New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

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

Amazing! Awe-inspiring! Historic!

Those words - among many - were used to describe Aaron Judge's 2017 Rookie of the Year season. Somewhat surprisingly, we can add "room to grow." Judge understands this and has succeeded in this fashion already.

Despite discouraging results at the major league level in 2016 - Judge struck out in 42.2 percent of his 95 plate appearances in a 27-game cameo - the Yankees pitted him against Aaron Hicks last spring training with the winner set to claim the starting role in right field. Hicks made the decision difficult, but Judge prevailed. It is a vast understatement to say the Yankees made the correct call.

Based on his minor league resume and the small sample size in 2016, Judge delivered more than anyone expected in his first full season in the majors, hitting a rookie-record 52 home runs while compiling a .284 batting average, .422 on-base percentage, and .627 slugging percentage (171 OPS+). He scored an American League-high 128 runs, drove in another 114, and stole nine bases.

Judge is hardly an all-offense player as he delivered +9 in defensive runs saved in right field. He won the AL Silver Slugger Award, and was runner-up in the AL Most Valuable Player balloting.

And I'm telling you there is room for improvement?

Instinctively, you may believe that I'm going to languish over Judge's MLB-high 208 strikeouts last season. The strikeouts are an issue, however, I'm not sure there is an enormous amount of room for growth in that area. Judge's strike zone is exceptionally large, which clearly played against him both in called strikes and swinging strikes as he worked to adjust to some umpires' strike zones. This may not change in 2018.

However, Judge must alter his approach when pitchers change theirs on him quicker than he did in 2017. With a year of experience under his belt, he should have gained knowledge on how pitchers will try to contend with him, and recognize when hurlers are shifting their methodology again. Judge can improve his overall game by making adjustments in real time.

Teams will certainly try to take advantage of perceived flaws in Judge's swing, approach, and his simply dealing with a massive frame. Just as pitchers believed they would be ahead of Judge from 2016 to 2017, he has had plenty of time to be ready to offset their intentions at the outset of this season.



Judge's exceptionally good eye at the plate - he walked in 18.7 percent of his plate appearances last season - will continue to aid his abilities to get on base. The difference will be how long it takes Judge to change his process midseason when pitchers change their game plan again. Judge's ability to adjust quickly could be the difference between striking out 208 times and 178. He can wreak serious damage with 24 extra balls in play and six more walks.

Besides the fine batting eye, another aspect working in Judge's favor in 2018 is that the mostly young lineup around him has another year under their belts. Furthermore, MLB's 2017 home run leader, Giancarlo Stanton, is now a Yankee. With a difficult-to-navigate cast around him, Judge may see more balls over the heart of the plate.

There is one adjustment Judge, who will play most of 2018 at 26 years old, will have to make that has nothing to do with the pitches being thrown his way. He may not play in the field everyday. With Stanton aboard, the Yankees have discussed splitting time between the two gargantuan right fielders with time at designated hitter. There may also be some starts in left field for the pair.

Judge demonstrated in 2017 that he is a team player, so when he is asked to shift from right field on occasion, he'll smile and gladly do his part. At issue is whether he is capable of adapting to hitting while sitting on the bench between innings, or while learning a new position.

Holding Judge to his rookie season metrics as a standard is unfair, but dreaming on building from it is not necessarily far-fetched because of what he has already demonstrated. We must acknowledge that it is completely realistic that Judge settles in around 40-45 home runs in 2018, yet turns in a better overall season (think more runs created and a higher OPS+).

It's also plausible to suggest Judge may fail to reach 40 home runs and regresses across the board. Understand that a "regression" for him can resemble a .270/.390/.560 slash line with 35 homers, 100 runs and 100 RBI. How could anyone be upset with that?

I'm optimistic Judge will remain a strong contributor to the Yankees offense in 2018, and for years to come. Judge's key to equaling, or somehow surpassing, his 2017 measures is completely dependent on how and the speed to which he makes adjustments throughout the season.

If Judge stays ahead of pitchers, he can avoid a sophomore slump, but being realistic means a 60-homer season is far from a guarantee.


