Fans watch as New York Yankees players workout in the bullpen during practice at George M. Steinbrenner Stadium. (Butch Dill)
Fans watch as New York Yankees players workout in the bullpen during practice at George M. Steinbrenner Stadium. (Butch Dill)

Yes, the New York Yankees have compiled one of the best backend of the bullpen combinations in all of baseball. But, in doing so, have the Yankees neglected to pay enough attention to how the club will reach the dominant combination of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman?

We touched on the fact that the starting rotation held some of the responsibility some weeks back, mentioning the importance of each member's ability to pitch deeper into games if they wanted to be considered an ace. Even if this improves across the line, the backend of the bullpen cannot pitch daily.

This makes the relievers charged with providing middle relief innings, as well as aiding the backend of the bullpen when rest is needed, quite important. To that end, the Yankees have decided to take a pretty big chance on relatively inexperienced relievers.

It begins with Ivan Nova, an experienced pitcher, but one with just 17 2/3 innings in relief. Should the rotation consist of Nathan Eovaldi, Michael Pineda, CC Sabathia, Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka as expected, Nova will be relegated to long relief. That would allow for three more bullpen spots to be managed by Joe Girardi; though there is a chance the club could rotate another arm in there on occasion by optioning a bench player.

The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to New York shuttle of last season could surely be used once again in 2016. If we look at the current 40-man roster there are eight relievers who could become a part of that shuttle - Johnny Barbato (right-handed), Nick Goody (RH), Jacob Lindgren (left-hander), James Pazos (LH), Branden Pinder (RH), Nick Rumbelow (RH), Chasen Shreve (LH) and Kirby Yates (RH). There has been some discussion of Bryan Mitchell (RH), a starter by trade, grabbing a bullpen role but that would seem to be only if Nova is needed for the rotation.

The Yanks have two non-roster invitees in veteran righty relievers at spring camp - Vinnie Pestano and Anthony Swarzak - that are being considered for roles as well.

Of the 11 pitchers, Shreve would seem to have the upper hand on getting a spot based on his 2015 season in which he tossed 58 1/3 innings with a 3.09 ERA and 9.9 K/9. Shreve was part of the deal that brought David Carpenter to the Yankees for Manny Banuelos. Carpenter was designated for assignment and Shreve took off. Shreve hit a wall in September after what many believe was a case of overwork. At 25, Shreve could be a big factor in the Yankees pen.

That would leave two spots. Shreve would give the Yankees three lefties, but it would not be shocking if the club still decided to add either Lindgren or Pazos. Lindgren is a hyped-prospect who had a rough go in a short stint with the Yanks in 2015 and then missed significant time due to surgery to remove a bone spur in his elbow.

Pazos had a better experience in 2015, tossing five innings in 11 appearances with a 0.00 ERA with the Yankees after working through two levels of the farm system where he tossed a combined 42 2/3 innings with a 1.27 ERA and 10.3 K/9. Neither Lindgren nor Pazos are considered lefty specialists, so adding them to the mix over a right-hander despite the lefty-heaviness shouldn't be a concern for Girardi.

Barbato might be the name least known of the list, but his Triple-A numbers from 2015 - 14 games, 25 innings, 0.36 ERA and a 9.4 K/9. Barbato owns a 3.55 ERA in 317 minor league innings and a 9.3 K/9. Barbato, 23, has had a nifty spring thus far which could put him closer to the forefront when discussing which right-handed relievers might break camp with the Bombers. Important to Barbato's chances to making the club is that he can pitch multiple innings if needed.

Goody, 24, was fantastic climbing three levels through the 2015 season eventually making five appearances with the Yankees. His minor league numbers were stellar - 62 1/3 IP, 1.59 ERA, 12.1 K/9 across Double-A and Triple-A.

Pinder, 27, spent the most time of the returning youngster with the Yankees - 27.2 IP, 2.93 ERA, 8.1 K/9.

Rumbelow, 24, threw 52 1/3 innings at Scranton in 2015 compiling a 4.27 ERA with a 9.7 K/9. Rumbelow made 17 appearances with the Yankees with similar results - 15 2/3 IP, 4.02 ERA, 8.6 K/9.

In considering the veteran relievers at camp, Yates might have a better chance of cracking the roster simply because he is on the 40-man roster, while Pestano and Swarzak would likely have to be fairly dominant combined with poor spring showings from many of the youngsters. Pestano has had the most major league success of the three players, but it goes back to a two-season stretch from 2010-11 with the Cleveland Indians in which he tossed 132 innings with a 2.45 ERA and a 10.9 K/9. Pestano is now looked at as a reclamation project.

