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Masahiro Tanaka

Aaron Judge/Gleyber Torres
Aaron Judge/Gleyber Torres

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Right now, the Yankees are simply worrying about whether or not they're going to have a season to play in 2020. But, with the hiatus, it's worth examining how this roster is set up at the moment, and more specifically, how it could change next season and in the short-term future. 

This season, the Yankees are primed to contend for a World Series title, and that was evident when GM Brian Cashman said you know what to the luxury tax threshold and paid Gerrit Cole $324 million over the next nine seasons to be his bonafide ace. That was added to the massive amount remaining on Giancarlo Stanton's contract. 

So, as of now, the Yankees are at $239 million, which is well over the $208 million threshold. A World Series would definitely suffice with that kind of spending. But what about spending for the future? 

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Jacoby Ellsbury, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Mar 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) tips his hat to the crowd as he is taken out during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) tips his hat to the crowd as he is taken out during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

With coronavirus continuing to spread in the United States, Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka decided it was best to fly to Japan with his family.

Tanaka tweeted out in Japanese his reasoning for returning home with his wife and 1-year-old , which NJ.com's Brendan Kuty had translated by a Japanese member of the media. 

"By entering Japan from the United States where the new coronavirus is expanding, even though we currently have no symptoms, would you still infect someone without knowing it?" Tanaka said. "Wouldn't my family get infected? There were various thoughts."

Tags: James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Feb 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake (67) looks on during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake (67) looks on during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Matt Blake's first year as pitching coach of the Yankees wasn't supposed to go this way. But, nevertheless, this is how things are with the league suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Blake's pitchers were starting to hit their stride, as they prepared for Opening Day that would've been this past Thursday. But now...well, Blake is working off an online spreadsheet to track their at-home workouts all over the country. 

"There's no playbook here," Blake told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. "Nobody's ever gone through it, so there's no tried-and-true recipe to fall back on."

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Michael Conforto (30) follows through on a two run RBI double against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)
Jul 2, 2019; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets center fielder Michael Conforto (30) follows through on a two run RBI double against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

Andy Martino, SNY.tv | Twitter |

With the 2020 MLB season paused, let's dip into the mailbag and answer some Mets and Yankees questions...


@NYCsporty: Have the #Mets officially recognized that @Noahsyndergaard had sucessful Tommy John surgery considering no PR about it yet??

Tags: Carlos Beltran, Jacob deGrom, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Seth Lugo, Andy Martino
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Mar 11, 2020; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Deivi Garcia (83) delivers a pitch in the first inning of the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)
Mar 11, 2020; Jupiter, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Deivi Garcia (83) delivers a pitch in the first inning of the spring training game against the Miami Marlins at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports (Jasen Vinlove)

The Yankees announced a series of roster moves on Thursday evening, including two notable pitching prospects being sent down. 

Right-handers Michael King and Ben Heller, along with infielder Thairo Estrada were optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, while right-hander Deivi Garcia was optioned to Double-A Trenton. 

With the baseball world on pause amid the cornoavirus outbreak, MLB teams are still able to make transactions. 

Tags: Chad Green, J.A. Happ, Jordan Montgomery, Masahiro Tanaka
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Apr 22, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees outfielders Giancarlo Stanton (27), Aaron Hicks (31) and Aaron Judge (99) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)
Apr 22, 2018; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees outfielders Giancarlo Stanton (27), Aaron Hicks (31) and Aaron Judge (99) at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports (Wendell Cruz)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

This Thursday was supposed to be Opening Day, but of course, there are far more important things to worry about right now than baseball. 

Still, as SNY's Andy Martino pointed out in his latest article, "MLB is determined to salvage some sort of baseball in 2020." If that is a case, an extremely shortened season is most likely what will occur. 

And with that, some Yankees players actually might not mind the delay. But there are others who most likely feel the opposite way. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Clint Frazier, Deivi Garcia, Domingo German, Giancarlo Stanton, James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Giancarlo Stanton/Aaron Judge
Giancarlo Stanton/Aaron Judge

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

There has been no update from MLB since they released their latest mandate of banning organized workouts at spring camps, as social distancing and even self-quarantining has been the norm for not just players but everyone in the country. 