Related: Player expectations for 2018 Yankees

Tags: 2018 Yankees Expectations, Aaron Judge, Chris Carelli
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Trenton Thunder pitcher Deivi Garcia throws a pitch during a game against the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin' Donuts Park. (Matt Eisenberg/SNY)
Trenton Thunder pitcher Deivi Garcia throws a pitch during a game against the Hartford Yard Goats at Dunkin' Donuts Park. (Matt Eisenberg/SNY)

Just as Baseball America and MLB Pipeline did last week, Baseball Prospectus has released their Top 101 prospects for the 2020 season, and two Yankees have made the list. 

Deivi Garcia (No. 24) and Jasson Dominguez (No. 46) represent the pinstripes, and that make sense considering they are both featured on the previously mentioned publications. However, BA had Dominguez actually higher than Garcia at No. 38. Right-hander Clarke Schmidt was also on that list at No. 62, while Garcia came in at No. 65.

Garcia skyrocketed through the Yankees' system last season, going from High-A ball to Triple-A by the end of the season with many believing New York would call him up. In the end, his rise leveled out after posting a 5.40 ERA in 11 games with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. But, at only 20 years old, Garcia shows tremendous promise with nasty stuff on the mound. 

Tags: Deivi Garcia
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Mar 29, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter looks on during batting practice prior a game against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)
Mar 29, 2019; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter looks on during batting practice prior a game against the Colorado Rockies at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports (Sam Navarro)

Kobe Bryant was an all-time great NBA player, but former Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter will remember the Lakers legend for what he built in his time off the court.

Los Angeles County authorities confirmed an afternoon TMZ report that the 41-year-old Bryant died Sunday in a Calabasas, California, helicopter crash that killed nine people -- including his 13-year-old daugther Gianna. Kobe, Gianna and the seven others on board were reportedly headed to nearby Thousand Oaks, California, where the Bryant-owned Mamba Sports Academy is located.

With paralleled tenures in the NBA and MLB as 20-year stars and faces of their respective sports, Bryant (1996-16) and Jeter (1995-14) joined forces near the ends of their playing careers at The Players' Tribune. Bryant got involved with the platform in December 2014, investing in the media platform Jeter founded.

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Jasson Dominguez
Jasson Dominguez

MLBPipeline.com released its preseason Top 100 prospect rankings on Saturday with three Yankees cracking the list, headlined by outfielder Jasson Dominguez, who came in at No. 54.

Dominguez signed with the Yankees out of the Dominican Republic as a 16-year-old and has yet to play a professional game, but has drawn rave reviews from scouts across the game. 

"He's a well above-average runner who could be a 30-30 threat while manning center field," according to MLB Pipeline. "With a strong arm and quick feet, he's suited to play almost anywhere on the diamond and some clubs even worked him out as a catcher, though that position would sap some of his offensive production."

 

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Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) walks off the mound after the third out in the first inning of game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 16, 2018; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) walks off the mound after the third out in the first inning of game three of the 2018 ALCS playoff baseball series against the Boston Red Sox at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

Former Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel spoke with reporters on Friday afternoon and addressed the sign-stealing scandal that cast a shadow over the entire offseason.

Keuchel, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Astros from 2012-2018, became the first former or current active player to apologize for the scheme that -- for the most part -- occurred during their 2017 World Series title run. He pitched Game 1 and 5 of the 2017 ALCS against the Yankees.

"It's just what the state of baseball was at that point in time. Was it against the rules? Yes it was. And I personally am sorry for what's come about the whole situation," Keuchel said.

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 (Kim Klement)
(Kim Klement)

With things having settled a bit after the outcome of MLB commissioner Robert Manfred's report on the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Yankees GM Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone made their first public comments on the matter Thursday night.

The duo appeared on YES Network's "Yankees Hot Stove to discuss Houston's sign-stealing, which occurred mainly through their 2017 World Series title run, that has overshadowed just about everything this offseason.

"We've done our due diligence," Cashman said on how much the Yankees knew about the Astros cheating. "We tried to do everything we could -- and have done everything we can -- to protect our signs as much as possible and continue to evolve over the course of time because of concerns."