One thing that might aid the veterans is Chapman's suspension. For the first 30 games of the season, the Yankees will be down one reliever. So, there is a chance that Girardi wants to have a veteran presence with Chapman out. Not that any of them would receive high-impact innings, but rather provide some balance to the number of youngsters in the bullpen.

Another consideration related to Chapman's suspension is that it is going to force the Yankees to lean on Betances and Miller to close out the final two innings of games until May 9. The one thing the Yankees cannot do is overwork Betances and Miller early on, meaning someone will need to step up to cover the role of the seventh inning.

That same reliever will likely be relied upon throughout the season in an effort to keep Betances, Miller and Chapman from tiring. Girardi will be wise to use some sort of alternation of his top three relievers in an effort to keep them fresh. However enticing it might be to run them out there each night the Yankees have a slim lead in the seventh (or even sixth) inning that might prove to be the undoing of the club come September.

If I was to guess who will be in the group that breaks camp with bullpen roles along with Nova, Betances and Miller I can come up with just one favorite and that's Shreve.

I would not imagine the Yankees would carry both Lindgren and Pazos on the club at the same time without one of the main lefties being hurt. As for the remaining right-handers, Goody has the shinier minor league resume, while Pinder and Rumbelow are a bit more seasoned with more time at Triple-A, not to mention the longer stay with the big club in 2015. My wild card would be Barbato, but he'll have to continue to dominate.

I suspect the final two spots will be rotated often especially early on to accomplish two things; keep the arms fresh and to see to who might stick with the club for the longer term. Again, it would not be surprising if the Yankees sent down a bench player when needed to bump the relief crew to eight strong.

Summing up, the Yankees have a slew of young, slightly experienced arms ready to take charge of the middle innings. At least two of them will have to step up and become consistent options for Girardi to employ in stressful middle-inning situations throughout the season. This is especially true when Chapman is unavailable. After that, the revolving door of fresh arms could once again be a key to the team's postseason aspirations.

Tags: Ivan Nova, Andrew Miller, Branden Pinder, Bryan Mitchell, CC Sabathia, Chasen Shreve, Dellin Betances, Jacob Lindgren, James Pazos, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Michael Pineda, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Goody, Nick Rumbelow
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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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Jasson Dominguez (Richard Rodriguez on YouTube)
Jasson Dominguez (Richard Rodriguez on YouTube)

Baseball America has released its Top 10 prospects for the Yankees heading into the 2020 season, and while some prospects make perfect sense on the list, one certain omission stood out. 

Estevan Florial, once the Yankees' top prospect, has fallen off the Top 10 list. This came after a down year in High-A ball with a .237/.297/.383 slash line with eight homers and 38 RBI over 74 games. 

So, with Florial off the list, here's how it looks:

Tags: Albert Abreu, Deivi Garcia, Estevan Florial, Scott Thompson
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There are always questions surrounding the National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot every year, but maybe none are bigger than whether or not Derek Jeter will be a unanimous inductee when all the ballots are handed in. 

So far, that's the way things are trending. 

Thanks to Hall of Fame ballot tracker Ryan Thibodaux, we know that all 138 public ballots -- and four anonymous ballots that have been revealed -- have Jeter's name checked off on them. 

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Yankees manager Aaron Boone (David Butler II )
Yankees manager Aaron Boone (David Butler II )

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

On Sept. 15, 2017, Major League Baseball fined the Boston Red Sox an undisclosed amount for using Apple Watches to convey signs stolen from the Yankees.

MLB also fined the Yankees a lesser amount, leading to a common misconception that both teams engaged in espionage at that time.

At the time, the league announced that the Yankees had "violated a rule governing the use of a dugout phone." What MLB didn't say was that no one had accused the Yankees of cheating.

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Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 23, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar (41) prior to the game against the Toronto Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar has been rehabbing his way back from his torn labrum surgery, and he looks to be right on track for the start of Spring Training.

Manager Aaron Boone said on MLB Network Radio Tuesday that Andujar is throwing and taking ground balls in the Dominican Republic at the moment, and should be good by the time Spring Training rolls around. 

"We believe he's going to be totally healthy as he enters Spring Training and good to go," Boone said. 

Tags: Gio Urshela, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Sep 20, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (20) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Sep 20, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (20) at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Sign stealing has been a big bugaboo for the MLB in the wake of the Astros cheating scandal, but as SNY's Andy Martino found out, Houston believed other teams were using technology to decode signs as well.

On Tuesday, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal and Evan Drellich reported that the Yankees biggest rival, the Red Sox, were allegedly using a video replay room to steal signs during the 2018 season.

To give some context, the Red Sox -- and the Yankees -- were both fined back in 2017 "for conduct related to electronic sign stealing." Those video replay rooms, which were implemented to help managers get information quickly in potential challenge situations, were being used to steal sign sequences.