But when things do return to normal and MLB is allowed to kick off their 2020 season -- whatever that may look like -- the Yankees will have a few roster decisions to make before baseball resumes. 

So while his players are working in any way they can during these tough times, manager Aaron Boone will have to think about issues with his roster and lineup such as...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Chad Green, Deivi Garcia, Giancarlo Stanton, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Gleyber Torres/Giancarlo Stanton/Gary Sanchez
Gleyber Torres/Giancarlo Stanton/Gary Sanchez

As I write this, there was supposed to be just six days until Opening Day. However, the coronavirus pandemic has suspended the season indefinitely. 

MLB is doing what the rest of us are (hopefully) doing in taking the right precautions to counteract the spread of the virus. The league's latest guildelines allows players to remain at their spring facilities if they'd like, but only use of the gym and training facilites are allowed. No more organizated workouts can take place. 

Players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and others are in still there to stay active and prepare for the season, while manager Aaron Boone is among those that drove home. It's a very sensitive and surreal situation, but it's what we all have to deal with at the moment. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Masahiro Tanaka/DJ LeMahieu/Gerrit Cole
Masahiro Tanaka/DJ LeMahieu/Gerrit Cole

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

We don't know for certain when the 2020 MLB season will get underway, as everyone's main priority is stopping the coronavirus spread throughout the country. 

But when it eventually does, the Yankees have a few players who need to step up big time. Or it could be a lost season. 

And it isn't as dramatic as it sounds. A lost season for the Yankees means not reaching the World Series because, well, that's what this stacked roster is more than capable of achieving. These catalysts, x-factors, pivot players -- whatever you want to call them -- are present on the Yankees depsite so much talent on the roster. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Mar 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) tips his hat to the crowd as he is taken out during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) tips his hat to the crowd as he is taken out during the fourth inning against the Atlanta Braves at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Like every other team around the league, the Yankees will be affected by the latest memo MLB released regarding player and staff safety due to the coronavirus. 

The new protocols are banning group workouts at any facility, as the league wants teams to practice "social distancing" as best they can. Brett Gardner and DJ LeMahieu were among Yankees that got together on Saturday to put in work during an informal workout. 

But soon players on the 40-man roster may be told to leave the facility, just as minor leaguers have been instructed to do league-wide. The Yankees also have the first known coronavirus case in MLB in their system, as multiple reports say a minor leaguer tested positive and was quarantined on Friday. 

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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The NBA suspending its season indefinitely due to now two Jazz players in Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell contracting coronavirus hasn't just affected the basketball world. Players around MLB were on notice as well. 

Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole called the situation a "shock" on Thursday after his workout down in Tampa, according to NJ.com's Brendan Kuty. Seeing an entire league shut down made people rightfully wonder if it might impact MLB with Opening Day right around the corner. 

Cole is still preparing to start Opening Day against the Orioles on March 26, but he is well aware that might not happen. 

Tags: J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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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 first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

Yankees LHP James Paxton took a big step on Wednesday toward his eventual return, throwing for the first time since December.

Paxton, who had surgery in February to remove a peridiscal cyst, threw 25 tosses from a distance of 60 feet while playing catch, according to Lindsey Adler of The Athletic.

The 31-year-old Paxton said, per Adler, that it was the first time he was pain-free since September and that mid-May is the best case scenario for his return to big league games.

Tags: Deivi Garcia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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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 first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Oct 18, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first inning of game five of the 2019 ALCS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

James Paxton just might make a big advancement in his recovery from back surgery last month, as the LHP could begin throwing as early as this Wednesday.

According to The New York Daily News' Kristie Ackert, Paxton will begin throwing on Wednesday "If everything goes well."

Paxton had surgery in February to remove a peridiscal cyst from his back and was expected to miss 3-4 months, eventually returning in May. So it looks like the pitcher is moving right on schedule in his recovery.

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Mar 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Mar 8, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees beat the Atlanta Braves 1-0 in Sunday afternoon's split-squad game as Masahiro Tanaka threw 3.2 scoreless innings. >> Box score

5 things to know from Sunday's game...