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Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

J.A. Happ's first full season in pinstripes didn't necessarily go as planned.

The left-hander struggled to find consistency, pitching to a 4.91 ERA and a 1.295 WHIP. The 37-year-old even lost his spot in the Yankees' starting rotation as the calendar rolled into October.

Happ's 2019 was a stark contrast to his 2018 stint with the Yankees, when he pitched to a 7-0 record with a 2.69 ERA.

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Every MLB player has their own workout regimen for the offseason, designed to have them fully prepared for the upcoming regular season. 

For Giancarlo Stanton, that means bench pressing supermodels. 

Video of the Yankees All-Star has surfaced of Stanton floor pressing Adriana Lima during one of his workouts...

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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Derek Jeter will take his place in Cooperstown on July 26 when he's officially placed in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. And with that plaque entering the Hall, it brings with it tons of iconic moments over Jeter's 20-year career with the Yankees. 

One that comes to mind right away is his heads-up play against the Oakland A's in the 2001 ALDS that was eventually dubbed "The Flip Play." Throughout his career, Jeter didn't really dwell on it or break down how jaw-dropping it was to everyone watching. 

But, now that he's headed to the Hall of Fame, he stopped by the MLB Network studios to do just that with Harold Reynolds.

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It was a given after his called it quits in 2014, but Yankees legend Derek Jeter is officially set to be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on July 26. 

All but one BBWAA voter checked off Jeter's box on their ballot (we'll get to that later), which gave him the second-best voting percentage next to former teammate Mariano Rivera's unanimous decision last year. It was a sure thing that Jeter was going to see his plaque enshrined next to the game's greats, but he admitted during the Hall of Fame presser on Wednesday that he never thought about, even after his career was finished.

"This is something that is not a part of the dream when you're playing," Jeter said in his opening remarks, sitting next to Larry Walker, who will be inducted with him. "You're playing and you're just trying to keep your job. That's first and foremost. And you're trying to compete year in and year out, and you're trying to win and when you're career is over and done with then it's up to the writers.

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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)

Baseball America has released its annual Top 100 prospect list heading into the new MLB season, and three Yankees are on it. 

Leading them is the team's top prospect in soon-to-be-17-year-old Jasson Dominguez, who comes in at No. 38 overall. He hasn't even begun his pro career yet, but his projections are through the roof, which is why many are intrigued to see what he will do in 2020. 

The publication gave Dominguez a 65 overall grade -- an insane mark for someone at his age. The switch-hitting outfielder has already shown the ability to mash plus-fastballs, and his power grade of 70 is just unheard of. MLB.com called him "a teenage Mike Trout." 

Tags: Deivi Garcia, Scott Thompson
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Aug 1, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Luis Avilan (43) delivers the ball in the eight inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)
Aug 1, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets relief pitcher Luis Avilan (43) delivers the ball in the eight inning against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports (Quinn Harris)

The Yankees signed former Mets LHP Luis Avilan to a minor-league contract with a major-league Spring Training invite, according to Jon Heyman of MLB Network.

Avilan, 30, went 4-0 on the 2019 season with a 5.06 ERA and 30 strikeouts to 14 walks in 45 games.

He logged his first seven MLB seasons with four different teams, joining the Mets after spending 2018 on the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Phillies, pitching to a 2-1 record and 3.77 ERA.

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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)

Yankees legend Derek Jeter was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Tuesday, coming just one vote shy of being unanimous.

Click below to see how the back pages in NYC reacted...

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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

As the undisputed greatest closer in baseball history, Mariano Rivera will always be the perfect player to have achieved the first-ever unanimous Hall of Fame election. Yet it's too bad that Derek Jeter didn't get that same treatment from the voters because he was every bit as deserving. 

It's called the Hall of Fame for a reason, right? 

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 (Pool Photo )
(Pool Photo )

Derek Jeter is officially headed to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The only question on Tuesday night was whether or not Jeter would enter the Hall unanimously, as former teammate Mariano Rivera did just last, and although he came up one vote shy, Jeter is still Cooperstown bound.

