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.

Dec. 4, 8:06 AM:

The Phillies and Reds are "currently seen as top bidders" for Wheeler, reports Buster Olney of ESPN.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic adds that in addition to the Phillies and Reds, the White Sox are also "still alive" in the Wheeler sweepstakes, while the Angels have shown "real interest."

The Astros are also in on Wheeler, according to Jon Heyman.

When the offseason began, most estimates pegged Wheeler's eventual contract at around $100 million over five years, but Olney wondered on Wednesday whether a team offering Wheeler a sixth year could be a "separator" when it comes to landing him. 

SNY's Andy Martino reported on Wednesday night that between strong interest from the Reds and White Sox and a $100 million-plus offer already on the table, Wheeler's market is exceeding where the Yankees appear willing to go. 

Dec. 3, 8:12 PM:

According to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon, the Reds remain in 'close pursuit' of Wheeler's services.

Sheldon also adds that Wheeler is hoping to have a deal done before next week's Winter Meetings, which has been previously reported.

The Reds have been linked to Wheeler throughout this free agency process, and are part of the 'huge market' that the 29-year-old has drawn.

Cincinnati made a big splash on Monday by signing infielder Mike Moustakas to a four-year deal, signalling that they're willing to spend money on this year's free agency class after finishing 2019 with a 75-87 overall record.

Dec. 3, 2:08 PM:

We knew that the White Sox were in the conversation for Wheeler, but according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, it's much more than that. 

Wheeler is actually the Chicago's top pitching target, as there is "no belief they are in on Cole/Strasburg" and Madison Bumgarner is even less on their list. They certainly will have competition for Wheeler, but if he's at the top of the list, that's just another team that could steal away the Yankees chance to get him if they miss out on Cole. 

Wheeler could sign before the Winter Meetings, and the White Sox could be that team. 

Dec. 3, 8:18 AM:

There is a "growing sense in the industry" that Wheeler will agree to sign with a team before the Winter Meetings begin on Dec. 8 in San Diego, reports Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News.

Grant notes that it is believed Rangers GM Jon Daniels recently met with Wheeler.

While Wheeler weighs his options, he already has at least one $100 million offer in hand and is expected to land a five-year deal for $100 million or more, reports Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

Aside from the Rangers, the 29-year-old Wheeler -- who is attached to a qualifying offer -- has been linked to the Twins, White Sox, Angels, Padres, Blue Jays, Reds, Yankees, and Astros, and is believed to be willing to "circle back" to the Mets before finalizing an agreement with a potential new team.

If Wheeler comes off the board early and does not sign with the Yankees, they will seemingly have most of their eggs in the Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg basket. New York is expected to meet with both pitchers in the coming days

Nov. 25, 7:58 PM:

The Twins have Wheeler "very high" on their list of pitching targets, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman. Heyman also notes that Minnesota is likely not the only team for which that might be true.

Heyman previously reported that there is a "huge market" for Wheeler. 

Nov. 22, 8:23 PM:

Wheeler may be willing to "circle back" to the Mets after receiving other offers, reports Jon Heyman, who notes the Mets may be more inclined to spread their money around rather than dedicate a large chunk to Wheeler. 

Nov. 21, 12:58 PM:

After coming to terms with Yasmani Grandal, the White Sox will pursue Wheeler, reports SNY's Andy Martino

Wheeler is also on the Yankees' radar, according to Martino, who adds that they seem "initially lukewarm on him" when compared to Gerrit Cole.

Nov. 20, 11:37 AM:

Wheeler will likely sign before Gerrit Cole and possibly before Stephen Strasburg, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com, who said that the Angels, Padres, White Sox and Twins are the "leading group right now" for Wheeler.

That Wheeler could sign before Cole isn't a surprise. SNY's Andy Martino recently reported that Cole is expected to wait until at least January to sign and that Strasburg could sign well before that. 

Nov. 13, 10:11 PM:

As the GM meetings continue in Scottsdale, Arizona, two more teams appear to have contacted Wheeler in some capacity.

GM Brian Cashman said Wednesday that the Yankees "checked in" on Wheeler in addition to free agent RHPs Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, as MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reported.

Earlier in the week, the Twins had conversations with Wheeler's camp, according to Darren Wolfson of SKOR North.

The Yankees were among the teams to inquire with the Mets about Wheeler before the MLB trade deadline July 31, as SNY's Andy Martino reported.

Nov. 11, 9:08 PM:

The Astros met with Wheeler's agents at the GM Meetings, according to Jon Heyman.

With Gerrit Cole likely to depart via free agency, Houston could be looking to add a starting pitcher with ace-level potential to blunt the impact of that potential departure.

The Astros have liked Wheeler for a while, and attempted to deal for him (while also engaging on Noah Syndergaard) during the trade deadline last season, according to SNY's Andy Martino.

Nov. 11, 7:47 PM:

Mets GM Brodie Van Wagenen reiterated what he said last week: the Mets will keep having dialogue with Wheeler regarding a potential multiyear contract -- something they engaged his camp on during the season.

"We'll certainly look to have those dicussions as we go forward," Van Wagenen said.

Nov. 4, 12:54 PM:

The Mets have extended the one-year, $17.8 million qualifying offer to Wheeler for 2020, Brodie Van Wagenen said.

Wheeler has until Thursday, Nov. 14 to accept or reject the offer, with him fully expected to reject it and test the open market. If Wheeler rejects the offer as expected and signs elsewhere, the Mets will receive a compensatory pick for the 2020 MLB Draft.

Tags: Noah Syndergaard, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Gerrit Cole (Erik Williams)
Gerrit Cole (Erik Williams)

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


Dec. 7, 2:21 PM:

The Yankees have "backburnered" all other business while they try to finish off negotiations with Gerrit Cole, according to SNY's Andy Martino

Earlier in the week, Ken Rosenthal said that negotiations with Cole were expected to last through January, but it appears the Yankees mean business and have accelerated that timeline.

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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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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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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) doubles during the seventh inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) doubles during the seventh inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Derek Jeter
Derek Jeter

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

Deivi Garcia, RHP

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

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

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

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

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

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

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

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

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Tino Martinez can't believe it, either.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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