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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 1/7/17

Gary Sanchez has come a long way in a year; Yankees starting rotation remains the primary problem heading into the 2017 season; Gary Sanchez to receive the Thurman Munson award on Feb 7th.

MLB: New York Yankees at Toronto Blue Jays
That group of people in Section 210? They are all Gary now!
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Around the Empire | Bryan Hoch: Last year, Gary Sanchez spent Opening Day of last year in the minors after having a miserable Spring Training with the Yankees. This year, he will serve as the Yankees’ primary man behind the plate. Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka will compete for the backup catcher’s position, a position which Sanchez competed for last year. It’s amazing what can happen in a year.

Beyond the Box Score | Thomas Jenkins: As the team heads into the 2017 season, the Yankees pitching depth still remains a primary concern. As it stands, Brian Cashman and friends intend to go into the year with the starting rotation of Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, and the shrug emoji. Perhaps some gems will emerge from the crop of starters that will be competing in spring training. Perhaps.

Newsday | AP: Gary Sanchez, Victor Cruz, and Wilmer Flores will receive the Thurman Munson Award on February 7th of this year. They will all receive this at the 37th Annual Munson Dinner in New York City. If you’re interested in attending this dinner, it may cost you a pretty penny. Either way, congrats to Gary Sanchez.