After the news of Jeters' selection broke, former teammates, as well as other players from around baseball, weighed in on Mr. November's newest honor.

Here is a sampling of what people around baseball had to say on social media regarding the former Yankee captain being named a Hall of Famer ...

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The moment Derek Jeter retired from the game of baseball, there was no doubt that he would soon become enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

It became official on Tuesday evening, as Jeter ended up one vote shy of joining teammate Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous Hall of Famers.

Still, Jeter and Larry Walker will enter the Hall as members of the class of 2020, along with with Ted Simmons and Marvin Miller, who were elected back in December by Modern Baseball Era Committee.

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An outcome that has been known since Derek Jeter's name first hit the ballot became official on Tuesday when the Yankees legend was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in near-unanimous fashion. 

Jeter received 99.7 percent of the vote, meaning only one BBWAA writer didn't check off his box. That's closer than Ken Griffey Jr. who, despite being a sure first-ballot Hall of Famer, had all but three votes in 2016. 

Jeter wasn't alone on the BBWAA ballot, with Larry Walker -- who was teetering on the cusp of that 75 percent vote leading up to the announcement -- joining him.

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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)

With Derek Jeter officially hitting his way into the Hall of Fame, lets take a look back at his best moments from his 20-year career.

Click below to watch...

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Derek Jeter's first home game at Yankee Stadium came on June 2, 1995 against the Seattle Mariners. But, as a 20-year-old, Jeter opened the 1996 season as the Yankees' starting shortstop. Jeter batted ninth and was 1-for-3 with a run scored in the Yanks' 7-3 win on Opening Day. (AP)
Derek Jeter's first home game at Yankee Stadium came on June 2, 1995 against the Seattle Mariners. But, as a 20-year-old, Jeter opened the 1996 season as the Yankees' starting shortstop. Jeter batted ninth and was 1-for-3 with a run scored in the Yanks' 7-3 win on Opening Day. (AP)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The 2020 season will be the 45th in Bill Evers' pro coaching career and he's picked up a unique bit of Yankee lore along the way: He's the guy who delivered the happy news to both Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera that the future Hall of Famers were headed to the big leagues for the first time. 

"I tell people that all the time," Evers said. "How cool to manage both of those guys in Triple-A?"

With Jeter's Cooperstown call coming on Tuesday evening when the Class of 2020 is announced, Evers took a few moments to relive telling Jeter to get to Seattle to join the Yankees after Tony Fernandez got hurt in 1995.

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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Seems crazy, all these years later, with Cooperstown so close and a career full of magic and grit in the record books, right alongside five World Series championships. 

But there was a time when Derek Jeter was a lonely teenager getting slammed by failure, wondering how the heck he'd make it in his chosen profession. He was away from home for the first time and errors were piling up. So was doubt. 

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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone calls for a pitching change 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 manager Aaron Boone calls for a pitching change 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)

Hard to argue... or face... a starting rotation like the one the Yankees are sporting heading into the 2020 regular season. 

The Yankees landed Gerrit Cole via free agency this offseason to headline a rotation which already included the likes of Masahiro Tanaka, Luis Severino and James Paxton. That, plus a strong 2019 season despite a ton of injuries, make the Yankees the favorite for MLB's best record in 2020, according to oddsmakers. 

Odds Shark released the over/ unders for each MLB team in 2020 on Monday and the Yankees sit atop the list at 101.5 wins, the only club above the century mark. 

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 (Jeff Curry)
(Jeff Curry)

Steroids blew up the record books, changed the way we look at Cooperstown talent and cast a shadow of distrust and suspicion over the National Pastime.

Sign stealing has polluted the World Series, besmirched talented championship teams, cost four prominent executives their jobs - so far - and is making some wonder if technology should be banned from ballgames.

With the current uproar over sign stealing, there seems to be a natural urge to measure one modern scandal against the other. Both plunged spiny tentacles deep into the soul of the baseball, but which is worse, getting jacked up chemically to play better, or swinging based on ill-gotten electronic intel?

