player personnel, who saw Loaisiga when he worked for the Yankees. Greenlee further describes Loaisiga like this: "Pounds zone. Fastball has velocity and swing-and-miss life. Power curveball and serviceable changeup. 

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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New York Yankees right fielder Billy McKinney at bat at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Billy McKinney at bat at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

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

Our weekly minor league report canvases the Yankees farm system, providing updates about the status of the teams in action and the organization's top prospects.

Notes: Top-30 prospect rankings (via MLBPipeline.com) are club based with overall MLB ranks, if applicable, in parenthesis. Prospects currently in the major leagues will not be covered here. Team records and statistics are through games played June 14, 2018, unless otherwise noted.

Tags: Chance Adams, Domingo Acevedo, Justus Sheffield, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians. (AP)
New York Yankees starting pitcher Domingo German delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians. (AP)

For Domingo German and the Yankees, Thursday night's game against the Rays couldn't have gotten off to a worse start.

German allowed a home run to Matt Duffy on the first pitch of the contest. But, German would settle in for a quality start by giving up three runs on five hits and two walks in six innings with a career-high 10 strikeouts and two walks to earn his first win in a 4-3 victory.

"It feels great," German said through an interpreter, according to MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "It has been a long battle for me to be able to win my first game in the big leagues. It means a lot. Hopefully I can relax a little more after getting the first one and keep battling."

Tags: Domingo German
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German, Torres contribute in win 00:02:18
Domingo German has shown promise as a member of the Yankees rotation while Gleyber Torres continues to exceed expectations as a rookie.

Gleyber Torres and Aaron Hicks homered while Domingo German earned his first win of the season with a career-high 10 strikeouts over six innings. >> Box score

Things to know about tonight's game

1) Domingo German was impressive for a second consecutive start, striking out 10 batters en route to his first win of the season, after giving up a home run on the first pitch of the game. His final line: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 10 K, 2 BB. German has struck out 19 batters over his last two starts (12 innings). 

Tags: Domingo German, Gleyber Torres
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May 30, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) and New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine (28) react after scoring against the Houston Astros on a single by New York Yankees designated hitter Gary Sanchez (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
May 30, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) and New York Yankees catcher Austin Romine (28) react after scoring against the Houston Astros on a single by New York Yankees designated hitter Gary Sanchez (not pictured) during the fifth inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (43-20) begin a four-game series with the Rays (32-35) on Thursday night at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

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Jun 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jun 2, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Jacob deGrom (48) delivers a pitch against the Chicago Cubs in the first inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter | Mets GM Sandy Alderson said last season that he wouldn't hesitate to make a trade with the crosstown Yankees. And with Jacob deGrom's name swirling around, the idea of a blockbuster between the two teams has been kicked around.

But it doesn't seem the Yankees have the stomach for what it would take to land deGrom.

One Yankees person told FanRag's Jon Heyman that the team would never trade Gleyber Torres or Miguel Andujar. If accurate, that should pretty much end any Mets/Yankees/deGrom fantasy. That same Yankees person also said the Mets would never trade deGrom across town... 

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Jacob deGrom, Miguel Andujar, Danny Abriano
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Gleyber Torres (25) Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Gleyber Torres (25) Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Yankees 2B Gleyber Torres is usually the youngest player to take the field on any given night. But, during this series with the Nationals, OF Juan Soto had him beat. 

The 19-year-old Soto is two years younger than Torres, and has been in the league for only 20 games including Wednesday night's 5-4 loss for the Yanks. It has certainly been a remarkable journey for Soto, who was fast tracked through Washington's farm system from Single-A to the big leagues this season. 

He showed the Yankees exactly why that was the Nats' decision as he belted two homers -- a three-run opposite-field shot in the fifth and a 436-foot bomb in the seventh. 

Tags: Gleyber Torres
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GEICO SportsNite: Yankees 00:00:36
Yankees manager Aaron Boone breaks down Sonny Gray's up-and-down outing against the Nationals on Wednesday night.

The Nationals got the last laugh as Juan Soto's solo shot in the top of the seventh was the decision maker in the 5-4 loss for the Yankees on Wednesday night. >> Box score

Things to know about tonight's game

1) Sonny Gray continues to struggle at home, as he allowed four earned runs on seven hits over five innings. Gray didn't have the control of his arsenal on the mound as he did in Toronto in his previous start. He walked into this contest with a 7.22 ERA at home, and didn't do much to clean up that infalted number. Luckily, he had a couple pick offs and good plays in the field to keep the damage low. 

Tags: Chasen Shreve, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Sonny Gray
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GEICO SportsNite: Yankees 00:00:36
Yankees manager Aaron Boone breaks down Sonny Gray's up-and-down outing against the Nationals on Wednesday night.

Yankees RHP Sonny Gray has been stellar on the road this season with a 2.83 ERA. When Gray throws in Yankee Stadium, though, that number rises drastically. 

