Oct 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)
Oct 7, 2018; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies second baseman DJ LeMahieu (9) hits a double during the third inning against the Milwaukee Brewers in game three of the 2018 NLDS playoff baseball series at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Russell Lansford-USA TODAY Sports (Russell Lansford)

The Yankees are close to signing another infielder: D.J. LeMahieu. 

SNY's Andy Martino has confirmed that LeMahieu has agreed to a two-year deal with the Yankees, pending physical. 

The deal for the infielder likely pulls the Yankees out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes, but Martino reports that is not a certainty, yet. 

LeMahieu is a two-time All-Star who is a career .298/.350/.406 hitter over eight seasons with the Rockies and Cubs and won a batting title in 2016 hitting .348 in Colorado. 

The 30-year-old is also a three-time Gold Glove award winner, playing mostly second base. 

His deal is expected to be worth up to $24 million, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. 

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New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone is hopeful RHP Dellin Betances can build his arm strength back up with a week and a half remaining until Opening Day.

"I do think he's healthy and fine, it just taking him a while to find the arm strength," Boone said, according to the New York Daily News' Kristie Ackert, after Betances pitched in a Grapefruit League game Sunday for the first time in a week. "Talking to him again today, he kind of said it feels akin to what he feels basically every spring training early, but just hasn't broken through yet. He was efficient with his pitches, threw strikes today. Had a nice, easy inning. Hopefully this next week,10 days he can start to find that arm strength and build on it a little bit."

Tags: Dellin Betances, Gary Sanchez
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New York Yankees shortstop Tyler Wade and first baseman Luke Voit high five as they workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees shortstop Tyler Wade and first baseman Luke Voit high five as they workout at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Aaron Hicks revealed Sunday his sore back will cause him to miss Opening Day and begin the season on the Injured List. 

But Hicks' injury has left manager Aaron Boone and Yankees management with a conundrum regarding the entire construction of the roster.

Several factors will play into who ultimately sees the bulk of reps in Hicks' absence, including how many pitchers the team decides to roster on Opening Day and whether Clint Frazier and Tyler Wade are worthy of possibly seeing significant playing time in the outfield, according to George A. King III of the New York Post

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Clint Frazier, Tyler Wade
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Mar 17, 2019; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch in the first inning of the spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)
Mar 17, 2019; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch in the first inning of the spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)

The Yankees' offense stayed hot with three home runs and New York pulled away late to secure a 7-3 victory over the Phillies on Sunday at Spectrum Field in Clearwater. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1. James Paxton turned in 4 1/3 hitless innings, but allowed one earned run on two walks with four strikeouts. The lefty lowered his Grapefruit League ERA to 1.54.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, troy-tulowitzki
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Mar 17, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA;New York Yankees infielder Luke Voit (45) warms up prior to the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Mar 17, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA;New York Yankees infielder Luke Voit (45) warms up prior to the game between the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

The Yankees' regulars flexed their muscles in Sunday's 5-3 split squad win over the Orioles. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Sunday's game...

1) Luke Voit crushed a two-run home run in the first inning, his third of the spring, as he looks to secure his spot as the starting first baseman on Opening Day.

Tags: Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Baltimore Orioles
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Oct 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning in game four of the 2018 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)
Oct 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning in game four of the 2018 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)

The Yankees' interest in free agent pitcher Gio Gonzalez has evolved into an offer, but a gap still remains between the two sides, according to Jon Heyman

While the two sides remain apart, Heyman added there remains optimism a deal could still get done. 

Gonzalez, 33, is one of the top remaining free agents available with less than two weeks until the start of the season and would give the Yankees some depth as they prepare to begin the season with ace Luis Severino on the injured list. 

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Mar 7, 2019; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)
Mar 7, 2019; Clearwater, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher James Paxton (65) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Spectrum Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports (Douglas DeFelice)

The Yankees split up on Sunday and have a good chunk of their major-league talent going against Jerad Eickhoff and the Phillies at 1:05 p.m. in Clearwater, Fla. 

Yankees notes

Greg Bird will bat third and get the start at first base against the Phillies as he carries a .344/.488/.542 spring slash line while he makes his case to be on the Opening Day roster. ... DJ LeMahieu and Troy Tulowitzki will bat 1-2 while Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez are the other Yankees' regulars in the split-squad game. 