1) Tanaka threw 3.2 scoreless innings, striking out four Braves batters and allowing just one hit. The righty continued to look good, after throwing three perfect innings in his last start against the Boston Red Sox on March 3.

Tags: Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Gio Urshela, Masahiro Tanaka
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Miguel Andujar/Gerrit Cole/Gleyber Torres
Miguel Andujar/Gerrit Cole/Gleyber Torres

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Welp. 

That's exactly how Yankee fans feel when hearing GM Brian Cashman say that two of the team's best hitters in Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton are both "unlikely" for Opening Day. Judge's situation began as a "minor right shoulder problem," and now Cashman is saying it's two separate injuries in his shoulder and pec. 

Cashman said he's "responding well" to his multitude of tests, but there still isn't a timeline for his return, making his status for Opening Day the way it is.

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Feb 26, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitching against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports (John David Mercer)
Feb 26, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitching against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports (John David Mercer)

The Yankees got off to a hot start and never looked back, as they took down the Red Sox, 9-1, in Tampa on Tuesday. >> Box score

5 things to know from Tuesday's game...

1) Masahiro Tanaka went three innings in his latest start, and he was perfect by not allowing a hit or a walk. He also struck out five batters. The Yankees love to see that from their now-No. 2 starter with Luis Severino and James Paxton out. 

Tags: Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gio Urshela, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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It makes sense why Yankees GM Brian Cashman is calling up the Mets to wonder if they'd be willing to trade Steven Matz, as The Post's Ken Davidoff and Mike Puma reported on Monday. Luis Severino is out for the season and James Paxton will be out for the first couple of months at least, shaking up what was supposed to be a pretty deep rotation for the Bombers. 

But is it smart to start talking trades this early in the season? 

Cashman could just be making preliminary calls to see who teams might be willing to part with, and SNY's Andy Martino is hearing from multiple sources that there isn't a reason to believe this will progress at all. But, in the case that the Yankees are trying to add another starter before Opening Day, they should definitely pump the brakes. 

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Steven Matz, Scott Thompson
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Mar 1, 2020; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher David Hale (76) pitching during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports (John David Mercer)
Mar 1, 2020; Lakeland, Florida, USA; New York Yankees pitcher David Hale (76) pitching during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Publix Field at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports (John David Mercer)

The Yankees took a 4-2 lead in the fifth inning, but gave up six runs in the seventh and lost to the Detroit Tigers 10-4 on Sunday. >> Box score 

5 things to know from Sunday's game...

1) David Hale struggled against the Tigers, allowing two earned runs on two hits in just 1.2 IP. With a runner on second base, LHP James Reeves came in for relief and struck out Daz Cameron to end the second inning.

Tags: Brett Gardner, David Hale, Gary Sanchez, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka
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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)

Yankees RHP Luis Severino successfully underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday, the team announced.

Severino also had an existing bone chip in his right elbow removed during the procedure.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman announced on Tuesday that Severino would undergo Tommy John surgery, after complaining of soreness in the top of his right forearm.

Tags: J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Feb 26, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitching against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports (John David Mercer)
Feb 26, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitching against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports (John David Mercer)

Being one of the main pitchers that called out MLB's baseball last season, it makes sense that Masahiro Tanaka was asked about how it felt a year later. 

According to Newsday's David Lennon, Tanaka said that the ball felt just like it did last spring training following his first start on Wednesday, which is a good sign. However, there's a catch. 

Tanaka said that he noticed a difference in the baseballs once the regular season began. So, if MLB did change the ball once again after the complaints last season, we might not find out until Opening Day. 

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Feb 26, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitching against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports (John David Mercer)
Feb 26, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) pitching against the Washington Nationals during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports (John David Mercer)

Rainy weather in Tampa caused the game to be called in the bottom of the fifth inning, giving the Yankees an 8-2 win over the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. >> Box score

5 things to know from Wednesday's game...