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Giancarlo Stanton/Jordan Montgomery
Giancarlo Stanton/Jordan Montgomery

The 2020 MLB season is a lot closer than we think, with pitchers and catchers reporting in about a month to their respective camps to gear up for the long 162-game journey. And Yankee fans might be counting down each day until the new season after taking a look at the roster that is absolutely stacked yet again. 

Gerrit Cole might really be that one missing piece the Yankees need to make their return to the World Series. Their only omission from their starting lineup is Didi Gregorius, and his production can easily be matched by Gio Urshela if he can replicate his breakout season in 2019.

Then, there's still Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, and more making a World Series worthy team that many will be scared to face this season. 

Tags: Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Domingo German, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Jordan Montgomery, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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 (Adam Hunger)
(Adam Hunger)

The Yankees were the most injury-riddled team in baseball during the 2019 season, and now the team is making huge changes to its training staff.

According to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, the Yankees are making a number of drastic changes to their training and performance staff. Steve Donohue, who has been with the organization since 1979 and with the major league staff since 1986, will be transitioned to "a status akin to trainer emeritus, though it's expected he'll remain involved with the club."

Additionally, the Yankees are hiring Eric Cressey, who runs Cressey Sports Performance and hosts an Elite Baseball Development podcast, to oversee their training and strength and conditioning staff. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Miguel Andujar
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Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of George M. Steinbrenner Field where the New York Yankees hit batting practice during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 14, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; A general view of George M. Steinbrenner Field where the New York Yankees hit batting practice during spring training. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Aside from 16-year-old wunderkind OF Jasson Dominguez, who is viewed as a future star, the Yankees are lacking sizzle when it comes to most of their top 10 prospects.

RHP Deivi Garcia is one of the names to keep an eye on as far as potential impact in 2020 is concerned, with him being a potential option in the starting rotation or bullpen at some point.

As far as a breakout candidate for 2020, MLB Pipeline gives that honor to RHP Clarke Schmidt, who was the Yankees' No. 5 prospect entering last season.

Tags: Deivi Garcia, Domingo German, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Jul 1, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) comes out in the ninth inning to take out pitcher Dellin Betances (68) against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jul 1, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) comes out in the ninth inning to take out pitcher Dellin Betances (68) against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

As a New York native who was in the Yankees organization since 2006, Dellin Betances opened up about his time wearing pinstripes coming to an end.

After more than a decade in the organization, the Yankees passed on re-signing Betances, who ultimately inked a one-year deal with the Mets. Betances suffered a right shoulder impingement and had a lat strain that kept him on the injured list to start the 2019 season, and partially tore his left Achilles during Sept. 15's debut, effectively ending an eight-season run with the Yankees.

When he was introduced Thursday at Citi Field by general manager Brodie Van Wagenen, Betances was asked about if there were any regrets with how his Yankees chapter closed.

Tags: Dellin Betances
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Apr 13, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Domingo German (55) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 13, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees relief pitcher Domingo German (55) pitches against the Chicago White Sox during the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Major League Baseball is suspending Yankees RHP Domingo German for 81 games. The news was first reported by Hannah Keyser of Yahoo Sports

The suspension is retroactive to Sept. 19, when German was first placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball under the joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy at the end of the 2019 season. The ban was extended Sept. 25 into the postseason.

It includes the nine regular-season games in 2019 and subsequently into the playoffs, where the Yankees logged nine games between the Minnesota Twins (three-game ALDS) and Houston Astros (six-game ALCS). So German will miss the first 63 games of the 2020 season.

Tags: Domingo German
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Jun 12, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen waves to the fans during the Old Timers Day ceremony prior to the game between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Jun 12, 2016; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees pitcher Don Larsen waves to the fans during the Old Timers Day ceremony prior to the game between the Detroit Tigers and New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Don Larsen, who has pitched the only perfect game in World Series history, passed away Wednesday at age 90.

According to Bill Madden of the New York Daily News, Larsen died while in hospice care in Idaho, due to esophageal cancer.

Larsen pitched five seasons with the Yankees from 1955-59, and his career in pinstripes is remembered for his perfect game against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series at Yankee Stadium. Larsen needed just 97 pitches to finish the game, striking out seven Dodgers along the way. 

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As 2019 comes to a close, we're reminiscing about the sports moments that affected New York over the past 10 years. So we decided to rank them.

Here are the Top 10 sports moments of this decade...


10) No-Han: Johan Santana throws first no-hitter in Mets history

Tags: Alex Rodriguez, Eli Manning, Yoenis Cespedes
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CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)
CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Perhaps the 2010s can be explained simply as the law of averages catching up with the Yankees, a reminder of just how remarkable it was to navigate the postseason so flawlessly while winning four championships in five years two decades ago. 

