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Brett Gardner

Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)
Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Here's the ideal Winter Meetings headline for Yankees fans:

"Happy Holidays! Yanks Get Cole in their Stocking." 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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With all eyes on the Yankees' pursuit of Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, the team still has multiple free agents of their own that they are considering bringing back, including Brett Gardner and Didi Gregorius.

As SNY's Andy Martino reported Thursday, the Yankees remain optimistic about a reunion with Gardner even as their main offseason focus remains on pitching.

On Friday, Yankees GM Brian Cashman discussed the continued dialogue with the Gardner and Gregorius camps.

Tags: Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

As the Yankees focus their efforts on landing free agents Gerrit Cole or Stephen Strasburg, they remain optimistic about a reunion with outfielder Brett Gardner, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

Martino notes that the Gardner situation could potentially resolve when the Yankees' payroll situation is clearer.

In November, Yankees GM Brian Cashman was open about the team's desire to have Gardner back, and wouldn't say whether he felt it would take more than a one-year deal to get it done.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Danny Abriano
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Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)
Brett Gardner (Treated Image by SNY)

The Mets need an experienced, everyday center fielder, specifically Brett Gardner.

The Yankees, though, again have a hole in center filed now that Aaron Hicks is expected to miss a large chunk of the 2020 season due to Tommy John surgery.

This is why earlier this month, Yankees GM Brian Cashman said that he's been in contact with Gardner's agent, despite reports late in the season that their time together had likely come to an end.

"I want to continue playing," Gardner said in October, according to the New York Post. "Physically and mentally I feel great. My family wants me to keep playing. Hopefully, that's here (with the Yankees)."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Jeff McNeil, Michael Conforto, Matthew Cerrone
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Mar 11, 2018; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Zack Granite (8) at bat at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 11, 2018; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins center fielder Zack Granite (8) at bat at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

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

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

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

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton
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Yankees' Miguel Andujar (Treated Image by SNY)
Yankees' Miguel Andujar (Treated Image by SNY)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

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

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Aug 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) and shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) react after defeating the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Aug 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) and shortstop Didi Gregorius (18) react after defeating the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brandon Nimmo, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Jeff McNeil, Miguel Andujar, Noah Syndergaard, Pete Alonso, Zack Wheeler, John Harper
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Both Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg will be on the open market this offseason, and according to Yankees' general manager Brian Cashman, the team will be looking at one or both of the starting pitchers.

Speaking to reporters at the GM Meetings in Scottsdale, Ariz., Cashman knows the price will be high, but says the team will certainly do their due dilligence when it comes inquiring about the right-handers.

"We're going to talk to Strasburg. We're going to talk to Cole," Cashman said. "We're going to talk to the higher-end guys and talk to some surprise guys I'm sure. It's hard to predict, but obviously anybody would have interest in players like that.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) hits a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Minnesota Twins in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees quickly retained Brett Gardner after the 2018 season and it seems like they could strike quickly on him again.

Gardner, who is an unrestricted free agent, is in talks with the Yankees about a potential return in 2020, Jon Heyman reported on Thursday.

It would not be a surprise if a deal for Gardner got done similarly quickly to the one-year deal the Yanks agreed to with CC Sabathia during last year's GM Meetings, SNY's Andy Martino noted, calling a reunion a "no brainer."

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Danny Abriano
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Brodie Van Wagenen
Brodie Van Wagenen

Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

MLB free agency is officially underway, and while there is a steep dropoff after the triumvirate of Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg, there are still dozens of quality players available.

For the Mets, there are solid options on the market who could help them address their three biggest needs: The bullpen, center field, and the starting rotation. New York also has the option of going the trade route to fill some or all of their needs, but with the team in need of restocking their farm system (instead of further diminishing it), the wiser play would be to fill most of their needs via free agency.

Along the above lines, here are five free agents the Mets should consider pursuing...

Tags: Brett Gardner, Edwin Diaz, Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson, Michael Pineda, Robert Gsellman, Seth Lugo, Zack Wheeler, Danny Abriano
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Clint Frazier
Clint Frazier

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Clint Frazier, his "legendary bat speed" and all, has been a magnet for attention in his young career. That doesn't figure to change this winter when the Yankees probably have to determine once and for all whether he's a trade chip or a promising cog in their outfield. 

Trouble is, there isn't an easy answer. 