1) Masahiro Tanaka got the start for the Yankees on Wednesday, and he pitched to mixed results. After a relatively clean first inning, the second frame was a different story for Tanaka. After striking out Yadiel Hernandez, Tanaka hit Carter Kieboom with a pitch, and then allowed a two-run home run to Raudy Read, putting the Nationals up 2-0. All in all, Tanaka allowed two earned runs on two hits, while also striking out a pair in two innings of work.

Tags: Clint Frazier, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka
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Sep 28, 2019; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws 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) throws during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Shane Roper-USA TODAY Sports (Shane Roper)

In Luis Severino's first public comments since Brian Cashman announced that the right-hander would need to undergo Tommy John surgery, the two-time All-Star promised to come back "stronger than ever."

Severino, via a statement released on Tuesday evening, confirmed that he has elected to have the surgery after consulting with the Yankees, his family, and his representatives. He also said that he is "extremely disappointed that I will not be able to put on a Yankees uniform and compete with my teammates this year."


New York City should expect some hardware to arrive in the next few months, as both Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom and Yankees new ace Gerrit Cole are the favorites to bring home the Cy Young awards in their respective leagues this season.

William Hill sportsbook has both deGrom and Cole as 3/1 favorites to win the award in 2020.

"DeGrom has won two Cy Youngs in a row and is in his prime, and Cole is coming off of one of the greatest pitching years of all time," said Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill's director of trading, according to The Post.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Feb 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws a bullpen session during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports  (Kim Klement)
Feb 13, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) throws a bullpen session during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Yankees RHP Luis Severino will undergo Tommy John surgery, GM Brian Cashman said Tuesday.

With Tommy John surgery requiring a recovery time for pitchers of 12-to-18 months, Severino's 2020 season is over. And he could potentially miss the beginning of the 2021 season as well.

"Sevy has acknowledged and agreed the surgery is necessary," Cashman said. "His plan is to have it done as soon as possible. He's obviously contemplating the doctors and who to do it with. He's still working through the process."

Tags: Deivi Garcia, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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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)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

True, it's early in spring training. But with the way injuries have piled up for the Yankees since 2019, including in camp, it's never too early to consider contingency plans. 

That's why we've cooked up a look at what the club's rotation might be like on Opening Day if Luis Severino is not healthy enough to start the season. 

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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As Spring Training begins in Tampa, the Yankees are looking to have a much healthier season than the one they went through in 2019, when it seemed like almost every player spent time on the injured list. 

But things haven't gotten off to a great start.

Luis Severino, who started just three regular-season games for the Yankees in 2019 due to a rotator cuff injury, once again is dealing with an arm ailment.

The 26-year-old has been shut down from pitching at spring training and was sent to New York for further testing of his arm, per Aaron Boone.

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Before the Yankees' spring camp opened, Jordan Montgomery figured to be one of a number of hopefuls competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. But with another pinstriped injury-a-thon perhaps cranking up, Montgomery has soared in importance and maybe moved up the pitching depth chart.

James Paxton is out until at least May following back surgery and now Luis Severino is dealing with right forearm soreness and could start the season on the Injured List. Domingo German still has 63 games left to serve on his 81-game domestic violence suspension.

So bump up Montgomery to fourth in the rotation, following Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ, at least for now? Sure, since he has more big-league starting experience than rotation candidates such as Luis Cessa, Deivi Garcia, Michael King and Jonathan Loaisiga.

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, Jonathan Loaisiga, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Anthony McCarron
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Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99), designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27), left fielder Brett Gardner (11), left fielder Clint Frazier (77) stretch during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 18, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge (99), designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton (27), left fielder Brett Gardner (11), left fielder Clint Frazier (77) stretch during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yankees spring training is in full swing down in Tampa, as players gear up for the start of games at the end of the week. It is during these games that position battles will start to heat up, and players on the bubble will fight for roster spots.

We made a couple of tweaks to our Opening Day roster from our original prediction to the 2.0 version, and after a few developments already at camp, the same can be said for this one.

So, without further ado, let's look at the starting lineup...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Live batting practice has already started for the Yankees, and Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ were on hand to pitch to live hitters for the first time this spring. Check them out, along with Miguel Andujar getting outfield reps with Aaron Judge.