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 (Thomas B. Shea)
(Thomas B. Shea)

Th Houston Astros held their 2020 FanFest on Saturday at Minute Made Park, which gave reporters a chance to hear from the players themselves on the team's sign-stealing scandal.

The Astros recently fired manager AJ Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow after both were issued one-year suspensions by MLB following the league's investigation into the team's sign stealing. 

Jose Altuve, one of the players at the center of the scandal, said that the Astros will be able to put all of this behind them, and that they'll be in the World Series again this season. 

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On Friday's Baseball Night in New York, SNY's John Harper and Anthony McCarron, along with Newsday's David Lennon, revealed their 2020 ballots for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

While Derek Jeter appears on all three ballots -- as he awaits to find out if he will join teammate Mariano Rivera as the only unanimous Hall of Famers - there were some notable differences between the three ballots, mainly due to baseball's steroid era.

The Hall of Fame class of 2020 will be announced on Tuesday, January 21. Here is a look at the complete ballot.

 

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Jul 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees former pitcher David Cone throws out the ceremonial first pitch on the twentieth anniversary of his perfect game before the second game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees former pitcher David Cone throws out the ceremonial first pitch on the twentieth anniversary of his perfect game before the second game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

David Cone, currently a Yankees analyst with the YES Network, could potentially be in the mix for a spot on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team.

According to a report from Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, ESPN and Cone have been in talks about a role at ESPN, which could include Sunday Night Baseball.

Marchand reports that Alex Rodriguez will remain a key part of the broadcast, and that ESPN executives liked the way Rodriguez fit in with Cone and Michael Kay during a YES broadcast this past season. 

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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)

The Chicago Cubs have reportedly considered adding former Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury, per MLB Network's Jon Heyman.

Ellsbury, 36, was released by the Yankees on Nov. 20 after injuries forced him to miss both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He signed a seven-year, $153 million contract with the Yankees in 2014, batting .264 with 39 homer runs and 198 RBI in 520 games from 2014-17.

He was under contract through the end of the 2021 season, and was set to make $21 million in 2020. The MLB Player's Association filed a grievance against the Yankees to recoup the remaining $26 million on Ellsbury's contract, including the $5 million buyout added to it.

Tags: Jacoby Ellsbury
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May 15, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) hits a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 15, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres (25) hits a solo home run against the Baltimore Orioles during the fourth inning of game one of a doubleheader at Yankees Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

With the Yankees entering the 2020 season as the heavy favorites to win the World Series, the ZiPS projections certainly make that seem possible.

The annual projections from Dan Szymborski/FanGraphs see Gleyber Torres hitting more home runs than Aaron Judge, another dominant season from Gerrit Cole and a bounceback season from Giancarlo Stanton.

However, their projections for Gio Urshela and Mike Tauchman see the duo taking a step back from their breakout seasons last year.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres
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Oct 30, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) warms up prior to game seven of the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)
Oct 30, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve (27) warms up prior to game seven of the 2019 World Series against the Washington Nationals at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports (Erik Williams)

MLB threw down their punishment on the Astros for their sign-stealing scandal, but more accusations continue to fly around the team. This time, the shade is being thrown at their star second baseman Jose Altuve

In what was a wild news day that saw another manager in Carlos Beltran relieved of his duties with the Mets, video and images were surfacing about the Astros scandal, and how it may be deeper than just the center field cameras.

There were claims that Astros players were wearing buzzers under their jerseys that would indicate pitches to them during at-bats. Altuve, though, denied any involvement in using that method through his agent, Scott Boras

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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) reacts after an error during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) reacts after an error during the eighth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Former Yankees starter CC Sabathia has already voiced his frustration about the Astros sign-stealing scandal earlier this week. But, in the latest edition of his R2C2 podcast with Ryan Ruocco, he took it a few steps further. 

Sabathia didn't hold back how he felt this time, using all of his vocabulary to express his emotions about how he believes the Yankees should have won a 28th title. 