Frazier, who's still only 25, was the headliner in GM Brian Cashman's widely-praised deal that sent ace reliever Andrew Miller to the Indians at the 2016 deadline. He was the fifth pick in the 2013 MLB Draft and most believed he'd morph into an offensive force. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Giancarlo Stanton, Anthony McCarron
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Gerrit Cole/Clint Frazier
Gerrit Cole/Clint Frazier

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In trying to predict what the Yankees might do this off-season, only one question really matters for a team that is loaded in so many areas:

Are they ready to open the vault for the best pitcher in baseball at the moment? 

I believe they are, even if it's partly as a response to public pressure to win another championship. Other than that, it looms as a fairly quiet winter for a team coming off back-to-back 100-win seasons. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, CC Sabathia, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, John Harper
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Aug 16, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Aug 16, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman (54) pitches in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Aroldis Chapman has reached a new deal with the Yankees and will remain with the team through the 2022 season, it was first reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan.

Chapman added an extra year at $18 million to go with the existing $30 million he was set to receive over the next two seasons, so now the Yanks will give the closer $48 million over the next three years.

Chapman was in talks with the Yankees to try and rework the remaining two years and $30 million left on his contract, it was reported ealier in the night on Saturday by MLB Network's Jon Heyman, and it looks that the two sides came to a quick agreement.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius
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Yankees' Brett Gardner
Yankees' Brett Gardner

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter | : 

Bang your bat on the dugout ceiling if you want Brett Gardner to return to the Yankees in 2020. 

That thumping you hear? Might be GM Brian Cashman or manager Aaron Boone whaling away with a Louisville Slugger. 

And why not? The Yankees could use Gardner for a 13th season in pinstripes. And not just because Aaron Hicks recently had Tommy John surgery and figures to be out for at least eight months.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Anthony McCarron
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees have a lot of decisions to make with their own free agents, including the futures of Brett Gardner and Dellin Betances. But they're already on the clock when it comes to perhaps their hardest call.

New York has until Monday at 5 p.m. to decide whether to extend a qualifying offer to free agent infielder Didi Gregorius.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Miguel Andujar, Danny Abriano
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Dellin Betances/Didi Gregorius/Brett Gardner
Dellin Betances/Didi Gregorius/Brett Gardner

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the World Series over (unfortunately without the Yankees starring in it), the hot stove season -- free agency, trades, and all the intrigue -- is officially here.

For the Bombers, they have eight players potentially set to hit free agency. And there's a strong chance that all of them will be playing for new teams in 2020.

The Yankees have a few top players who could hit the market, like Aroldis Chapman, Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, and Brett Gardner. So what should the Yanks do? Who should they bring back? 

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Scott Thompson
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Steve Cishek (Jeff Curry)
Steve Cishek (Jeff Curry)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Sure, the Mets must wrap up their search for a new manager. But there's plenty of roster work looming for team brass this winter, too, including addressing the club's desperate needs in the bullpen and on defense. 

We'll see how Brodie Van Wagenen and his lieutenants decide to do that. But in this free advice portion of the offseason, we have some under-the-radar ideas that might help.

With that in mind, here's a look at some of the less-heralded free agents the Mets should investigate as they maneuver about the winter marketplace, including a couple for the rotation, where the Mets have to fill one spot and - finally - create some organizational depth: 

Tags: Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Anthony McCarron
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Mar 12, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) and center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) look on prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 12, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner (11) and center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) look on prior to the game against the Minnesota Twins at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

It was just one year ago that Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters that Didi Gregorius needed Tommy John Surgery. Fast forward to Thursday's end-of-season news conference, he deliver the same news -- this time regarding Aaron Hicks

Hicks needs the surgery to repair a torn UCL in his throwing elbow, and he'll need about 8-10 months to recover. That means the Yankees will need to prepare without Hicks for a good chunk of the first half of the new season. 

So who should fill in his center field role in the meantime? 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Scott Thompson
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Brian Cashman/Aaron Boone (Kim Klement)
Brian Cashman/Aaron Boone (Kim Klement)

As is custom following the end of the season, Yankees GM Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone will hold a press conference on Thursday to reflect this past year and look ahead at plans for the offseason.

There is also the small chance that some news about certain players surfaces as well. Fans may remember the announcement of Didi Gregorius needing Tommy John surgery came in this press conference last season.

So, with many different questions to answer before they jump headfirst into the offseason, here's a few Boone and Cashman should answer on Thursday...