Tags: Aaron Judge, J.A. Happ, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar
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What will the Yankees get out of Giancarlo Stanton this season? 

It's one of the bigger questions heading into spring training, as the former MVP battled through multiple injuries last season that led to playing only a few scattered games in the regular season and postseason. And even in those contests, Stanton's presence was felt. 

Manager Aaron Boone will hope it's a presence he can consistently put in his lineup. Having Stanton around the likes of Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres and the rest of this stacked lineup makes it that much more scary for Yankees opponents. And it looks like that's what will happen right away at spring training, as Boone says Stanton is a full go. 

Tags: Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Scott Thompson
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Count Yankees infielder Gleyber Torres among the many MLB players who don't believe that the Astros' sign-stealing scheme ended before 2019.

Asked Monday at spring training if he thinks the Astros were cheating in 2019, Torres said "yeah, for sure."

Reminded about the denials of Astros players that their scheme extended that far, Torres was clear.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole (Danielle Parhizkaran)
Yankees RHP Gerrit Cole (Danielle Parhizkaran)

MLB Network counted down their top 100 players in baseball right now, and the Yankees' new ace cracked the top 10.

Gerrit Cole, who signed to a massive nine-year, $324 million deal with the Bronx Bombers this offseason, came in at number 7 on the list, the highest rated pitcher, coming in exactly one spot ahead of back-to-back Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom.

The right-hander's lucrative contract was warranted, though, as he's been one of the most dominating pitchers in the game over the past two years, while also winning 19 games and making the All-Star Game as a Pirate in 2015.

Tags: Aroldis Chapman, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, J.A. Happ, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) arrives as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)
Feb 12, 2020; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) arrives as pitchers and catchers report for spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports (Kim Klement)

The Yankees know they will be without James Paxton to start the regular season, as he had surgery to remove a cyst from his back before the start of spring training. The initial recovery time was three-to-four months, and Paxton provided an update on Thursday. 

Paxton said he can start throwing again in four-to-six weeks, while that three-to-four month timeframe before he can get into a game remains the same. May or June is the target, but Paxton said he is shooting for May. 

"Big Maple" went into detail about why it took so long for him to undergo surgery for the cyst.

Doctors didn't know there was a cyst, but he pitched through it anyway during the 2019 postseason. It was in November when Paxton began feeling pain down his left leg, which was treated with injections, and it wasn't until January that doctors figured out what was ailing him. 

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Asked Monday at Yankees spring training in Tampa, Fla. whether he felt "cheated" out of a potential World Series title by the Astros sign-stealing scandal, Masahiro Tanaka was clear.

"Yeah," Tanaka said. "You do feel that way. You do feel that way."

"I don't know if mad is the right word," Tanaka added about it. "It's something that's out of the rule. They're obviously not abiding by the rules, so yeah. That's what I thought."

Tags: Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Yankees manager Aaron Boone (Troy Taormina )
Yankees manager Aaron Boone (Troy Taormina )

Aaron Boone is entering his third year as manager of the Yankees. And if his last two seasons are any indication of a trend, this year should mean a World Series appearance. 

The Yankees didn't make it past the ALDS in 2018, but advanced to the ALCS this past season and we all know how that one finished against the Astros. But the expectations heading into each of those seasons remains the same now: this is a World Series-caliber roster that got even better. 

Gerrit Cole is the main reason for that, with the Yankees finally having an ace to lead their rotation. Luis Severino is also expected to have a comeback season after a strong late-season comeback. In a lengthy Q&A with The Post's Steve Serby, Boone touched on that combination at the top of his staff. 

Tags: James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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May 3, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)
May 3, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) pitches against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports (Andy Marlin)

When the Yankees announced on Wednesday that James Paxton would miss 3-4 months due to back surgery, the news certainly deflated Yankees fans who have been hoping to see Paxton and Gerrit Cole in action at the top of the rotation.

But might Paxton's timeline for return be different than original anticipated?

According to MLB Network's Jon Heyman, Paxton's agent Scott Boras believes that the left-hander will be back sooner than previously thought, saying "We're very optimistic he'll be back in the first third of the season." 