CLICK BELOW TO LISTEN

Tags: CC Sabathia, Scott Thompson
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Stephen Tarpley (Adam Hunger)
Stephen Tarpley (Adam Hunger)

The Yankees agreed to trade LHP Stephen Tarpley to the Marlins in exchange for minor league 3B James Nelson and cash considerations, the team announced on Wednesday

Tarpley pitched in 31 games for the Yankees over the past two seasons. He didn't fare well in 2019 with a 6.93 ERA in 24.2 innings of work. He was decent in 10 appearances in 2018 where he allowed three runs in 9.0 innings. In the Marlins' rebuilding system, Tarpley has a chance to break camp with the big club to get some more time in the majors. 

Tags: Stephen Tarpley
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 (Elsa)
(Elsa)

Induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame isn't the only honor heading Derek Jeter's way in the near future.

According to amNew York, Vanessa Gibson and Diana Ayala, two Bronx councilwomen, are introducing legislature to rename a section of E. 161 Street as "Jeter Street," with voting expected to pass the proposal without issue. 

Jeter isn't the first Yankee to be honored with a street renaming. Mariano Rivera, who was unanimously voted into the Hall of Fame last year, saw part of River Ave renamed "Rivera Ave."

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Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) signals for a pitching change against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) signals for a pitching change against the Houston Astros during the seventh inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Amid all the fervor surrounding Alex Cora and the sign-stealing scandal, an old press conference video that resurfaced has gone viral, and it involves the Yankees. 

But SNY's Andy Martino reaffirmed the fact that MLB is still not investigating the Yankees. 

Following the Red Sox' beatdown by the Yankees in the inaugural London Series last year, Cora can be heard talking about then-Yankees special advisor Carlos Beltran, and he did so in an interesting way. Listen to his opening answer...

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The Red Sox and manager Alex Cora have mutually agreed to part ways, the team announced in a statement Tuesday night.

"Today we met to discuss the commissioners report related to the Houston Astros investigation. Given the findings and the commissioners ruling, we collectively decided that it would not be possible for Alex to effectively lead the club going forward and we mutually agreed to part ways," the Red Sox said in their statement.

Cora was the bench coach for the Houston Astros in 2017, the year that the team won the World Series...but also the year in which the timeline of their cheating scandal occurred.

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Jul 9, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia visits American League pitcher Aroldis Chapman (not pictured) of the New York Yankees on the mound during the ninth inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Game at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)
Jul 9, 2019; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia visits American League pitcher Aroldis Chapman (not pictured) of the New York Yankees on the mound during the ninth inning in the 2019 MLB All Star Game at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports (Ken Blaze)

Former Yankee pitcher CC Sabathia said that he feels "cheated" by the Astros sign-stealing scandal, which has officially been confirmed by MLB after they concluded their investigation on Monday with a report detailing the cheating.

Sabathia was a part of the 2017 Yankees team that met the Astros in the ALCS that season, a series which went to a Game 7 that was played in Houston. The Astros won every game at Minute Maid Park that series, and would go on to beat the Dodgers in the World Series.

"As everything's been coming out, and the more facts that we get, it's getting frustrating, man, to sit here and know that late in my career I could've had a title, maybe '17 or maybe '18, but we got cheated out of a team kind of doing something that's not within the rules of the game," Sabathia said on Tuesday night's episode of "Inside The NFL" on Showtime.

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

MLB cracked down on the Astros Monday, suspending manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow through the entire 2020 season for their roles in the team's sign-stealing scandal. Houston's owner, Jim Crane, furthered that punishment by announcing both Hinch and Luhnow had been fired

And that's not all. The Astros have also lost the first- and second-round picks for the 2020 and 2021 MLB Draft, and finally were fined $5 million to conclude the harsh penalties. 

But, to some, it wasn't harsh enough. 

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Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws a pitch during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

CC Sabathia is joining the Yankees front office as a special adviser to general manager Brian Cashman, according to the New York Post.

A role with the Yankees was something that Sabathia had his sights set on even before he officially retired following his injury during the playoffs.