Tags: Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Scott Thompson
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Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 17, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) reacts after striking out in the sixth inning against the Houston Astros in game four of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

In the end, the Astros were a little better than the Yankees in all phases, yet with just a few clutch hits from some of their best players, as well as more dominance from the ballyhooed bullpen, the New Yorkers could have prevailed in the ALCS.

It doesn't mean Brian Cashman should overhaul this team by any means. The Astros are looking more and more like a potential dynasty: they're on the verge of winning two championships in three years, and they might well have won it all last year had Jose Altuve and a couple of other key players not been playing through injuries in October.

Mostly the Yankees need to keep knocking on the door, while hoping that Gerrit Cole leaves the Astros as a free agent and Justin Verlander starts looking his age.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Yankees GM Brian Cashman
Yankees GM Brian Cashman

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With a strong, young nucleus of stars such as Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and Luis Severino and others, the Yankees at least have the base of a contender for years to come.

But that doesn't mean there aren't significant questions facing GM Brian Cashman and the Yankee braintrust this offseason after another disappointing exit from the playoffs. And winning windows sometimes close before we think they will, if clubs don't make the right moves. 

Will it be a long, Cole'd -- get it? -- winter? Will Aroldis Chapman opt-out? Who's on first? (No, seriously). 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, Greg Bird, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fought back, but ultimately Jose Altuve's walk-off home run ended their season, sending the Astros to the World Series with a 6-4 win. >> Box Score

Five things to know from Saturday's game

1) The Yankees gave everyone a dramatic finish but when all was said and done, the Astros left no doubt about which team was better in this series, as they won it in six games. They outplayed the Yankees in big ways and small, with stronger starting pitching, more game-changing home runs, smarter baserunning and especially sparkling defense, making some great plays that proved crucial in Game 6. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, John Harper
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Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Houston Astros during the fifth 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 starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Aaron Boone was already way out over his skis, at least from an analytics point of view. The game was in the sixth inning and he had stuffed the game plan in his back pocket because his eyes told him James Paxton was still dealing, third time through the lineup or not.

And good for Boone. If there's not room for a manager to make that type of call, based on what he's seeing, even in this analytics-heavy era, then what's the point of having him there at all?

In the end, Boone's judgment paved the way for the Yankees to get off the deck after the ugliness of Game 4 and beat Justin Verlander and the Astros 4-1 to send this series back to Houston.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, James Paxton, John Harper
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Oct 13, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)
Oct 13, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches during the first inning against the Houston Astros in game two of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports (Thomas Shea)

The Yankees lost 8-3 to the Astros at home in Thursday's Game 4 of the ALCS, falling down 3-1 in the series. They will try to keep their season alive in Game 5 on Friday at 7:08 p.m. at Yankee Stadium.

Yankees notes

The Yankees lost to the Astros 8-3 on Thursday night, and now trail 3-1 in the ALCS. Starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka wasn't his best during Game 4, allowing a three-run homer to George Springer in the third inning. Relief pitcher Chad Green came in for Tanaka in the sixth inning, and gave up a three-run home run to Carlos Correa that made the score 6-1.

Tags: Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka
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Mike Tauchman (Bob DeChiara)
Mike Tauchman (Bob DeChiara)

Yankees GM Brian Cashman dropped some news on Tuesday when he said OF Mike Tauchman was fully healthy. He had been dealing with a calf injury, but has since rehabbed himself back into the conversation of a roster spot. 

But, with the Yankees already three games into the ALCS, Tauchman may not be able to be considered until a potential World Series berth. However, there is one reason why the Yanks may consider placing him on the roster right now. 

Giancarlo Stanton has been dealing with a strained quad after Game 1, and he had to sit the bench in the past two contests because of it. Little is known about how bad the strain is, but Aaron Boone has noted Stanton being available off the bench. He also said on Wednesday during his presser that no decision has been made on him just yet. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Scott Thompson
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) delivers during the first inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

After the Yankees split Saturday and Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, New York returns home Tuesday to the Bronx at 4:04 p.m. from Yankee Stadium for Game 3 of the ALCS against the Astros.

Yankees notes

Sunday's Game 2 of the ALCS alone made the series live up to the hype. After the Yankees dominated Saturday's 7-0 win to grab Game 1, the Astros got New York back in Game 2 with an 11th-inning leadoff home run by SS Carlos Correa against LHP J.A. Happ. Correa starred for the Astros at the plate and in the field, highlighted by his sixth-inning throw home when he caught 1B DJ LeMahieu rounding third base by three steps.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Edwin Encarnacion , Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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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)

Here are the key 2019 MLB offseason dates, and how they impact the Yankees...