Tags: Greg Bird, James Paxton, troy-tulowitzki
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New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The other half of the Yankees split squad head to Sarasota, Fla. on Sunday to take on the Orioles at 1:05 p.m. 

Yankees notes

Luke Voit will bat third and play first base while his competition does the same in the Yankees' other split-squad game. Voit has been productive so far, hitting .286/.394/.536 with two home runs and eight RBI in 33 plate appearances. ... Miguel Andujar returns to the lineup after getting Saturday off and Clint Frazier is batting cleanup.  

Tags: Luke Voit
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New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks has officially declared himself out for Opening Day. 

The 29-year-old told ESPN's Coley Harvey that he received a second cortisone shot for his lower back injury on Sunday but expects to return for the Bombers' second series against the Tigers on April 1. 

GM Brian Cashman cast doubt on the possibility of Hicks being ready by Opening Day on Friday, saying that the outfielder would probably need some more at-bats before he can re-join the team by then. 

 

Tags: Aaron Hicks
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Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (52) throws during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

CC Sabathia took the next step toward a return to the Yankees' rotation on Saturday, throwing his first simulated game of the spring after previously having thrown bullpen sessions.

Sabathia is working his way back from a heart procedure and knee surgery. He won't be ready for Opening Day -- and must serve a five-game suspension to begin the season -- but his trajectory seems to put him in line for a mid-April return.

The veteran lefty threw 32 pitches on Field 2 while facing DJ LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki and Kyle Holder

Tags: CC Sabathia
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Mar 16, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Estevan Florial (92) singles during the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 16, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Estevan Florial (92) singles during the fourth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Estevan Florial, ranked as the Yankees' top prospect by MLB Pipeline entering 2019, suffered a non-displaced right wrist fracture on Saturday, as revealed by X-rays, according to the Yankees. Florial was sent for X-rays after a hard collision with the outfield wall during Saturday's game.

Aaron Boone initially described the X-rays as precautionary. The Yankees said Florial will undergo further testing on Monday.

Tags: Estevan Florial
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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees displayed their power for the second straight day, bursting for 17 runs in a 17-7 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Saturday's game...

1) Aaron Judge is absolutely locked in at the plate. The Yankees' slugger crushed his sixth home run of the spring -- which leads the majors in Spring Training - and did it while the Blue Jays aligned their outfield with four outfielders. He finished 1-for-2. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, J.A. Happ, Toronto Blue Jays
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Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Toronto Blue Jays tried to get creative to slow down Aaron Judge on Saturday by using four outfielders in their defensive alignment. 

It turns out it does not really matter how many outfielders you use when the Yankees' slugger is at the plate. 

Judge responded by hitting a towering shot over the wall that left the premise of George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. on Saturday. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Toronto Blue Jays
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New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ works out during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

J.A. Happ toes the rubber for the Yankees as they face Thomas Pannone and the Blue Jays at 1:05 p.m. at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Yankees notes

Aaron Judge hit his team-leading fifth home run on Friday, which is also tied for the league this spring, and is hitting .321 (9-for-28) with a 1.406 .OPS this spring. ... Clint Frazier is back in the lineup batting seventh as he tries to make his case for the team but is hitting just .167 (5-for-30) with two extra-base hits. 

Tags: Domingo German, Toronto Blue Jays
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Oct 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning in game four of the 2018 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)
Oct 16, 2018; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) pitches against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first inning in game four of the 2018 NLCS playoff baseball series at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports (Richard Mackson)

As the Yankees ponder whether to fill the early-season holes left by Luis Severino and CC Sabathia with in-house options or to add a veteran starter, they're linked with one free agent in particular.

Jon Heyman reported Friday that the Yankees "maintain some interest" in lefty Gio Gonzalez, though there are no signs that a deal is imminent. 

Severino will miss the first month of the season with rotator cuff inflammation while the start of Sabathia's season will be slightly delayed because of a five-game suspension he has to serve and his recovery from a heart procedure and knee surgery.

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino
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'Machado Kid' joins BNNY 00:00:56
Jacob Carpenter went viral with his take on why he didn't want Manny Machado on the Yankees. Watch more Yankees and Jets takes on BNNY.

Nearly one month later, Jacob Carpenter's mind hasn't changed.

The "Machado Kid" who went viral in SNY's video of his reaction to Manny Machado signing with the Padres is still glad that the star infielder didn't end up with the Yankees.

"I'm definitely happy that Machado did not sign," Carpenter said while he was an in-studio guest on Baseball Night in New York.

