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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/8/17

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Sanchez won’t play in WBC; Carter deal is a good one; NYY has checked on Wood; Kaprielian could be fast tracked; Tex officially joins ESPN; Didi optimistic for this season

Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees
“We’re gonna be hang out all spring and be bestest buddies!”
Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

CBS: A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how Gary Sanchez should skip the World Baseball Classic and spend the spring with the Yankees. Well it seems he has finally read my post and listened to my advice. Sweeny Murti reports that after initially saying he’d play, Sanchez backed out of the WBC and will spend spring with the Yankees. I think this means Gary and I are best friends now. Be jealous.

New York Post | Ken Davidoff: Yesterday the Yankees signed Chris Carter to a one-year/$3 million deal and some people were mad online about what it meant for future All-Stars Rob Refsnyder and Tyler Austin. But this deal for a guy who has 40 home run power (a number Ref and Austin probably can’t even combine for in their dreams) is actually ideal for the team. Carter will get some starts against lefties and be a legitimate power threat against lefty relievers off the bench. If Greg Bird or Matt Holliday struggle or get hurt, Carter can easily take over for either and if Carter struggles the Yankees can easily cut bait.

MLB Trade Rumors | Connor Byrne: The Yankees have checked in on free agent pitcher Travis Wood. Wood spent the majority of last season in the Cubs’ bullpen but reportedly has teams looking at him as a starter. With Jason Hammel off the market, Wood is probably the top starter available, but the Yankees don’t seem to be likely to reach a deal with Wood. They seem content with their rotational situation, as they have all offseason, so no reason to believe things would change now.

MLB.com | Bryan Hoch: James Kaprielian wants to come to the Bronx and be the ace of the Yankees’ rotation. However, he has yet to pitch above Class A Tampa. Though he did have an impressive fall and he seems ready to come out and prove himself this spring. While it’s unlikely that he could make the Opening Day roster, an impressive spring training would definitely give Yankees reason to consider fast tracking him. This was the case last spring training as well, and as long as he pitches to his potential, missing time from injury won’t derail his progress with the team.

ESPN | Ben Cafardo: Two days ago news broke out that Mark Teixeira was likely to join ESPN as an analyst. As expected, ESPN made the move official with a press release announcing Teixeira joining the team and his role. Teixeira will “contribute to ESPN’s MLB studio coverage, SportsCenter and additional ESPN platforms, including ESPN Radio.” Best of luck to Tex on the next adventure of his! Maybe one day we’ll see him and A-Rod team up on some baseball analysis.

Newsday | Erik Boland: Didi Gregorius seems to like the fact that the Yankees are mostly flying under the radar this offseason. He’s okay with everyone else, like the Red Sox, getting all the attention and the hype. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe in this team. “I believe in this team, I’ll tell you that.” Told ya so. Gregorius is excited about the Yankees’ youth movement and is happy to be part of it. He also mentions how he thinks this will be a fun year and thinks the Yankees will be competitive, pointing at the team’s second half surge as his reason for optimism.