More likely the teams of this decade simply weren't quite as clutch or complete as those Joe Torre ballclubs that remain the last dynasty we've seen in baseball.

Either way, this decade will be remembered dubiously in the Bronx as the first one in 100 years in which the Yankees didn't make at least one World Series appearance. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Didi Gregorius, Gio Urshela, Greg Bird, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Mark Teixeira, Miguel Andujar, John Harper
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We've collected some of our end-of-year content as we start 2020. A version of this story originally published on Nov. 18, 2019.


Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

Tags: Albert Abreu, Danny Abriano
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New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera waves to the fans after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (John Munson/The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees relief pitcher Mariano Rivera waves to the fans after the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. (John Munson/The Star-Ledger-USA TODAY Sports)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

For a franchise that brands itself as championship or bust, the Yankees' failure to reach the World Series over an entire decade for the first time in 100 years made the 2010s hugely disappointing, despite seven postseason appearances.

Still, it had its moments, linking the nostalgia of its Core Four-past with the promise of its Baby Bombers-future. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Alex Rodriguez, Aroldis Chapman, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, John Harper
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New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar throws out a runner against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees third baseman Miguel Andujar throws out a runner against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium. (Wendell Cruz/USA TODAY Sports)

When the Yankees open up spring training in Tampa, Fla. in Febuary, manager Aaron Boone expects to have Miguel Andujar at full capacity. 

"[Andujar] is doing really well,'' Boone said Friday. "I expect him to be ready to go for spring training.'' 

Boone made an offseason trip to the "office" Friday, handling duties for the opening coin toss of the Pinstripe Bowl, played at Yankee Stadium.

Tags: Gio Urshela, Miguel Andujar
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Jun 23, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams (51) speaks to the media at the 2019 Yankees Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Jun 23, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; Former New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams (51) speaks to the media at the 2019 Yankees Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

From firsthand experience, Bernie Williams knows what it feels like to face pressure -- and thrive -- in New York with a big contract.

The former star CF from 1991-06 -- all in New York -- was a five-time All-Star and four-time World Series champion with the Yankees, signing a seven-year deal worth $87.5 million along the way.

So when Williams was asked about the Yankees' new deal for RHP Gerrit Cole, who recently signed a nine-year contract worth $324 million, he offered his advice.

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Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (30) hits a ground ball into a triple play in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Jul 22, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (30) hits a ground ball into a triple play in the first inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

The Yankees and Edwin Encarnacion have officially parted ways, as the slugger has reportedly signed with the Chicago White Sox on Christmas Day.

Multiple reports have confirmed that Encarnacion will head to Chicago on a one-year, $12 million deal that has a $12 million club option for the 2021 season. Encarnacion gets $11 million outright and another $1 million as a signing bonus.

The DH now joins Didi Gregorius and Dellin Betances as players who have left the Yankees this offseason for new opportunities.

Tags: Edwin Encarnacion
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Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole
Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole

We've collected some of our end-of-year content as we approach 2020. A version of this story originally published on Dec. 11, 2019.


With the Yankees landing Gerrit Cole and transforming their starting rotation in the process, the question becomes how Cole will perform in 2020 and beyond.

Cole became a dominant force after joining the Astros, posting a 2.68 ERA/2.67 FIP and 0.96 WHIP with 602 strikeouts (13.1 per 9) in 412.2 IP in 2018 and 2019.

So how will Cole fare in 2020 during what will be the first year of his nine-year deal?

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Gerrit Cole/Aaron Judge/Giancarlo Stanton
Gerrit Cole/Aaron Judge/Giancarlo Stanton

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Gift ideas for the Yankees? Sigh.

So much pressure to make another "Cole in their stocking" joke. But since we used that one every single day of the "12 Days of Christmas" (and then some), Baseball Santa needs new material.

We do, however, have a long list of potential presents for the Yanks for 2020 this holiday season. With a loaded roster, strong front office and manager, and a reservoir of prospects, they seem to be the team that has everything. But, much like the work the Yanks have left to do with their roster, we found spots around the margins of their pinstriped tree to leave some gifts.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Luis Severino, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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 (Brian Fluharty)
(Brian Fluharty)

The Yankees and Edwin Encarnacion look like a one-and-done scenario. 

The free agent could land with Chicago White Sox in the coming days, according to multiple reports this week. 

The Yankees traded for Encarnacion in June, but didn't see the full impact of that move due to injury. The 36-year-old only appeared in 44 games with the Yankees due to wrist and oblique injuries. 

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