Tags: Manny Machado
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Mar 12, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (52) prior to the game against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 12, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia (52) prior to the game against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Many wondered all offseason if the Yankees were going to pony up to sign either Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, and CC Sabathia admitted there was a degree of surprise that the Yanks didn't add one of the stars. But ultimately, Sabathia believes the Yanks will be just fine without them.

"A little bit (surprised,) but we didn't need either one of them," Sabathia said on WFAN's CMB program Friday. "We've got a really good right fielder, we've got a really, really good third baseman. So I think we're fine. I think if we needed those guys it'd be a different story, but I think our team is set the way it is. It's good."

Tags: Bryce Harper, CC Sabathia, Manny Machado
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Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees' bats exploded on Friday in a 14-1 win over the Red Sox at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Friday's game...

1) Aaron Judge seems ready for Opening Day. The Yankees slugger smashed his fifth home run of Spring Training, a three-run shot to right-center field, and finished the day 2-for-2 with a double. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar
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Mar 9, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 9, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

With Opening Day less than two weeks away and Luis Severino officially out until May, the Yankees have a major decision to make on how to handle their starting rotation. 

Manager Aaron Boone has announced Masahiro Tanaka as the Opening Day starter, followed by James Paxton and J.A. Happ, but after that still remains a mystery. 

CC Sabathia is also not expected back until mid-April, but because of the off days built into the Yankees' schedule, they really only need one spot starter to fill the void until Severino returns. 

Tags: Domingo German, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino
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Yankees hit with injury bug 00:01:00
New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman revealed Luis Severino and Aaron Hicks will start the season on the IL. Sweeny Murti analyzes the impact.

The Yankees are going to be without their ace for at least the first month of the season. 

General manager Brian Cashman announced on Friday that the best-case scenario for Luis Severino would be for a May return, confirming what an orthopedic surgeon told SNY earlier this month. 

Severino, 25, is still in the midst of his two-week shutdown period after feeling soreness in his shoulder and would have to start his throwing from scratch once he resumes. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Domingo German throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Domingo German throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Domingo German and the Yankees face Hector Velazquez and the Boston Red Sox in a Grapefruit League game on Friday at 1:05 p.m. at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Yankees notes

Aaron Judge leads the Yankees with four home runs in spring training. ... Both Luke Voit and Greg Bird have thrived this spring as they battle for a spot on the 25-man roster. Voit has a .280/.400/.520 batting line with two home runs and six RBIs in 10 games, while Bird is slashing .357/.471/.571 with one home run and six RBIs in 12 games.

Tags: Domingo German, Boston Red Sox
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New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu catches a ball thrown from home plate in a steal drill during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees infielder DJ LeMahieu catches a ball thrown from home plate in a steal drill during spring training workouts at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Reinhold Matay/USA TODAY Sports)

When we think of a club's overall success, it typically and rightfully relies upon the performance of the starters. However, the production from the bench players is of great importance understanding there will be injuries and performance issues along the way.

The Yankees have a couple of players considered locks to make the Opening Day roster as bench options, a handful of potential choices for the final spot on the bench and a long shot to be among the reserves late in the season.

Tags: Austin Romine, Clint Frazier, Greg Bird, Chris Carelli
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American League outfielder Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees holds up the trophy after winning the 2017 Home Run Derby at Marlins Park. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)
American League outfielder Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees holds up the trophy after winning the 2017 Home Run Derby at Marlins Park. (Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge will earn $684,300 this season.

The Home Run Derby champion, based on the new deal the MLB and MLB Players Association reached, will receive $1 million.

Yet Judge, the 2017 champion who didn't want to defend his crown in 2018, doesn't think the money means he'll compete in it again.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton
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Mar 2, 2019; Bradenton, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch in the first inning of the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)
Mar 2, 2019; Bradenton, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch in the first inning of the spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at LECOM Park. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports (Jonathan Dyer)

Luis Cessa is making it very hard for manager Aaron Boone to solidify his rotation after yet another stellar outing on Thursday. 

Cessa went a strong four innings, allowing no runs and just two hits and a walk while collecting three strikouts against the Blue Jays. The walk was Cessa's first this spring, and his ERA fell even further to 0.69 over 13 spring innings. 

"I thought his two-seam fastball was really good again, which is really encouraging," Boone told NorthJersey.com's Pete Caldera about Cessa latest outing.

