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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/28/16

Possibilities for the fifth starter; Gardner's value at the deadline; the Mets "won the offseason"; A-Rod talks about the upcoming season.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports | Ryan Hatch: The first four rotation spots are absolutely set, but the fifth is possibly a question mark. CC Sabathia is obviously a possibility, and he's stated that he's "light years" ahead of where he's been in previous offseasons, and Ivan Nova, who has just one year left before free agency. There's also Bryan Mitchell, but he would really have to impress in Spring Training to get the job.

LoHud Yankees Blog | Aaron Dortch: Brett Gardner, as we know, is a decent trade piece. If the Yankees keep him before the All-Star break, especially considering his usually excellent early season performance, he could be an even more enticing trade piece come July. Waiting, the author argues, could also be risky, because Gardner's aging profile could also result in a significant drop in value.

ESPN | Wallace Matthews: In terms of who "won the offseason" in New York, it was definitely the Mets. Even though the Yankees made a couple of good trades, the Mets re-signed Yoenis Cespedes and Bartolo Colon, signed Asdrubal Cabrera, Alejandro De Aza, and Antonio Bastardo, and traded for Neil Walker. I agree, but we all know winning the offseason means very little.

New York Post | Kevin Kernan: Alex Rodriguez talked with the Post about the upcoming season and his preparations, and he said that he's going to try to keep doing what he did last year, and build on that. He also praised the club, their offseason moves, Joe Girardi, and thought about the possibility of breaking Babe Ruth's home run number. He needs 27 home runs to reach 714.