"I want to be a part of the Yankees still, front office, whatever, however we can work that out," Sabathia told The Post last May.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner
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Now-fired Astros manager AJ Hinch (Treated Image by SNY)
Now-fired Astros manager AJ Hinch (Treated Image by SNY)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Brian Cashman spent several years constructing what he hoped would be the next great Yankees team. He took a step back in the standings, traded away stars and focused on his farm system.

Those efforts created a championship window, which opened in 2017 -- also now known as the year that the Houston Astros initiated one of the most significant cheating scandals in the history of the game.

Over the next three Octobers, the Yankees lost to Houston, then to Alex Cora's Boston Red Sox, and then to Houston again. They saw a significant chunk of their window wasted by unethical opponents.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Luis Severino, Andy Martino
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 (Troy Taormina )
(Troy Taormina )

MLB handed down stunningly harsh penalties to Astros manager A.J. Hinch and GM Jeff Luhnow on Monday for their involvement in Houston's sign-stealing scandal, suspending both of them for one year.

Shortly after the suspensions came down, Astros owner Jim Crane announced that he had fired Hinch and Luhnow.

In addition to the suspensions of Hinch and Luhnow, MLB has stripped the Astros of their first- and second-round picks in the 2020 and 2021 MLB Draft and fined the team $5 million.

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Manager Joe Girardi has had a difficult time deciphering through his outfield rotation of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks.  (Rick Osentoski)
Manager Joe Girardi has had a difficult time deciphering through his outfield rotation of Jacoby Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks. (Rick Osentoski)

Yankees outfielders Aaron Hicks and Brett Gardner were recognized Saturday on MLB Network as two of baseball's top 10 center fielders, making New York the only team with a pair of players to crack the list.

Los Angeles Angels star and 2019 AL MVP Mike Trout topped the list, followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers' Cody Bellinger and the Houston Astros' George Springer.

Hicks and Gardner manned the position for the Yankees in 2019, with the veteran Gardner -- who previously started out in center throughout his early career -- stepping in for Hicks after he had an injury-shortened season.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner
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Aug 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Yefry Ramirez (70) pitches against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at PNC Park. The Mets won 13-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)
Aug 4, 2019; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Yefry Ramirez (70) pitches against the New York Mets during the fourth inning at PNC Park. The Mets won 13-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports (Charles LeClaire)

Former Yankees pitching prospect Yefry Ramirez has signed with the Mets, according to a report from MLB.com's Matt Kardos

Ramirez made his debut in 2018 for the Orioles and stayed in Baltimore until May of the 2019 season, when he was traded to the Pirates. The 26-year-old has a 1-10 record with a 6.32 ERA and 89 strikeouts.

It took quite some time for the RHP to make his way up the ranks after being signed by the Diamondbacks as an international free agent in 2011. 

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The Yankees might have an interesting situation brewing at the hot corner.

Or at least, they might have until general manager Brian Cashman made a definitive statement on Friday. 

That position belongs to Gio Urshela, despite Miguel Andujar returning from injury. 

Tags: Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar
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Sep 15, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)
Sep 15, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports (Nick Turchiaro)

There isn't a lot of room to maneuver in the Yankees' starting rotation. 

Their offseason was highlighted by the addition of Gerrit Cole to a monster contract and Cole joined the likes of Luis Severino, James Paxton and Masahiro Tanaka

But that's not discouraging Jordan Montgomery

Tags: Jordan Montgomery
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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)

Yankees' top-pitching prospect Deivi Garcia looked back on the 2019 Futures Game as a positive experience. 

Garcia, now 21, had a 1-2-3 first inning of action in the game which included a strikeout. 

At the time, Garcia, who was promoted to Triple-A Scranton after the game, looked back on the outing in a positive light.

Tags: Deivi Garcia
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Jul 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) runs to first base while hitting a triple in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 12, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner (11) runs to first base while hitting a triple in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

The Yankees made official what SNY's Andy Martino confirmed last month, announcing that they have signed outfielder Brett Gardner to a one-year deal with a club option for 2021. Martino reported in December that the deal is worth $12.5 million, with the 2021 club option set for $10 million.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Gardner, LHP Stephen Tarpley was designated for assignment.