Tags: Luis Cessa
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Mar 14, 2019; Dunedin, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 14, 2019; Dunedin, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Dunedin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

It was a pitcher's duel in Dunedin on Thursday afternoon, as the Yankees and Blue Jays ended up in a 1-1 tie at the end of nine innings. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Thursday's game...

1) Luis Cessa is making it hard for the Yankees to leave him off their 25-man roster when camp breaks after another solid start. He didn't allow a run and only two hits over four innings. While moving his ERA to 0.69 this spring, he collected three strikeouts as well.

Tags: Gleyber Torres, Luis Cessa, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred gestures while speaking during a Major League Baseball owners meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) (Ben Margot/AP)
Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred gestures while speaking during a Major League Baseball owners meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ben Margot) (Ben Margot/AP)

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred's desire for more action and less dead time in baseball is at the heart of the rules changes that were announced on Thursday, and with that in mind, here are the three I believe are most noteworthy:

1) The three-batter minimum for relievers, which goes into effect in 2020, and makes for intriguing strategy decisions as well as fewer late-inning pitching changes.

2) A 28-man September roster, as of 2020, which will finally bring an end to the ridiculous practice of essentially having unlimited substitutions in the final month of the season.

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MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)
MLB commissioner Rob Manfred addresses representatives from the grapefruit league during the annual spring training media day at Hilton in West Palm Beach. (Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports)

The MLB and the MLB Players Association announced an agreement on Thursday that includes changes to the rosters, game play and the All-Star voting process over the next two years.

In 2019, the changes include:

  • The elimination of August trades, meaning July 31 will be sole MLB trade deadline.
  • The maximum number of mound visits per team will be reduced from six to five.
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Mar 9, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 9, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees face the Toronto Blue Jays in a Grapefruit League game on Thursday at 1 p.m. on the road.

Yankees notes

Miguel Andujar leads the team with 12 hits this spring. ... DJ LeMahieu is 5-for-27 with a .185/.241/.259 batting line. ... Estevan Florial has a .346/.393/.538 batting line with one home run and four RBIs in 11 games.

Tags: Luis Cessa, Toronto Blue Jays
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Mar 13, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) is congratulated by manager Gabe Kapler (19) as he scores a run during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 13, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Bryce Harper (3) is congratulated by manager Gabe Kapler (19) as he scores a run during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Bryce Harper's late spring with the Phillies continued on Wednesday against the Yankees, and after an 0-for-2 performance, he clarified that the team never reached out to him during his free agency tour. 

Before Harper even hit free agency, it was expected the Yankees would be at the top of the heap to land the prolific star. However, they made a trade with the Marlins last offseason to land NL MVP Giancarlo Stanton, which all but shut the door on that notion. 

Growing up a Yankees fan or not, Harper admitted GM Brian Cashman never called him.

Tags: Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton
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Mar 13, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 13, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees had a chance to walk it off in the bottom of the ninth, but instead their spring game against the Phillies ended in a 5-5 tie on Wednesday night in Tampa. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Wednesday's game...

1) Giancarlo Stanton enjoyed another solid night at the dish, going 2-for-3 with a solo homer for an RBI and run scored. His slugging partner in Aaron Judge didn't though, as he went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is congratulated by teammates as he hits a 2-run home run during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) is congratulated by teammates as he hits a 2-run home run during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Entering Spring Training last season, all eyes were peered on Giancarlo Stanton -- the reigning National League MVP -- to see if he could handle the pressure of wearing the pinstripes. The year was full of ups and downs, with Stanton most notably struggling to hit well at Yankee Stadium.

But, with a full Yankees season under his belt, this Spring Training vibe for Stanton is different. It's more calm. Tranquil. And it's because Stanton now realizes what it takes to play on the Big Apple.

"I have a better idea of how to play left field with half a year playing there under my belt," Stanton told The Post's Dan Martin. "Everything is much more comfortable after a season in New York. It helps me, for sure."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton
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Feb 15, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Feb 15, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees host Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. 

Yankees Notes...

Luke Voit and Greg Bird reverse roles on Wednesday as Voit takes first while Bird is the DH as the two compete for the Opening Day roster. ... Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge both homered on Tuesday and enter Wednesday looking to continue swinging a hot bat. 

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

The Yankees' four high-leverage relievers will get a ton of press and rightfully so, but the group asked to pitch in middle innings will have to do its part in what could turn out to be a very heavily used eight-pack of pitchers in 2019.

