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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/15/17

Tanaka named the opening day starter; Girardi focused on winning during the last year of his contract; youth movement reminds Girardi of 1996; Sabathia wants to pitch after this year; Severino gets pitching advice from Pedro Martinez

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Around the Empire | Bryan Hoch: Pitchers and catchers have reported. Spring training has finally arrived. There are new photos to choose from in the photo editor. This is the first step of the 2017 Yankee Baseball season. A fresh start. A new beginning. The Empire Strikes Back this year. Now in our obviously obvious portion of the news, Masahiro Tanaka was named the Yankees’ opening day starter. Glad we got that out of the way. Back to grandiose proclamations that baseball is back!

New York Daily News | Mike Mazzeo: It wouldn’t be Yankee Baseball without questioning how much longer Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi will be managing the Yankees. Girardi will be in his 10th season as Yankees’ manager. This is also the last year of his current contract. Speculation whether or not he will return after this season likely depends on how the team does. Girardi will undoubtedly be focusing on winning. It’s what you want. | Bryan Hoch: Speaking of Joe Girardi and winning, he will be attempting to do so with one of the youngest teams he’s ever managed. Girardi, just like everyone else, has started comparing this young roster of players to the beginning of the 90’s dynasty in 1996. The mix of young players and established veterans. He is excited about the possibilities. We all should be. Exciting times are ahead.

Newsday | Erik Boland: CC Sabathia, like his manager, is in the final year of his current contract with the New York Yankees. Coming off a comeback season, Sabathia finds himself on a Newer, Yorkier Yankees team with young starters to slot behind him and Tanaka in the rotation. CC has stated that he wants to continue pitching after this year is over with. Whether or not he remains in pinstripes will be determined at a later date. Praise be.

New York Daily News | Mike Mazzeo: Luis Severino is one of the young starters who will possibly slot behind Sabathia in the rotation. Earlier in the offseason, it was revealed that Severino was getting help from old Yankees’ arch-nemesis Pedro Martinez. Severino is still hoping to make it as a starter and hopefully Pedro’s “okay at pitching baseballs” advice can help him out. If not, Cashman has said that Sevy will be sent down to Triple-A to work as a starter.

NBC Sports | Craig Calcaterra: Nick Swisher will be joining the Yankees once again. The Swishalicious one will be a special instructor in Tampa, joining a slew of former Yankees in the Sunshine State this spring training. At least we know there will be plenty of great vibes there this year. Best of luck, Swish.

Newsday | Greg Auman: Ruben Tejada will also be joining the Yankees in Tampa. The former member of the Amazin’ Mets will be competing for a spot on the big league roster, most likely as a backup player. It will be tough to beat what Ronald Torreyes did for them off the bench last year though.

Yankees Magazine | Jon Schwartz: Finally, a nice article on Tim Raines, his career, and him making it into the Hall of Fame. Please give this a look and shout out “WELCOME TO THE ROCK” at the end of it. Please.