Tags: Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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Oct 4, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher James Paxton (65) reacts after giving up a home run to Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco (not pictured( during the first inning 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 starting pitcher James Paxton (65) reacts after giving up a home run to Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco (not pictured( during the first inning in game one of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports (Brad Penner)

The Yankees revealed that James Paxton will miss three to four months due to surgery to remove a peridiscal cyst in his lower back on Wednesday. 

So what happens now to the team's starting rotation? 

Well, for one, it explains why J.A. Happ wasn't being pushed harder in a trade this offseason. Sources told SNY's Andy Martino that a situation like this is why the Yankees didn't want to get rid of the veteran left-hander. The Yankees are already down a starter until June, too, as Domingo German will serve his 81-game suspension due to his violation of the joint MLB-MLBPA Domestic Violence Policy.

Tags: Domingo German, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) doubles during the seventh inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)
Oct 7, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; New York Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres (25) doubles during the seventh inning of game three of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: David Berding-USA TODAY Sports (David Berding)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yankees pitchers and catchers report to Tampa next week to officially kick off the 2020 season, and there hasn't been much change to our earlier 26-man roster prediction 1.0. 

The Bombers are still very much poised to make a World Series run and capture their 28th title. There are, however, a couple of tweaks that we can still make with the Yankees making some things more clear heading into spring training. 

So, without further ado, let's look at the starting lineup...

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)
Aug 14, 2019; Bronx, NY, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher J.A. Happ (34) pitches against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports (Noah K. Murray)

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

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

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

Tags: J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka
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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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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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New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner celebrates hitting a solo home run with Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)
New York Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner celebrates hitting a solo home run with Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge during the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Yankee Stadium. (Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports)

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees couldn't return to the World Series for the first time since 2009, falling to the Astros in the ALCS once again to end their 2019 season. And it's even more disappointing than 2017 because this was supposed to be the year the Bronx Bombers took that leap forward into a new age of championships. 

Instead, GM Brian Cashman found himself heading into an offseason needing to upgrade his roster once again to ensure a World Series would be in his team's future in 2020. He delivered. 

Cashman & Co. landed the league's top free agent in Gerrit Cole with a massive nine-year, $324 million deal to give the Yankees an ace, and potentially the missing piece they needed to capture their 28th world title. And he may not even be done. 

Tags: Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Brett Gardner, Chad Green, Clint Frazier, DJ LeMahieu, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gio Urshela, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Luke Voit, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tyler Wade, Zack Britton, Scott Thompson
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AJ Burnett/CC Sabathia
AJ Burnett/CC Sabathia

Scott Thompson, SNY.tv | Twitter |

Yankees GM Brian Cashman got the nod from Hal Steinbrenner to open the team's checkbook, and do whatever it took to land this year's top free agent in Gerrit Cole.

The result? The richest contract ever given to a starting pitcher in MLB history at $324 million over the next nine seasons. 

As Cole takes the stage at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday to don the pinstripes for the first time and officially be introduced as the Yankees' new ace, we're reminded of just how powerful this organization can be when they really want someone on their team. 

Tags: CC Sabathia, Masahiro Tanaka, Scott Thompson
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Masahiro Tanaka and Noah Syndergaard
Masahiro Tanaka and Noah Syndergaard

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The long-awaited scientific findings on the 2019 baseball were released on Wednesday, and the conclusions likely aren't going to satisfy pitchers throughout the majors who were convinced MLB intentionally juiced the ball to fly farther and produce more home runs.

Yet at least there is reason to believe Noah Syndergaard wasn't crazy when he kept complaining that he couldn't throw his slider as effectively in the past -- due to a decrease in the height of the seams on some of the balls that apparently contributed to the record-breaking number of home runs.

And maybe there is now even more reason to believe the Mets should gamble on signing free-agent reliever Blake Treinen, whose fall from dominance with the A's last season was due largely to the ineffectiveness of his sinker -- thought to be at least partly related to lower seams on the ball.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Masahiro Tanaka, Noah Syndergaard, John Harper
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Masahiro Tanaka and Noah Syndergaard
Masahiro Tanaka and Noah Syndergaard

John Harper, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The long-awaited scientific findings on the 2019 baseball were released on Wednesday, and the conclusions likely aren't going to satisfy pitchers throughout the majors who were convinced MLB intentionally juiced the ball to fly farther and produce more home runs.