Right-handers Chad Green and Jonathan Holder plus whoever wins the battle for the final two spots in the bullpen will be expected to be ready to pitch in multiple situations and for varying lengths in their appearances. There is both upside and uncertainty among the last four relievers that will break camp with the Yankees.

Green might be more involved in high-leverage innings as he has been the last couple of seasons. The Yankees would likely prefer to utilize Green in lengthier appearances (think four to six outs), bringing in the 27-year-old to polish off a rocky inning from a starter and then cover some or all of the next frame.

Tags: Chad Green, Jonathan Holder, Chris Carelli
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Mar 12, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs around the bases on his two run home run during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports  (Kim Klement)
Mar 12, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs around the bases on his two run home run during the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees rallied to top the Orioles 8-7 at George M. Steinbrenner field in Tampa, Fla. on Tuesday. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Tuesday's game...

1. Aaron Judge continued his torrid spring with his fourth home run of Spring Training, ripping a two-run shot into right-center field in the first inning. 

Tags: Aaron Judge
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Mar 10, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) catches a throw to retire Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Melky Cabrera (not pictured) during the third inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 10, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird (33) catches a throw to retire Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Melky Cabrera (not pictured) during the third inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees host division foe Baltimore on Tuesday at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. First pitch is set for 6:35 p.m. 

Yankees Notes...

As the battle for starting first baseman continues, both Luke Voit and Greg Bird are in the lineup. Voit will man first while Bird is penciled in as the DH. ... New York's battery has Jonathan Loaisiga on the hill with Gary Sanchez behind the plate.

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New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks at bat against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Dealing with a lingering back issue, Aaron Hicks consulted with doctors Monday and received a cortisone shot

The Yankees outfielder will rest for the next few days before resuming baseball activities. Hicks maintained he is still on track for Opening Day, but the season opens in about two weeks.

Hicks experienced back stiffness last week and has been on the shelf since. How much longer he'll stay inactive remains to be seen, but it appears he won't be in the lineup until this weekend at the earliest. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner
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Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 9, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Zach Britton (53) pitches during the fourth inning against the Boston Red Sox in game four of the 2018 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

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

The Yankees continue to possess one of the best bullpen crews in the game. The grouping of above-average to elite relievers rattles up to six pitchers.

For New York, the biggest impact might not come from its top two holdover relievers - Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances - but rather the team's newest signings. Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino are working under elite reliever contracts and each pitcher's production will have a major impact on the Yankees postseason aspirations.

Britton has a slight advantage over Ottavino in that the 31-year-old southpaw has some experience in pinstripes under his belt after coming to the Yankees in a late July trade last season. The right-handed Ottavino, 33, has an edge of his own - unfamiliarity for batters - coming to the American League after parts of eight seasons in the National League.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Dellin Betances, Chris Carelli
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Dellin Betances throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

Yankees manager Aaron Boone is not worrying much about RHP Dellin Betances after he struggled on Sunday.

"Obviously we need to keep building Dellin up, but I feel like that's not something we're overly concerned about at this point," Boone said, according to the New York Daily News' Kristie Ackert, after Betances allowed four of the five batters he faced to reach base in Sunday's split-squad win over the Pirates.

The 30-year-old Betances, who had retired all six batters he faced prior to Sunday, allowed two runs, two hits and two walks in 1/3 of an inning, raising his ERA to 7.71 in three outings.

Tags: Dellin Betances
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Mar 10, 2019; Lakeland, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Chance Adams (43) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 10, 2019; Lakeland, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Chance Adams (43) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees tied the Tigers 2-2 during a split-squad contest in Lakeland, Fla., on Sunday. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Sunday's game...

1. With the game knotted at one in the eighth inning, Brandon Wagner, who pinch ran for Luke Voit earlier in the game, worked a 3-2 count and then clubbed a go-ahead solo shot to left field. 

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Mar 10, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) walks off the mound during the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 10, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Adam Ottavino (0) walks off the mound during the fifth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees outlasted the Pirates, 6-5, at George M. Steinbrenner Field on Sunday. >> Box Score

Six things to know about Sunday's game...

1. Brett Gardner continued his hot spring with two more base hits to raise his Grapefruit League average to .429. With Aaron Hicks still sidelined, Gardner started the game in center field. 

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New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge celebrates with teammates after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports)

In all likelihood, bigger paydays will one day occur for both Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez

But for now, they'll have to settle for the modest raises they each received from the Yankees heading into the 2019 season, which will be the final year before they both become eligible for arbitration and stand in line to earn much more. 

