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Around the Empire: Yankees news - 2/15/18

Sanchez working on defense; Sheffield & Adams eager to take next step; Tanaka has championship goals; Judge supported Stanton acquisition

MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
Look how flexible I am! Can we stop talking about Romine now?
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports | Bryan Hoch: Remember when people wanted Austin Romine to start actual playoff games over Gary Sanchez? I try not to either. Apparently, Sanchez is also tired of people clamoring for literally Austin Romine, so his focus this offseason was to work on his defense, mainly his ball-blocking. This spring Sanchez appears to be a little trimmer but his weight is listed at about the same. Dellin Betances also worked with a nutritionist this offseason to shed about 14 pounds to help him repeat his delivery.

New York Daily News | Mike Mazzeo: The Yankees tried and tried this offseason, but could not add a starter to their rotation outside of bringing CC Sabathia back. Luckily the Yankees do have some depth, albeit inexperienced. Justus Sheffield and Chance Adams both have aspirations of making the big league club at some point this year. Both are focusing on just going out there and pitching and hopefully showing the Yankees something they like. Let’s see how that’s going so far:

Daily Record | Pete Caldera: It was early November when Masahiro Tanaka decided to opt-in to the remaining three years of his contract. A lot of people were surprised at the time considering his second half and playoff heroics. Considering how the offseason went, it looks like that worked out in his favor. Tanaka says that one of his biggest reasons for returning was because he wanted to fight with this team and bring a championship to New York. | Bryan Hoch: You may or may not have heard, but Giancarlo Stanton is a Yankee now and we’re all better because of that. Before the deal became official, Brian Cashman reached out to Aaron Judge to get his feelings on acquiring Stanton and getting more reps in left field and at designated hitter. Judge responded like a lot of us responded to the rumors: “go get him.”

ESPN | David Schoenfield: New year, new Yankees. That’s the feeling heading into spring training this year. Even though a lot of the team is the same as it was last year, there’s a different feeling. A new manager and a new Giancarlo highlight the major differences between last year and this year, but also a new mentality. These are not the rebuilding, up and coming Baby Bombers. No, the Evil Empire is back and they’re here to stay.