Day after World Series ends: Free agency begins

Before factoring in raises for arbitration, the Yankees already have a shade over $164 million committed to their payroll for 2020. But there is still room to spend, and there will be plenty of big names out there. 

Among the biggest names expected to hit the free agent market: Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, Marcell Ozuna, and Will Smith

The Yankees' notable free agents include Didi Gregorius, Dellin Betances, and Brett Gardner.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Dellin Betances, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, James Paxton, Danny Abriano
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

HOUSTON -- Dellin Betances tore his Achilles in September. Domingo German is on the restricted list because of a domestic violence allegation. On this night, the Yankees missed both of those pitchers (and, of course, the baseball impact of German's situation is insignificant compared to what his alleged victim experienced).

Jonathan Loaisiaga appeared overwhelmed and unable to find the strike zone. Betances would have inspired much more confidence in that spot, or at least lengthened the bullpen by having another high-leverage guy and not ever needing Loaisiga. The left-handed and homer-prone J.A. Happ in the game as the bulk guy in extra innings, was a far less favorable matchup against the Astros' righty-heavy lineup than the righty German would have been.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Chad Green, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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 (Thomas Shea)
(Thomas Shea)

Game 2 of the ALCS made every pitch matter Sunday at Minute Maid Park in Houston, but perhaps no play swung the momentum more than what happened midway through the sixth inning.

With two on and two out as DJ LeMahieu led off second and Gleyber Torres from fits, Brett Gardner's sharp ground ball up the middle initially short hopped off Jose Altuve at second base and into the hole, but Carlos Correa came over from shortstop in time.

While Torres stayed put on second, LeMahieu wheeled around after getting waved by third-base coach Phil Nevin and booked for home plate.

Tags: Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres
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John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees fell 3-2 to the Astros on Saturday in Game 2 of the ALCS, evening the series at 1-1.

Five things to know from Sunday's game

1.) For all the talk about the bullpen edge the Yankees have in this series, Game 2 proved that too much of a good thing can have its consequences.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Tommy Kahnle, John Harper
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Aug 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)
Aug 22, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports (Stan Szeto)

The Yankees look to get things started on the right foot in Game 1 of the ALCS against the Astros on Saturday at 8:08 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

Yankees notes

Aaron Hicks and CC Sabathia are back on the ALCS roster for the Yankees, while Luke Voit and Tyler Wade were left off. ... Hicks is not in the starting lineup, while Sabathia will pitch out of the bullpen during the series. ... The Astros took four of seven games from the Yankees in the 2019 regular season, including a three-game sweep in Houston. ... The Yankees have moved Gleyber Torres up to the third spot in the lineup after having Brett Gardner in that spot for all three games of the ALDS. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tyler Wade
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With the stage set for a rematch of the 2017 ALCS, the Yankees took the field at Minute Maid Park on Friday for their team workout ahead of this year's Championship Series.

And while there were no fans in the seats on Friday, the Yankees know that the Astros home-field advantage has been very real over the past few seasons, but it's nothing the team doesn't think they can' handle.

"I think our guys relish in this," said Aaron Boone. "Clearly the Astros have shown that they have a really good home-field advantage here, not only this year but even going back a few years and a lot of us are aware of how loud this place can be, but a lot of our guys will relish in that, embrace that, and hopefully find a way to have success through it all. But I don't worry about that affecting our guys and our performance."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton
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Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) at first base during game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Jul 15, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks (31) at first base during game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Fresh off a three-game sweep of the Twins in the ALDS, the Yankees could be getting even more help for the ALCS.

Center fielder Aaron Hicks told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he is "definitely ready to go out there and play."

Hicks hasn't suited up for the Yankees since Aug. 3 due to a right elbow flexor strain. He also suffered a setback during his recovery, making it unclear if he would play again in 2019.

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Giancarlo Stanton, Jordan Montgomery, Miguel Andujar
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; The New York Yankees celebrate their victory in the locker room after defeating the Minnesota Twins in game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports (Jesse Johnson)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Aaron Boone has always had an elite human touch, but he famously struggled with pitching moves in his playoff managing debut last year against Boston. It's worth noting then, that he remained calm and followed the game plans in this series.