Gray entered his Wednesday night start against Nationals with a 7.22 ERA at home. And he didn't do much to make that number fall either. 

In the top of the first, Gray let up back-to-back hits to Adam Eaton and Trea Turner who were sitting at the corners for Bryce Harper. Luckily, Gray dropped in a 3-2 curve ball to punch out Harper. Anthony Rendon, though, drove in the first run of the game with a sac fly to center field. 

Tags: Sonny Gray, Scott Thompson
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New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner talks to the media during MLB owners' meetings, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)
		 (Eric Christian Smith/AP)
New York Yankees owner Hal Steinbrenner talks to the media during MLB owners' meetings, Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith) (Eric Christian Smith/AP)

Yankees managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner knows what the rest of us do about the Yankees: They need starting pitching. 

The rotation was a question to begin the year, and it certainly didn't help when the injury bug found its way to it. Jordan Montgomery had to undergo Tommy John surgery last week, and most recently, Masahiro Tanaka was lost to injured hamstrings after tagging up on a fly ball during the series with the Mets this past weekend.

There needs to be more depth in the rotation, and Steinbrenner admitted Wednesday that the team has money to go out and get someone by the trade deadline. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chance Adams, Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Jordan Montgomery, Justus Sheffield, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Jun 9, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a home run against the New York Mets during the eighth inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Jun 9, 2018; New York City, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) hits a home run against the New York Mets during the eighth inning of the game at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Yankees (43-19) look to sweep their two-game series with the Nationals (36-28) on Wednesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Tags: CC Sabathia
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Is Harper New York bound? 00:01:08
Sal Licata and Jon Hein debate if Nationals star Bryce Harper will end up signing with the Yankees when he becomes a free agent in 2018.

Bryce Harper is a free agent after the season and he's in town this week to face the Yankees. So, is he Bronx-bound in 2019?

As has been the case since last season, Harper refuses to address questions about his free agent fate.

Aside fom the Yankees, Harper has been linked to the Cubs, Phillies, and Dodgers, among others. 

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Potential rule changes for MLB 00:01:30
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred held a meeting Tuesday to discuss possible MLB rule changes, including a robotic strike zone and pitch clock.

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Major League Baseball's Competition Committee met on Tuesday in Manhattan to discuss strategies for proposing changes to the sport, according to league sources.

The discussions, scheduled as part of the owners' meetings this week, came at a time when many dramatic proposals regarding pace of play are in the news (commissioner Rob Manfred addressed some of them in a recent Q and A with The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal). 

Two sources familiar with the committee's work indicated that some members were in favor of banning or limiting defensive shifts -- but other sources strongly cautioned that it was far too early to characterize any one issue as front-burner. Essentially, the committee is in discussion mode, batting around various proposals and ideas, and not ready to list which are most important. 

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Jun 12, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 12, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) hits a solo home run against the Washington Nationals during the second inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Didi Gregorius hit two home runs, CC Sabathia pitched five and 2/3 scoreless innings, and the Yankees shut out the Nationals, 3-0, on Tuesday night in the first game of a two-game set against the Nationals at Yankee Stadium. >> Box score

Things to know about tonight's game

1) Gregorius' first homer came in the second inning and his second came in the sixth. Gregorius' first homer of the night was the first time he had homered since May 23. He has tallied three multi-hit games this season.

Tags: Austin Romine, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius
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Jun 5, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) gets congratulated after hitting a grand slam homerun in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)
Jun 5, 2018; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) gets congratulated after hitting a grand slam homerun in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports (John E. Sokolowski)

The Yankees (42-19) welcome the Nationals (36-27) to the Bronx for a two-game series beginning on Tuesday night at 7:05 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Tags: CC Sabathia
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Toronto's J.A. Happ shut down the Yankees Thursday at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)
Toronto's J.A. Happ shut down the Yankees Thursday at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter | Not only should the Yankees trade for Toronto starter J.A. Happ, but they should be aggressive in doing it as soon as possible.

With the divisional race likely to be tight all season, the Yanks must do everything they can to avoid a one-and-done wild card game. Every week matters. As such, they cannot afford to tread water while waiting for Masahiro Tanaka and his two sore hamstrings to heal.

Happ, 35, does not have no-trade protection, and would likely embrace the challenge of pitching in a New York pennant race anyway...

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New York Yankees RHP Dellin Betances (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)
New York Yankees RHP Dellin Betances (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports Images)

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

Dellin Betances is a four-time All-Star, however, a carryover from a rough finish to the 2017 season was clearly an issue for the Yankees early this season. Betances' performance to open the season had fans up in arms and frustrated.

Some went too far (I know, surprising for Yankees fans), calling for Betances to be traded or designated for assignment (neither was remotely on the table). The truth of the matter is Betances needed time to work through his mechanics, and he was being pushed into a role that is now beyond his abilities.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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