Yet at least there is reason to believe Noah Syndergaard wasn't crazy when he kept complaining that he couldn't throw his slider as effectively in the past -- due to a decrease in the height of the seams on some of the balls that apparently contributed to the record-breaking number of home runs.

And maybe there is now even more reason to believe the Mets should gamble on signing free-agent reliever Blake Treinen, whose fall from dominance with the A's last season was due largely to the ineffectiveness of his sinker -- thought to be at least partly related to lower seams on the ball.

Tags: Edwin Diaz, Masahiro Tanaka, Noah Syndergaard, John Harper
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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 have made J.A. Happ available via trade, partly in an effort to clear payroll with the potential that a massive deal for free agent Gerrit Cole will soon be added to the books, reports SNY's Andy Martino.

With Happ available, Martino notes that "plenty of National League teams," including the Brewers, would have interest in trading for him. Martino also lists the Blue Jays as a potential suitor. 

Happ is owed $17 million for the 2020 season, and his $17 million option for the 2021 season will vest if he throws 165 innings and/or starts 27 games this coming season.

On Monday, Stephen Strasburg inked the most lucrative contract ever for a pitcher, returning to the Nationals for $245 million over seven years. That deal could vault Cole above $300 million and could mean he gets eight or even nine years.

Tags: Domingo German, James Paxton, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)
Gerrit Cole (Thomas B. Shea)

Anthony McCarron, SNY.tv | Twitter |

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

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

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Austin Romine, Brett Gardner, Clint Frazier, Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez, Gleyber Torres, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Anthony McCarron
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Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts after a double play during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)
Oct 10, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) reacts after a double play during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays in game five of the 2019 ALDS playoff baseball series at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports (Troy Taormina)

CC Sabathia announced his retirement after the ALCS, but he might not be done helping the Yankees.

Sabathia has spoken to fellow California native Gerrit Cole -- the best free agent starting pitcher on the market and a potential Yankees target -- "many times" about what it's like to play for the Yankees.

"If you give that m-----f---er enough money, he's going to want to come here," Sabathia said in a clip from his latest R2C2 podcast. "I am speaking from experience."

Tags: CC Sabathia, Domingo German, J.A. Happ, James Paxton, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees enter the 2019-20 offseason looking to add to a team that came up just short of reaching the World Series this past season. They don't have many big decisions to make (more on that below), but have been both first and second-guessed about their continued lack of reliable ace-level starting pitching.

With Gerrit Cole about to hit the free agent market (the Yanks are expected to at least try to sign him) and other enticing starting pitching options expected to be available, the Yanks have a chance to drastically improve their rotation.

As they look to improve, the Yanks already have a lot committed to payroll for 2020 -- a number that will likely hover right around the luxury tax threshold. Their payroll obligations drop significantly starting in 2021. Here'a a deep dive...

Tags: Aaron Hicks, Aaron Judge, Aroldis Chapman, Chad Green, Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Gleyber Torres, Jacoby Ellsbury, James Pazos, Jordan Montgomery, Luis Cessa, Luis Severino, Masahiro Tanaka, Miguel Andujar, Tommy Kahnle, Danny Abriano
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Danny Abriano, SNY.tv | Twitter |

The Yankees were first-guessed last offseason and again at the trade deadline when it didn't seem they would add more impact starting pitching, and were second-guessed when that choice to not add wound up happening.

They were also first and second-guessed when not trading for Justin Verlander (August of 2017) and Gerrit Cole (January of 2018), and not ponying up enough money to sign Patrick Corbin (December of 2018).

On Thursday, when reminded that the above three pitchers were currently pitching in the World Series and asked if the Yankees regretted passing on them, GM Brian Cashman stood behind the team's decisions during an at-times animated exchange with Sweeny Murti of WFAN.

Tags: James Paxton, Masahiro Tanaka, Danny Abriano
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