He took a few risks, and made a few moves that could have left his bullpen short, but it's impossible to accuse him of anything close to managing tight or choking. Quite the contrary, he assigned his pitchers to the lanes determined by pregame planning, and didn't make a single move because of passion or panic.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Carlos Torres, Didi Gregorius, Gio Urshela, Luis Severino, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
Oct 5, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25), right fielder Aaron Judge (middle), and shortstop Didi Gregorius (right) celebrate defeating the Minnesota Twins in game two of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

When to lift your starter?

Analytics-driven game planning calls for managers to remove starting pitchers before they start to struggle. This is a major change from the traditional approach, when you waited for the guy to labor before taking him out.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Chad Green, Didi Gregorius, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Andy Martino
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Sep 28, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports (Shane Roper)
Sep 28, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports (Shane Roper)

The Yankees fell to the Rangers 9-4 on Saturday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Saturday's game...

1) Luis Severino got the start for the Yankees on Saturday, but the team used him sparingly. The right-hander went just three innings, allowing two earned runs. He struck out four, but he also walked four while throwing 72 pitches. It wasn't the best start for Severino as he prepares for October baseball.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino
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Sep 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

The Yankees (103-57, 7.0 GA in AL East) look for another win over the Texas Rangers (76-84, 29.0 GB in AL West, 20.0 GB in AL Wild Card), in Arlington on Saturday at 8:05 p.m.

Yankees notes

During their 14-7 win on Friday over the Rangers, Giancarlo Stanton, Cameron Maybin, Brett Gardner, Gio Urshela, Mike Ford and Austin Romine all homered for the Yankees which brought their team total for 2019 to 305, surpassing the Twins' 303 for the league lead, both are currently the highest HR totals for a team in a single season in MLB history. ... DJ LeMahieu had his MLB leading 61st multi-hit game of the season on Friday, he had a double and two singles. ... Following Friday's results, the Yankees will next face the Minnesota Twins in the American League Division Series starting next week. ... The Yankees placed outfielder Aaron Hicks on the 60-day IL on Saturday (elbow). ... LHP James Paxton (left glute tightness) left Friday's game after one inning but Paxton called it a precautionary move

Tags: Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Luis Severino
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Sep 27, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) watches his home run in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)
Sep 27, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton (27) watches his home run in the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports (Tim Heitman)

The Yankees defeated the Texas Rangers 14-7 on Friday night at Globe Life Park in Arlington. >> Box score

Five takeaways from Friday's game...

1) James Paxton was pulled after pitching just one inning against the Rangers, allowing two earned runs. According to the team, the Yankees pulled him due to a tight left glute, saying that his exit was mainly precautionary. The left-hander entered the game looking to come out on the winning side of the decision for the 11th straight time, but it wasn't meant to be on Friday.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Luke Voit
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Apr 9, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (38) reacts after a strikeout during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports  (Troy Taormina)
Apr 9, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga (38) reacts after a strikeout during the first inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

The Yankees (102-56, 8.0 GA in AL East) look to rebound from their 2-1 loss in Tampa Bay against the Rays (94-64, 8 GB in AL East, 0.5 GA in Wild Card) on Tuesday as the two teams wrap their brief two-game set on Wednesday at Tropicana Field at 7:10 p.m.

Yankees notes

DJ LeMahieu enters the game on a 10-game hitting streak and during that stretch has 18 total hits, eight RBI, two homers and is hitting at a .391 average. ... Gio Urshela was hit in the hand with a fastball on Tuesday in the sixth inning, ensuing X-rays were negative but he is not in Wednesday's lineup and has a bruised hand. ... Brett Gardner is also having a profitable past 10 games for the Yankees, he's batting .351 over that span with three doubles, four home runs and 11 RBI

Tags: Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela, Tampa Bay Rays
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Sep 24, 2019; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; New York Yankees center fielder Cameron Maybin (38) works out prior to the game 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 center fielder Cameron Maybin (38) works out prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

In the fourth inning of Tuesday's game against the Rays, Cameron Maybin launched a solo shot to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead, setting another Major League record in the process.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, Gleyber Torres, Luke Voit
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Sep 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) watches his homerun during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)
Sep 22, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99) watches his homerun during the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports (Vincent Carchietta)

Sure, it was great the Yankees banked another victory Sunday afternoon with an 8-3 decision over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium. But the day's most important development was the way Luis Severino pitched. 

 

Severino making his second start since coming off the Injured List, was masterful while being backed by home runs from Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner and D.J. LeMahieu as the Yanks cruised in their final home game of the regular season. 

