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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 4/7/17

NYY won’t pursue Tanaka; Kaprielian injured; Frazier has already endured too much nonsense; Sulbaran suspended; Bullpen could be better than last year’s

MLB: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Look at this beautiful man. This smile deserves better.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Daily News | Mike Mazzeo: As is well known, Masahiro Tanaka has an opt-out clause after this season. It’s been looming for a while, especially because of how good he is. Supposedly, a source within the organization is saying that if he does opt-out, the team will not pursue him. Their reasoning? Because his agent, Casey Close, is supposedly holding the potential opt-out over their heads. If true, this seems pretty immature on the Yankees’ part, but let’s see. The team has since refuted this claim.

New York Daily News | Christian Red: After missing almost all of the 2016 with an elbow injury, James Kaprielian was placed on the minor league disabled list with pain in the same elbow. Kaprielian came into this season with high expectations, same as last, and seemingly healthy until he complained of pain three days ago in Florida. Brian Cashman says he’s concerned, but he’s going for a MRI, so stay tuned for more on this.

Vice Sports | Joseph Flynn: On Wednesday the Yankees part of the internet was freaking out because top prospect Clint Frazier supposedly asked if the Yankees unretire numbers so he could potentially wear Mickey Mantle’s number 7. It later came out that the story was untrue. However, people were already crucifying him for it. Between this, his hair being a “distraction,” questions about his supposed character, and working out too much (?), he’s already endured a career’s worth of nonsense from the organization, media, and fans. | Brendan Kuty: Yankees prospect Miguel Sulbaran has been suspended 25 games for violating the minor league drug prevention and treatment program according to a release from Major League Baseball. Sulbaran, acquired from the Twins in the Eduardo Nunez trade, is one of five players who have been suspended without pay and effective immediately. The release doesn’t state how he violated the policy specifically.

New York Post | George A. King III: Last year the Yankees bullpen stole headlines with the dominant trio of Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller, and Aroldis Chapman aka Fluffy. While Fluffy was great and stole the headlines, outside of it the bullpen needed a prayer last year. Despite losing Miller (who might be the best of Fluffy), this year’s bullpen might be better as a whole. This unit seems more complete and has yet to allow a run in 13 13 innings so far. Don’t worry, even though “No Runs DMC” (yuck) has been dismantled, apparently assembling a bullpen is as Easy as ABC.


New York Post | George A. King III: Brian Cashman and Randy Levine were both quick to shut down the Daily News report regarding Tanaka (link above). Levine said that he hadn’t heard anything like that within the organization and that there was no opt-out threat since the Yankees don’t normally negotiate early. Cashman also echoed the same sentiments saying he didn’t know where the reports came from, but he has respect for Casey Close and his office and that there’s nothing to hold over the Yankees’ heads because they simply haven’t negotiated yet. Let’s see how this one plays out.