The Yankees bumped Judge's salary by $62,000, according to the Associated Press, meaning the 26-year-old will make $684,300 this year. Sanchez received a slightly smaller raise of $49,400. The backstop will take home $669,800 in 2019. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez
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New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Luke Voit hits a three-run home run during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Charlotte Sports Park. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

One half of the Yankees' split squad (7-6) faces the Tigers (7-9) on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. 

Yankees Notes...

Luke Voit gets the start at first base as the battle with Greg Bird continues. ... Estevan Florial starts in center field. ... Nestor Cortes is on the mound.

Tags: Estevan Florial, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Danny Abriano
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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

One half of the Yankees' split squad (7-6) host the Pirates (7-8) on Sunday at Steinbrenner Field at 1:05 p.m. 

Yankees Notes...

Greg Bird gets the start at first base as the battle with Luke Voit continues. ... Troy Tulowitzki gets the start at shortstop. ... J.A. Happ is on the mound. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, J.A. Happ, Danny Abriano
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Mar 9, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 9, 2019; Sarasota, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Cessa (85) throws a pitch during the first inning of a game against the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

With a split-squad team, the Yankees handled their division rival in the Orioles in a 6-1 victory on the road Saturday night.  >> Box Score

Five things to know about Saturday's game...

1) Luis Cessa saw another successful outing on the mound, as he didn't allow a run and only one hit over four innings of work. He also had four strikeouts as he makes his bid for the 25-man roster. 

Tags: Clint Frazier, Greg Bird, Luis Cessa, Luke Voit, Baltimore Orioles, Scott Thompson
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New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees first baseman Greg Bird doubles during the third inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)

The Yankees stay on the road to face their division rival in the Orioles at 6:05 p.m. on Saturday.

Yankees notes

Gleyber Torres get the start at shortstop tonight, while Tyler Wade comes back into the infield at second base. Greg Bird will be the starter at first base, as the battle with Luke Voit continues. Clint Frazier is hitting fifth and starting in left field as he looks to pick things up this spring.

Tags: Clint Frazier, Gleyber Torres, Luis Cessa
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Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees have their Opening Day starter. 

Masahiro Tanaka will get the call to take the mound on March 27 when the Yankees open the season against the Baltimore Orioles, manager Aaron Boone announced on Saturday. 

It will be the fourth career Opening Day start for the 30-year-old. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) runs the bases after hitting a two run home run during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When both Aaron Judge and Brett Gardner recently predicted this year's Yankees would break the big-league mark for team home runs set by last year's Yanks, it got us thinking:

Where do these record homer-bashing clubs end up in October? Does owning that prestigious standard all but guarantee a parade that season?

Tags: Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees have decided who their Opening Day starter will be, a process they had to go through again with the news that Luis Severino was shut down for two weeks with rotator cuff inflammation. 

And though Aaron Boone wasn't ready Friday to publicly reveal who will take the hill on March 28 against Baltimore in the Bronx, the signs point to Masahiro Tanaka drawing the assignment.

Tanaka, who gave up two runs in 3.1 innings Friday against Detroit, is lined up to pitch that day and he has previous experience starting on Opening Day, having done so three straight seasons from 2015-17. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Mar 1, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) singles during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 1, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA;New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) singles during the third inning against the Baltimore Orioles at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees led after seven innings but ended up taking a 6-5 loss to the Tigers Friday night in Tampa. >> Box Score

Five things to know about Friday's game

1) Giancarlo Stanton finally notched his first RBI of the spring and did so in dramatic fashion, blasting a two-run home run to left field in the first inning to give the Yanks an early 2-0 lead. Stanton is 4-for-18 in Spring Training. Aaron Judge scored on the homer after drawing a walk.

Tags: Dellin Betances, Detroit Tigers, Domingo German, Giancarlo Stanton, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka
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Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)
Mar 3, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the Detroit Tigers at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports (Butch Dill)

The Yankees are in Tampa Friday night to host the Tigers at 6:35 p.m.

Yankees notes

Masahiro Tanaka makes his second start of the spring. The Yankees' lineup consists of many regulars who figure to be in the Opening Day lineup, including Aaron JudgeGiancarlo StantonMiguel AndujarGleyber Torres and Brett Gardner. Stanton is still in search of his first RBI of Spring Training. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka
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