Here are six takeaways from Sunday: 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, DJ LeMahieu, Luis Severino, Anthony McCarron
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Sep 1, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)
Sep 1, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ (34) delivers a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports (Gregory Fisher)

The Yankees (100-54, 9.5 GA in AL East) start a three-game series with the Blue Jays (62-91, 37.5 GB in AL East) at Yankee Stadium on Friday night, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m.

Yankees notes

The Yankees clinched the AL East after their 9-1 victory over the Angels on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. The victory gave them back-to-back 100-win seasons and made manager Aaron Boone the first in MLB history to do such in his first two seasons. It's also the team's first divison title since 2012. Masahiro Tanaka had a strong outing, as he allowed just one earned run and four hits over 7.0 innings of work. The Yanks hit four home runs in the win, courtesy of DJ LeMahieu, Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, and Clint Frazier.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka
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Aaron Boone Treated
Aaron Boone Treated

The Yankees have officially clinched the AL East title on Thursday night, doing so for the first time since 2012. Now the only thing left to play for is home field advantage throughout the postseason, which the Astros and Bombers are currently locked in to with 100 wins apiece.

As the Yankees ride out the rest of the season, the next phase of their journey to the World Series will be putting together the 25-man postseason roster. 

One big advantage GM Brian Cashman and manager Aaron Boone possess this year is roster depth, something that has gotten them through all the injuries that have plagued the team throughout the season. Players like Gio Urshela, DJ LeMahieu, Cameron Maybin, Mike Tauchman, and others have stepped up when called upon, and that should continue in October. 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, CC Sabathia, Clint Frazier, Dellin Betances, Domingo German, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Tommy Kahnle, Scott Thompson
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Thursday night's 9-1 win over the Angels was a momentous win for the Yankees in a number of ways. They clinched the AL East title, while winning their 100th game, tied with the Astros for the most in baseball.

But make no mistake. This team wants more.

"One of the things we talked about in spring training was winning the division, and that's a reality now," said Aaron Boone. "You think of a lot of people who contributed to this. 

"Obviously, we have bigger goals, but this is an important step and I'm just proud of the guys and the so many people, some who aren't even in that room right now, to us being here."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius, James Paxton
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Despite dealing with injuries all season long, the Yankees overcame that adversity and won their 19th AL East title on Thursday night after a 9-1 win over the Angels. It's the team's first division title since 2012, and gives them back-to-back 100-win seasons.

Star players like Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, Gary Sanchez and many others have all been injured and had to miss games at one point this season.

"Lot of ups and downs this year, lot of guys battling through things," Judge said. "We're just happy to be in here, happy to be in this moment."

Tags: Aaron Judge, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Didi Gregorius
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Sep 19, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Sep 19, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitches against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees clinched the AL East for the 19th time in their 9-1 win over the Angels on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium. >> Box Score

Five takeaways from Thursday's game...

1) Masahiro Tanaka had his best start in over a month, allowing just one earned run and four hits over 7.0 innings. The righty struck out six and walked none, however, he did allow a home run for the fourth straight game. It was the first time that Tanaka had allowed less than two earned runs in a game since he threw a scoreless seven innings against the Seattle Mariners on Aug. 27.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Cameron Maybin, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Masahiro Tanaka
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Apr 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Apr 8, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Jordan Montgomery (47) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees (98-52, 9.0 GA in AL East) wrap up their three-game series with the Blue Jays (58-91, 39.5 GB in AL East) at 1:07 p.m. at Rogers Centre on Sunday.

Yankees notes

James Paxton won his ninth straight game in Saturday's 13-3 win over the Blue Jays... The Yankees hit four homers in Saturday's win, courtesy of Brett GardnerGleyber TorresLuke Voit and Mike Ford. Every Yankee starter had a hit in the game, as they collected 19 in total... With 37 home runs, Torres is tied with Nelson Cruz for third in the American League.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Gleyber Torres, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luke Voit
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 (Nick Turchiaro )
(Nick Turchiaro )

Rewind the tape to the beginning of this season. 

The Yankees entered the year with a starting outfield of Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Hicks, and Aaron Judge, from left to right. 

Brett Gardner, in his age 36 season, was thought of as a role player, someone who could start in the outfield every now and then, and maybe enter the game as a pinch runner or a defense replacement. 

Fast forward to the present day, where Gardner has set a career high with 25 home runs and a .483 slugging percentage in 129 games played of the Yankees' 150.

Tags: Brett Gardner
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