Aaron Hicks underwent Tommy John surgery in September, so Gardner figures to be the team's starting center fielder when the season gets underway.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner
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Friday is the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to come to terms on a contract for the 2020 season.

The Yankees tendered contracts to all off their arbitration-eligible players earlier this offseason, with James PaxtonAaron Judge, and Gary Sanchez the biggest names in that group. 

If a player and team are unable to come to terms, their salary will be set during an arbitration hearing later this offseason.

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New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte delivers a pitch during the first inning of an interleague baseball game against the New York Mets Friday, June 22, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)
New York Yankees' Andy Pettitte delivers a pitch during the first inning of an interleague baseball game against the New York Mets Friday, June 22, 2012, in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II) (Frank Franklin II/AP)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees have been searching for an ace since CC Sabathia's last truly dominant season, 2011, when he went 19-8 with a 3.00 ERA and pitched 237 innings. Along the way they were foiled by Masahiro Tanaka's elbow ligament tear and then Luis Severino's curious inconsistency/shoulder injury. 

Into that void steps Gerrit Cole, the $324 million man, and if he delivers the greatness expected of him, he not only could get the Yankees over the championship hump, but his presence as the No. 1 starter raises an intriguing question:

How high is the ceiling on the 2020 rotation? 

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, John Harper
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May 28, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta (22) rounds the bases on a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)
May 28, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies catcher Chris Iannetta (22) rounds the bases on a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports (Isaiah J. Downing)

The Yankees may have found their answer at backup catcher, as MLB Network's Jon Heyman reports the team has agreed to a minor league deal with veteran Chris Iannetta on Thursday. WFAN's Sweeny Murti had the Yankees close to a deal.

Iannetta brings 14 years of MLB experience to the Yankees, having spent time with the Rockies, Angels, Mariners and Diamondbacks over his career. However, being on that minor league deal, he isn't being guaranteed that backup role behind Gary Sanchez

Kyle Higashioka and Eric Kratz are also on the roster, and will vie with Iannetta for that spot on the 26-man roster. Iannetta, though, does have the upper hand given his experience and better numbers. 

Tags: Gary Sanchez, Kyle Higashioka
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General view of the exterior of Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)
General view of the exterior of Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports (Rich Barnes-USA Today Sports)

Failed Yankees prospect Garrison Lassiter, whose minor league career ended after the 2011 season, filed a strange lawsuit against the team in December of 2018, alleging (among other things) that Derek Jeter was part of the reason why he never made the majors. He also compared himself to Dodgers star Corey Seager.

Lassiter sought millions of dollars he felt were owed to him due to his allegation that the team -- and not his poor play -- was responsible for him never reaching the majors and earning the millions that eventually would have been waiting for him there.

When filing the lawsuit while representing himself, Lassiter introduced Exhibits A and B. Exhibit A was 'COREY SEAGER STATISTICAL HISTORY' and Exhibit B was 'GARRISON LASSITER STATISTICAL HISTORY.'

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Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27) reacts after striking out against the Houston Astros during the first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

One of many Yankees hindered by injuries throughout the 2019 season, Giancarlo Stanton had his second year in New York cut short as he battled back from several ailments.

Stanton played in only 18 regular-season games, slashing .288/.403/.492 with three home runs and 13 RBI while missing 144 games because of a handful of injuries to his biceps, shoulder, knee and quad.

After the injuries wiped him out for all of May, July and August, Stanton enters Year 3 with the Yankees hoping to bounce back -- and New York manager Aaron Boone believes the power-hitting OF/DH can do so.

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton
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The Yankees made a minor move to add to their pitching staff on Tuesday, reportedly agreeing to a minor-league contract with right-hander Nick Tropeano.

The deal, reported by MLB Network's Jon Heyman, includes an invite to 2020 spring training in Tampa, Fla.

For the 29-year-old Tropeano, agreeing with the Yankees is a New York homecoming, as he grew up in West Islip on Long Island and attended Stony Brook University.

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